October's chill is lingering everywhere in America, which means that it's time for baseball's biggest stage: the World Series starts on Wednesday night. It'll be the Detroit Tigers against the San Francisco Giants, after a stunning seven game series sent Giants to their second finals in three years. The Tigers, on the other hand, swept the heavily favored New York Yankees in dominating fashion and have to be seen as having the advantage in the World Series, depending on their ample rest time, as well as the momentum of giant-killers on their side.
The Detroit Tigers made the superstar Yankees look terribly mortal in their League Championship series. Playing the first two games in New York, the Yankees vaunted captain Derek Jeter fractured his ankle and once-invincible Alex Rodriguez was benched for his subpar hitting. The post-season disappointment was enough for General Manager Brian Cashman to declare that A Rod was no longer untouchable in an angry rant that surprised no one.
The Tigers didn't look this impressive in taking five games to dispatch the Oakland A's, but their consistency means that, despite New York garnering the headlines we expect from a metropolis, Detroit is the team that's still making waves for good reasons.
The Cardinals won it all last year, the Giants did the year before. It should have been expected that this would be a spectacular series, but when they split the opening games in San Francisco, some people doubted the resolve. Of course, we should have known this was coming according not only to their last two seasons, but also in regard to their regular seasons this year. Neither team knows how to quit.
Sadly, for St. Louis fans, game 7 in San Francisco brought an end to this epic series, in dramatic fashion. The Cardinals were rolled 9-0. Fortunately for Giants fans, their team will carry their victory with them as just the latest sign that they can never be counted out. The Tigers may have the larger momentum, but San Francisco has a deep-seated belief that they will never lose. They were down in the NLCS 1-3 and won games 5, 6 and 7, with the margin in this last closeout game being the largest of the series. The Giants have shown what it means to refuse to give up.
The World Series is the best time for the casual baseball fan to embrace one team getting their shot. Despite the Yankees still dominating the newspaper headlines, and their decorated history, baseball feels like a sport that has achieved true parity. In the last ten years, eight different teams have won. The repeaters: the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals.The Giants now have a chance to join that repeaters club. If they can get over the Detroit Tigers. It's going to be a fantastic battle.