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It’s October. It’s fall. For sports, this is the greatest time of the year. We suffered through the long, painful dog days of summer for the pleasure of being balls deep in college football. It’s the passion. The pageantry. The tailgating. The bourbon. The rivalries. The shit-talking. It’s the upsets. It’s The Grove. It’s the ongoing discussion over which Death Valley is THE Death Valley. Shit, it’s even the bands. I love it. You love it. We all love it. It’s ingrained in the DNA of every swinging dick from Eugene to Chapel Hill. But…do me a favor here, gentlemen. Do ol’ Roger a solid. Let’s change gears for a second. This is the one time during the fall where it’s acceptable to focus on a sport other than our beloved pigskin. Forget about football for a moment. The World Series begins Wednesday night, when the defending American League Champion Texas Rangers take on the Cardinals of St. Louis. So, take a trip with me and let’s preview the series.
“But Roger, haven’t you seen Bama’s defense this year? Could they be the best ever?”
“What the hell, Rodge? Don’t you want to see Kellen Moore become the all-time wins leader in D1 history?”
“But, hold on. What do you think about Landry Jones’ tramp stamp?”
“Aw hell, Dorn. I want to talk about LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu. Dude’s the tits.”
Yes, Bama’s defense is legit. I don’t give a baker’s fuck about Boise State. Jones is New Mexican trash. And the Honey Badger will straight rip your throat out. I get it, guys. But I’m here to talk about the Fall Classic. It is America’s pastime, after all, so let’s get to it.
The Texas Rangers
The only thing Rangers President Nolan Ryan likes more than painting the inside corner with 104 mph heat is building powerhouse MLB teams. And he has definitely built himself a dominant squad. But is Ryan the only Texas legend responsible for the Rangers’ second consecutive World Series appearance? Nope.
President George W. Bush was once asked about the biggest mistake he ever made. His response? “Trading Sammy Sosa for Harold Baines.” Much like W’s presidency, the fruits of his genius on the diamond didn’t become evident until years later. W and Ryan don’t just sit together at the games so they can exchange stories and chit-chat. They are talking baseball and designating a starting pitcher as “Mustache Pledge.” They both have their hands in this baseball masterpiece. W helped lay the foundation, and Nolan has successfully transitioned his baseball prowess from the bump to the front office.
Speaking of “bump,” that Ron Washington sure likes to party. From hanging onto his 80s-style mini-Jheri curl, to “doing the Ron” as the kids like to call it, to his brief run in with blow, no one will throw down quite like Ron if Texas takes the series. Well, no one but Josh Hamilton. Hamilton raged so hard before his rise up baseball’s elite ladder that he actually had to hire an assistant to keep him away from the bar, out of tit flops, and away from the needle. He sure can piss on a baseball, though. Other players who will contribute alongside Hamilton’s bat are Michael “Good Ol’ Boy” Young, Ian “The Hebrew Hammer” Kinsler, and Nelson “Is he really hitting 7 hole?” Cruz. Texas’ absurd lineup is strong enough to hang with any team, but their bullpen has really shortened games and become the underrated X-factor in the latter half of the season. Moving Ogando from starter to the pen for the playoffs is proving to be Wash’s signature move and a catalyst to the Rangers’ postseason dominance.
The St. Louis Cardinals
Strong talent and good coaching have made the Cards a postseason mainstay in recent history. When Tony La Russa isn’t organizing underground gambling rings and ordering whack jobs, he’s a damn fine baseball coach. Leading St. Louis is perhaps the best hitter on the face of the planet, Albert Pujols. He looks to carry his .419 2011 postseason batting average and clutch hitting into the World Series, and hopes to take the Cards to a World Championship.
Another solid ballplayer for the Cardinals, and a Dorn personal favorite, is Lance Berkman. I mean the guy looks like some drunk asshole they pulled out of the stands because they were short a man. “Can you swing a stick, man?” “Fuck it. I’ll try.” Lance, baseball is your livelihood, and you’re damn good at it. Do you take it seriously? Maybe mix in a weight room session. I don’t know, maybe don’t pound a sixer every night. Oh, I get it. The Cardinals stadium is named after Anheuser Busch. You’re just fully embracing your new team. Will these guys, along with other contributors like Matt Holiday, be enough?
The Cardinals better bring the sticks in this series. We know Texas will.
Dorn’s Prediction: Texas in six.
Follow me on Twitter: @RogerDornTFM