No, I’m not flip-flopping. I just wanted to make two points: first, the World Series is moving to Houston, which could mean either the Astros’ salvation or Chicago’s final triumph; and second, I have a lot of cool Astros hats. As Paul Lukas writes, both of these teams have an illustrious history of uniform designs. Houston had the second-best home record in the majors. But guess who had the best overall road record? That’s right, the White Sox. An amusing controversy has broken out over whether Minute Maid Park’s roof will be open or closed for the Astros’ home games. It’s better than constant complaining about the umpires. Apparently some paramecium at Game 2 slapped Craig Biggio’s wife. Gee, I wonder why the White Sox have such a miserable national reputation?
Apparently the TV ratings from this series are on track to be the lowest ever; why exactly this is stumps me. If the White Sox sweep, it could be catastrophic indeed for Fox, not that they are much helping matters with their animated talking baseballs and brain-dead announcers. (I can’t believe I’m actually longing for the return of Lou Piniella, who’s at least entertainingly bad.) How come the whole country was excited for Boston’s first title since 1918 but no one seems to care about the possibility of Chicago’s first since 1917? All I can do is repeat the complaints that many smarter, more media-savvy observers have already made. Baseball is doing a crummy job marketing the best game in the universe. Their emphasis on hyping stars has really hurt the appeal of two balanced, hustling, team-oriented franchises in the World Series. And for the millionth time, baseball is meant to be played during the day. Why did the skies open in anger when the Cubs tried to play their first night game at Wrigley Field? Nature abhors night games. What’s more, how are parents around the U.S. supposed to introduce their kids to baseball if the games start half an hour before bedtime? By letting television dictate their scheduling, MLB is severely compromising the long-term growth of their sport. It’s the first thing that the real commissioner will address if we ever get one.
Roger Clemens will be available to start Game 5…unless he isn’t. There’s been some talk about how National League rules will favor Houston. But some disagree. Our favorite simulation at Baseball Prospectus lists Chicago’s chances of winning the Series at 81.5826%. Of course, they still have to play the games.