Arizona. Colorado. Cleveland. Heck, even Los Angeles. Do you think, perhaps, that there are some television executives waking up screaming in the night?
If TV really ruled the game, to the extent it would like to, we’d see Yankees/Red Sox in one LCS and Philadelphia/Chicago in the other. Then a Cubs/Yankees World Series.
Right now, we’re on pace for Arizona/Colorado and Cleveland/Boston (depending on who wins tonight). That NLCS would be terrible for those East Coasters, unless they started the games at terrible times for the home teams. (That’s not out of the realm of possibility, of course.)
But at least the TV people would still have Boston alive, a big market East Coast team. Just imagine, though, if LA would win that, knock off Cleveland and we’d have another all-Western World Series, like there was in 2002. I’m betting ratings would be way down and there’d be a little less discussion of the games.
I don’t want to come across as one of those ranting “East Coast Bias!” types. It does exist, to a degree, but not to the levels some fans want to take it. It’s human nature to want your routines, and since a bunch of the media is on the East Coast, that’s what they’ll cover. For them to stay up late and throw a kink into their normal days and nights, it’s not going to make them happy. Which means, for the rest of us, we are cheering awfully hard for such an outcome.
And I am one Arizona win away from my first stress-free October since the turn of the century. The Cardinals always cause me angst, because as the pressure mounts, the less I can take it. I’m flipping channels, trying to not think about wasted chances, the comeback of the other team, etc. Then, the one year the Cards weren’t in the playoffs, the Cubs went deep into October, causing the same level of dread in the other direction. Thank goodness for Bartman, Alex Gonzalez and, well, the Cubs being the Cubs.
If Arizona can just win tomorrow, I can watch the rest of the playoffs with no deep-seated rooting interest. My wife likes the Indians (and it’s always enjoyable when the spouse gets into the games) but it’s nothing to the level of the Cardinals. And that should make for a fun month.
In Cardinal news, they picked up the option on Jason Isringhausen. Really a no-brainer move, as there was no obvious replacement in system (Chris Perez isn’t ready for that role yet) and the option was pretty reasonable when you look at the market. Glad to see Izzy get another year–2006 was rough for him, so it was good to see see that it was mainly the hip and he was back on his game last season.