Monday, October 24, 2011

What's Wrong with the Cardinals-Rangers World Series?

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers are playing in the 2011 World Series, in case you didn't know.  I'm not sure who is actually watching this World Series though.  Last night, I was watching the Saints obliteration of the Colts and forgot all about Game 4 of the World Series.  Tonight, I asked the boys if they knew the score of the Series.  Mind you Game 5 is playing tonight.

"2-1" G yells out from behind his Wii remote.

"3-1" C follows.  "No wait, it's......oh I don't know, it's 2-1."
I remember when the World Series was the most important sporting event of the year.  I remember the 1982 World Series between the Brewers and the Cardinals.  I remember the Royals World Series in 1985 and the Don Denkinger blown call.  Game 7, if there was one, was tantamount to the Super Bowl and the Olympics rolled up into one.  These days, we can barely remember who plays in the World Series from year to year.  I had to look up who was in the 2008 World Series, even though it was the same Tampa Bay Rays who beat the Red Sox in the ALCS.   I then had a brilliant idea to further prove my point.  Do the boys know anyone on either the Cardinals or the Rangers?

I gave C the first chance with the Texas Rangers. "Josh Hamilton, and.....oh what's his name.  Oh Elvis Andrus and who is that second basemen?  Oh I can't remember his name!"  That's sad.

Then I broke G away from Madden 2010 long enough to ask about the Cardinals.  I was more optimistic, since Albert Pujols was his favorite player.  "Albert Pujols" He responds. "And...uh.....uh....uh Patrick Someone."  Who?  Even his brother couldn't name someone on the Cardinals.  The closest he got was an outfielder named "Matt."

So what's wrong?  Is baseball suffering from an identity crisis?  Perhaps.  Between football and soccer, our sporting time is in short supply during the Fall.  Not only that, we're more likely to be playing with our iPads, iPods, iTouchs and XBox360 than turning on the TV to watch some unrecognizable guys play baseball.  Frankly, if the Red Sox aren't in the playoffs these days, we just don't care about baseball once football starts in September.  This is similar to the problem that the NBA is facing these days.  The competition from the NFL is just too strong. 

And back to the players.  Player exposure is limited in baseball - affecting player popularity.  Josh Hamilton is the most recognizable Rangers player and he is recovering drug addict.  Albert Pujols is the most famous baseball player in Major League Baseball, but he is dogged by persistent rumors about steroid use.  After these guys, you have to be a baseball fanatic to know the other players.  Nelson Cruz, Yadier Molina, Ian Kinsler, Cris Carpenter and C.J. Wilson are great players, but no one cares about them.  They are never on TV around here (unless they play basketball), unlike their football or basketball brethren who are always on National Television.  By all accounts, C.J. Wilson is good guy, but I've seen him perhaps 2 times in my life.  I've seen John Beck and Christian Ponder more on the RedZone Channel.

We're not going to speculate about how to fix the problem, though, we're too busy watching Monday Night Football.

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