No need to whisper. This isn't the dugout where a pitcher is three outs from a no-hitter. No taboos here.
So let's come right out and say it.
This season is starting to look, feel and smell like a Freeway World Series.
That's right, Aunt Gert. Never thought you'd see it in your lifetime, did you?
Wow. Think about it. That's not just baseball. That's a branding bonanza for Mayor Villaraigosa.
The basics are pretty basic. These teams are good.
The Dodgers are the best in baseball at 65-41. The Angels are next at 63-40.
After that come the hated New York Yankees at 63-42 and the hated Boston Red Sox at 62-42. While our guys are playing for all the marbles, those two teams can play a consolation World Series this year. It doesn't matter that they are in the same league. It will just be a sideshow, which is kind of what baseball has become in the face of its drug wars.
They can call this consolation series the Battle of the Needle Nines. Maybe Bud Selig can alternate some of the days so Manny can play for the Red Sox too.
So many things point to our Freeway World Series happening.
This year's is scheduled to be the latest-starting World Series in history, with an Oct. 28 tentative opener. That's so late that, if they don't get it here in Southern California, the most important statistic will not be earned-run average, but windchill factor.
Let's face it. Fox broadcasters, hugely invested in this two-week ratings gold mine and already strategizing as to how many more close-up shots of fans they can squeeze in between pitches, are not going to be happy with scarves and stocking caps. How horrifying it could become, on national TV, when the gobs of tobacco juice constantly spit by players freeze before hitting the dugout steps.
Yup, sunny California is the place, and both our teams have the goods.
Take the managers. The rest of Major League Baseball sure wishes it could.
Joe Torre is a veteran, has won in the World Series, is popular with the fans, great with the media and is the man who has the Dodgers job. Mike Scioscia is a veteran, has won in the World Series, is popular with the fans, great with the media and is the man who should have the Dodgers job. One wonders if Arte Moreno still burns a candle under a picture of Rupert Murdoch as a gesture of gratitude.
Take the owners, Moreno, and his owner counterpart, Frank McCourt of the Dodgers.
Moreno came to Anaheim, bought a team, lowered the price of beer and annexed a large city to his north. McCourt came to town, bought a team for about the price of a parking lot, and now fills the streets of the city Moreno annexed with a billboard advertising campaign that would make Moreno, the billboard king, proud.
Take the star players.
Manny has a huge smile. So does Torii Hunter.
Manny can hit homers like Goliath. So can Hunter.
Manny has dreadlocks. Hunter dreads not the arrival of men in rubber gloves, carrying small bottles.
Take the announcers.
The Dodgers have Vin Scully, who speaks the King's English better than the king and who has fans hanging on every word. The Angels have Rex Hudler, who didn't know the English had kings and who has fans hanging on every word they can figure out. Both are as entertaining as their teams, which is a high compliment this year.
There have been previous versions of this sort of geographical showdown.
In 1906, the White Sox beat the Cubs in six games. The Cubs have been mostly lousy ever since. That should have been called the Rare Appearance Series.
In '85, the Royals and the Cardinals, from the Show Me State, drove back and forth on I-70 before the Royals won in seven games. That was mostly called the I-70 Series, revealing Missouri as a hotbed of headline writers.
In 1989, the A's played the Giants and, for some reason, it took forever to finish the A's four-game sweep. Some called it the Bay Bridge Series, others the Battle of the Bay. The more cynical called it the Earthquake Series.
Were the Yankees to play the Mets again, as they did in 2000, winning in five games, it would be the Subway Series, as it is now called in interleague play. Might a better title be the Graffiti Games?
Yes, we know. There are still two months to go. No, this is not just a lot of hot air. This is quality hot air, from informed sources, who acquire their hot air by listening to ESPN, which interviews only informed twits. (Tweets? Twitters?)
So mark it down. Oct. 28, 2009. That's a Wednesday, the first day of the historic Los Angeles World Series of Los Angeles.
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Baseball's top 2
6 1/2 games ahead of Colorado in the NL West
4 1/2 games ahead of Texas in the AL West