Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Series Apathy

2008 Chachi #84
I have vivid memories of watching most of the World Series games from the early '80s through the early '90s.  I didn't miss a pitch, and I often stayed up way past my bedtime in order to watch every inning of every game, every year.  But then something happened after the 1994 season - I started to lose interest.  Part of it was due to the emotional fall-out from the baseball strike and part of it was because the Phillies were just so bad during those years, and I wasn't personally invested in the teams playing in the Fall Classic.  This reached its nadir with the 1998 World Series, as I barely watched any of the games.  I have similar feelings about this year's World Series, but for different reasons.  Under different circumstances, in a year in which the NL representative hadn't broken my heart by steam rolling over the Phillies, I might have been intrigued by a Giants-Rangers match-up.  But given the circumstances, I'm barely paying attention to Game 1 as I type this.

2010 Topps Heritage #306
Since 1995, here are my personal bottom five World Series, in descending order, that left me completely disinterested.  (No disrespect to any of these teams or their fans is intended by this ranking.  I'm sure a lot of people were completely bored with the last two World Series match-ups in 2008 and 2009.)

5.  2010 - Giants vs. Rangers
I'm rooting for the Rangers here, but it's not like I'll lose sleep if the Giants win.  I'd like to see Cliff Lee do well and I'd like to see Pat Burrell strike out looking to end the series, with the go-ahead run on first base.  (Wait, that already happened this year.)

2007 Topps #280
 4.  2007 - Red Sox swept the Rockies, 4-0
Nothing against Red Sox Nation, but this series bored me.  The Sox had broken the "curse" just three years earlier in exhilarating fashion and the Rockies had manhandled the Phillies in the NLDS.  After scratching and clawing to get into the Postseason, the quick exit by the Phillies left me deflated and I found myself wanting the Rockies to fail.  Thankfully, they did, but I didn't watch much of their dismantling by the Sox.

3.  2003 - Marlins over the Yankees, 4-2
With their sixth World Series appearance in an eight-year span, the Yankees were flat out annoying by this point.  As a baseball fan, I could appreciate their return to the Fall Classic in 1996.  By 2003, as a card-carrying Yankee-Hater, I had had enough.  I also wasn't a big fan of the Marlins, as I'm not really fond of any of the other NL East teams.  This was also the first year of the "This Time It Counts" campaign in which the league winning the All-Star Game was awarded home field advantage.  The whole series seemed like a contrived, hyped Fox-Fest and I don't recall staying up to watch the end of many of these games.  I had to look up the details of this series, as I honestly couldn't remember anything spectacular about it.

1998 Topps #434
2.  1998 - Yankees swept the Padres, 4-0
This World Series marked the first (and probably only) time I barely watched any of the games.  I had recently moved to a new city for a new job.  I was out of town (Charlotte? Atlanta?) for a new hire training, staying in a hotel room with a co-worker I barely knew, during the duration of the series.  Roomie was not a baseball fan, and we ended up watching mostly what he wanted to watch.  In retrospect, I could have just gone down to the hotel bar to watch the games, but I just didn't have the energy.  Apparently, neither did the Padres.

2000 Topps #223
1.  2000 - Yankees over the Mets, 4-1
This was the most over-hyped, over-analyzed, over-everything World Series in the history of the game.  For a Phillies fan, or as a non-New York fan for that matter, this was like asking someone would you rather be mauled by a brown bear or a black bear.  The games were actually a little interesting, but when you vehemently want neither team to win, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.  As evidence of how muddled my knowledge of Yankees and Mets recent Postseason history truly is, I could have sworn this was the year former-Phillie Todd Pratt hit his dramatic walk-off home run to win a game for the Mets in the NLCS.  Turns out that actually happened in Game 4 of the 1999 NLDS against the Diamondbacks.

4 comments:

Dave said...

Disagree regarding 2010 and 2003, but a brilliantly written post. Made me laugh a few times.

Dave said...

And I certainly understand your feeling about 2010, given your disposition toward the Phillies.

night owl said...

I paid the least attention to any Series between 1995-99. Probably the least for 1995. Couldn't tell you a single thing about it.

Section 36 said...

I personally enjoyed the 2007 series more than any other. But, you probably knew that.