I find myself pondering this question after I was almost certain that the stars and moon would align during the ALCS and NLCS and match the NY Yankees and LA Dodgers against one another – forcing a tear-jerking matchup between Joe Torre and many of the players he coached for so long.
A NY-LA series would have been great. People would be watching from the two largest TV audiences in the world. Plus, some people in NY are still Dodgers fans, and many in LA are transplanted New Yorkers who still love their Yankees.
But, that’s not what we got.
Instead, we have an all-Northeast World Series, New York against Philadelphia. How close are these two cities? Well, a person could drive from NYC to Philly in less time then it takes to get to every single major city in New York State. Philly is a short 1 hr 45 min ride from NYC. New York’s capital, Albany, is over 2 1/2 hours from NYC. Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo? Forget about it.
This week, Jimmy Rollins called Philly the little redheaded brother of New York. Good analogy.
I do think that a NY-Philly series is going to be good for baseball, and here’s why. I think the country breaks down into 5 sporting regions – Northeast, Southeast, South, Mid-West, and West. The Northeast loves its Baseball and NFL (think Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies; Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Eagles). The Southeast loves its Baseball and College Football (think Atlanta Braves and SEC Football). The South loves its NFL and College Football (think Dallas Cowboys and Big 12 Football). The Mid-West loves its College Football and Basketball (All Big 10, all the time). Finally, in the West, they love their NBA (8 of the NBA’s 30 teams are west of Denver).
My point is that the northeast loves its baseball first and foremost and two of the largest cities are still in it. At a time when Red Sox fans may have switched to rooting for the Patriots, New York’s fans are still rooting for the Yankees. In fact, the Yankees-Angels game on Sunday night got a better TV rating then the Sunday Night Football Giants against Arizona. Wow.
I think this will be good for baseball – in fact, I am going to predict the best TV ratings for a World Series in several years. I don’t know which year got the best ratings to compare to, but this one has t he makings of a big series from big cities.
Also, it can be brought up that the battle for “Team of the Decade” between the Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies might be settled by this very series. The Yankees had the best record of the decade, the Red Sox second-best and the Phillies 10th best.
If the Phillies win this series, the Red Sox should be considered the best team of the decade – both teams will have won 2 championships, but the Red Sox would get it for ending the curse, having the better overall record and for making more consecutive postseasons.
However, if the Yankees take the series, they will have had the best record, tied with the Sox for 2 championships, have made more postseasons and have prettier uniforms – earning them the title of team of the decade for the second decade in a row.
Either way, I will be watching every game on TV or listening to it on the radio. It’s on!