The Post Season starts in 15 hours and it seems like everyone is writing articles predicting what will happen or writing about how they feel emotionally about a series.
I am not going to waste your time with that.
Clearly my predictions suck (I had the Giants, Cardinals, Twins and White Sox in the playoffs for God's sake!)
And ALL predictions are just guess work (how many picked the Tigers and Cardinals last year?)
And my emotions are pretty easily defined... I want the Red Sox to win.
But what we CAN forecast is what match up does Fox want in the World Series.
Oh there are great stories in every team in the playoffs... all 4 National League teams are scrappy underdogs who could be a David to the big spending Yankees/Red Sox/Angels Goliath.
But remember Fox isn't trying to sell to hardcore baseball fans. They need to sell a World Series to people who are p*ssed off that Bones has been preempted.
There are 16 possible World Series scenarios... and seeing this is Sully Baseball... I need to list them in the order that Fox can sell it.
1. NEW YORK YANKEES vs. CHICAGO CUBS
There are Fox executives slaughtering billy goats to the baseball Gods to make this match up happen. The Big Bad Yankees with all of those rings in the Bronx... superstars galore... vs. the Cubs (even their name is cute) who haven't won a World Series since the Teddy Roosevelt administration... the passionate fans... Lou Pinella and Alfonso Soriano up against their old team... A-Rod in his first World Series... Jeter and company wanting to win one more for Joe Torre... and a chance to break out the cliches they thought they lost forever when the Red Sox finally won. Maybe even get poor Steve Bartman box seats.
2. BOSTON RED SOX vs. CHICAGO CUBS
Not as sexy as it would have been in 2003 when both teams were looking to lift a curse. But still, you get the two most beloved parks in baseball... and two of the craziest and most transplanted fan bases in baseball. Plus Big Papi and Manny aiming for Waveland.
3. NEW YORK YANKEES vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Or "The Battle for South Jersey's Soul." Yankees have the established stars. The Phillies have the stars on the rise. Lots of transplanted fans for both teams and for people who hate New York sports... the Phillies have slain one already... why not both?
4. BOSTON RED SOX vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
The two most insecure and New York obsessed fan bases square off. It was heated for the Patriots/Eagles Superbowl and those Celtics/76ers playoffs. Why not try baseball?
5. CHICAGO CUBS vs. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
You get the Cubs angle and Fox can pack the stadium with cast members of all their upcoming shows. No airfare or hotel needed... just a limo to Anaheim. Plus did you remember this was the World Series match up in the movie Taking Care of Business? I didn't think so.
6. CLEVELAND INDIANS vs. CHICAGO CUBS
My God! Someone would HAVE to win this one! The two remaining cursed franchises square off! The only reason this isn't higher is you lose the East Coast completely. (They didn't care about the White Sox either!)
7. NEW YORK YANKEES vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
The Yankees could take revenge for 2001!
8. BOSTON RED SOX vs. COLORADO ROCKIES
You get the Red Sox nation watching... and enough people hate us now that maybe they'd cheer Colorado on for a truly unlikely ring.
9. NEW YORK YANKEES vs. COLORADO ROCKIES
Beating the Yankees is practically the only movie cliche left for the Rockies this year. A-Rod in high altitude would be fun. (Remember the Rockies swept the Yankees! Remember how odd that sounded then?)
10. BOSTON RED SOX vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
When you think of traditional rivals for the Red Sox... you think of the Arizona desert!
11. CLEVELAND INDIANS vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Two tormented fan bases... united in their hatred of Jose Mesa. I would love to be the Fox executive who comes up to Simon Callow to ask him "Where do you want to go and sit outside at night in late October? Cleveland or Philadelphia?"
12. CLEVELAND INDIANS vs. COLORADO ROCKIES
First The Drive and then The Fumble. Denver couldn't torment Cleveland in baseball too, can they?
13. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
The good news is we got both coasts! The bad news is we don't have New York, Boston nor Los Angeles (I don't care what their name says... they are in Anaheim!)
14. CLEVELAND INDIANS vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
The Indians versus an expansion team? Great! It's 1997 all over again. There have been test patterns that got higher ratings than the 1997 World Series.
15. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM vs. COLORADO ROCKIES
"The World Series will now be shown on Fox Family Channel... we now return to Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? already in progress."
16. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Fox sports executives commit Hari Kari (the suicide technique... not the announcer.)