Monday, October 25, 2010

Why I'm Rooting for the Giants in the World Series

From the film Nurse Betty:

Morgan Freeman: “I’m in hell!”

Chris Rock: “Worse: You’re in Texas!”

I hate the Rangers. I hate all teams called Rangers, no matter what the sport, no matter what the country. Especially when they wear blue shirts.

I give the Dallas Mavericks a pass because Mark Cuban upsets the NBA establishment, which could use it. I give the University of Texas Longhorns a pass because anybody in Texas who isn’t a Hook-em-Hornser hates them. Every other Texas team, I despise them. Especially the Dallas Cowboys.

Traditionally, on those occasions when the Yankees are eliminated, I tend to root for the team that plays the team that beat the Yankees. In Italian soccer, this is known as gufare: Essentially, it means "to support against."

And, unlike Met fans, the Flushing Heathen, I don't automatically root for the champion of a League just because my team is in that League. That's just plain dumb.

So I have no problem with rooting for the Giants to beat the Rangers and their inbred John Birch redneck cunts.

Who forget that the Alamo was manned by guys fighting for the “right” to own slaves (already illegal in Mexico). And whose State seceded from the Union, against the pleas of their founder Sam Houston. And who killed a President. And gave us 2 Presidents whose macho bullshit got us into a war that we never should've gotten into. (At least LBJ was good, even great, on domestic issues; GWB was a fucking idiot and a right-wing nut at everything.) And, oh yeah, the Rangers' former owner stole a President election and then repeatedly stabbed the American people in the back.

In fact, I'll bet I can come up with a...

Top 10 Reasons I'm Rooting For the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 World Series

10. The Yankees. The Rangers beat them. The Giants didn't. Not since 1922, anyway.

9. Mascots. Lou Seal, named for the Pacific Coast League's old San Francisco Seals, themselves named for the seals that seem to hang around San Francisco's coastline, offends nobody. Except maybe Dodger fans, and they deserve to be offended.

But the Rangers' mascot, a horse named "Rangers Captain" -- dumb name -- held up a sign saying after the Pennant clincher, saying, "Payroll + Tradition = Nothing."

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_yKSo5xPjLpM/TMNOQR8K0pI/AAAAAAAAPUI/he3jGEmA8M4/s1600/Picture+7.png

Maybe the Captain would realize tradition means a lot... if his team had any.

I just checked: 13 current teams won their first trip to the World Series, but 14 lost theirs. (I'm counting only in their current cities: The Boston Braves and the Milwaukee Braves won on their first tries, the Atlanta Braves did not.) That's more that have lost their first than have won it.

And no Texas team has ever won so much as a single World Series game.

So the Captain better watch what comes out of the horse's mouth, or else the Giants could send him to the glue factory.

8. Television. San Francisco has had The Streets of San Francisco, Ironside, McMillan & Wife, Too Close For Comfort, Full House and Party of Five.

Dallas has had, well, Dallas. What kind of TV show is it when the main character gets shot and, unlike Ironside, people cheer? And the next-biggest show set in Dallas was Walker, Texas Ranger, starring that fucking charlatan Chuck Norris.

7. Food. San Francisco is known for great seafood. And for sourdough bread. And for "Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat." Dallas? In its own State, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio kick its ass at its signature food, barbecue.

6. Public Transit. San Francisco has had streetcars seemingly forever, and started the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway service in 1972. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) didn't start a subway-style service, as yet only light rail, until 1996.

And AT&T Park is a short walk from BART and CalTrain stations. If you don't have a car, how are you supposed to get from downtown Dallas to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington? Google Maps seems unsure. And DART's map shows no stops anywhere near Rangers Ballpark -- the closest commuter-rail stop is 6 miles to the north.

5. The Dodgers. The Giants hate the Dodgers. The Rangers don't. Granted, the Giants would still have moved out of New York if the Dodgers had stayed put (the plan was to go where their top farm club was, Minneapolis, which got the Twins instead after 3 more years), but if Walter O'Malley hadn't tricked Horace Stoneham into going to San Francisco, chances are the Bay Area would've gotten a better team. And I don't mean the Oakland Athletics.

Sure, having Willie Mays and a lot of great stars was good, but they might've won more Pennants with an expansion team, despite the Giants having been one of the great teams in baseball history to that point.

Gee, maybe that's what that stupid horse meant.

4. Legends. Here's what an all-time San Francisco Giants team would look like:

1B Willie McCovey – with Orlando Cepeda as a backup, or DH in AL parks
2B Jeff Kent
SS Rich Aurilia – with Juan Uribe as a backup and potential successor
3B Matt Williams
LF Barry Bonds
CF Willie Mays
RF Bobby Bonds – with Felipe Alou as a backup
C Benito Santiago – with Buster Posey as a backup and potential successor
SP Juan Marichal, Jack Sanford, Gaylord Perry, Rick Reuschel, Tim Lincecum
RP Robb Nen

Now, here's what an all-time Texas Rangers team might look like:

1B Rafael Palmeiro
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Alex Rodriguez
3B Michael Young
LF Rusty Greer
CF Oddibe McDowell
RF Juan Gonzalez
DH Vladimir Guerrero
C Ivan Rodriguez
SP Fergie Jenkins, Charlie Hough, Kenny Rogers, Nolan Ryan, Kevin Brown
RP John Wetteland

Now, I ask you: Who from this lineup would crack the all-time Giants lineup?

Palmeiro over McCovey? You're joking. Kinsler over Kent? Not yet. A-Rod over Aurilia? Yes. Young over Williams? Not yet. Greer over Barry? No. McDowell over Mays? Not on this planet. Juan Gone over Bobby Bonds? Not even with steroids. Vlad over Cepeda? Tough call, but I can't say yes. Pudge over Santiago? Yes.

From the Ranger rotation, Jenkins would push out Sanford, and Ryan, even at age 44, would push out Reuschel, but only 2 out of 5. Nen vs. Wetteland is a wash -- even if Wetteland never washed his cap.

So... 4 out of 15. Not good.

What about Cliff Lee, you ask? He's pitched a grand total of 18 games for the Rangers. He doesn't qualify yet, any more than he qualifies for the all-time teams of Cleveland, Philadelphia and Seattle.

3. Ballparks. Forget the fact that both parks have had several names, including corporate names. AT&T Park is regarded as one of the best of the new parks. Rangers Ballpark isn't bad, but all that money in North Texas, and they couldn't put a roof on it, like Houston's done? Twice? It's hot enough, but its predecessor, Arlington Stadium, was a frying pan. After 8 innings in that thing, you'd be begging to be back in Candlestick Park freezing your ass off.

2. Cheaters. Yes, the Giants had Barry Bonds and Matt Williams -- and Gaylord Perry, a different kind of cheater. But the Rangers had Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, Kevin Brown, Kenny Rogers (okay, he was caught in Detroit, not Texas) and, yes, he confessed to using steroids only while he was a Ranger, Alex Rodriguez -- and, as it turned out, Gaylord Perry... twice.

1. The Cities/Metro Areas. San Francisco gave the world Dianne Feinstein, Harvey Milk and former Baltimorean Nancy Pelosi. North Texas gave the world H.L. Hunt, Dick Armey and George W. Bush. The San Francisco Bay Area gave us the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance, the Free Speech Movement, and all sorts of liberation movements. North Texas killed a President. One their top newspaper had printed ad accusing of treason. San Francisco gave us Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. North Texas gave us the Dallas Cowboys, with their unearned arrogance and their cocaine.

Did I mention that I hate the fucking Rangers? Go on, celebrate with your ginger ale, while Bush, Ron Washington and Josh Hamilton have a snort in the manager's office.

*

I’m not ready to fire Joe Girardi. But he really fucked it up the last month and change. Turned out it was worth it to fight for the best record in the American League. Turned out it was worth it to fight for home-field advantage. Turned out it was worth it to get to Cliff Lee in the first postseason series, not the second, before his legend could be built up and hyped further. (Some legend: He’s 26-22 in the last 2 regular seasons.)

No, I'm not ready to fire Girardi. But I was thinking, “If the old George Steinbrenner was in charge, this could be Girardi’s last game.”

Winning the Series last year got Girardi a pass for this year in my book, but my book has some nasty chapters in it. If the Yankees don’t do it next year, and it can be blamed on Girardi, then I’d start thinking maybe it’s time for him to go.

I’m not sure who would replace him; his bench coach, Tony Pena, although he’s already had managing experience, would probably go with him.

Willie Randolph, perhaps? It would be his first chance to manage in the major leagues.

Wouldn’t it be fun to see a 2012 World Series, with the Yankees managed by Derek Jeter, defeating the Dodgers managed by Don Mattingly? Hey, at least Donnie Regular Season Baseball would at last have won a Pennant.

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