Joan Walsh will undoubtedly blame it on our East Coast chauvinism, but we've had a tough time getting excited for this year's World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers. In this way, we are like the rest of America, whose general apathy towards mediocre baseball has yielded historically low ratings for this year's Fall Classic.
Credit San Francisco and Dallas-Forth Worth's local sports columnists for their insistence that this World Series is about more than whether the third base coach from Moneyball can beat a team whose best player is Aubrey Huff. Apparently, it's a metaphor for America's red state-blue state divide, an undercard bout before the main event of Tuesday's midterm elections. The Giants are the hometown team of Nancy Pelosi and a trendy pick among pious liberals. ("San Francisco doesn't deserve to win the World Series. Maybe every resident deserves a Nobel Prize for being so dang enlightened. But, please, save baseball's highest achievement for a bunch of Regular Joes who earned it," advised Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow last week.) The Rangers, once owned by George W. Bush, represent the GOP noise machine. (Up 3-1 with a chance to eliminate the Rangers tonight, the Giants "appear ready to do for blue state America what the Democrats seem incapable of doing:win big," marveled Bruce Newman in the San Jose Mercury News.)
Considering the first two games at AT&T Park in San Francisco featured, in the words of ESPN baseball writer Howard Bryant, "so much weed in the air...I could float down to the main press box" and the first pitch at last night's game in Arlington was thrown out by George W. Bush while George H.W. Bush looked on, we must admit these comparisons are not without merit.