It is becoming an October tradition.
The staff at Sully Baseball tries to figure out which World Series match up has Fox salivating… and which ones they are dreading.
Now let’s do it for this year.
I know one of the announcers at Fox Sports (I will protect his identity) who told me that when the Rays eliminated the Red Sox ensuring a Tampa Bay/Philadelphia instead of the Red Sox/Dodgers dream match up, the mood at Fox Sports was funeral-esque.
So which one of the 16 match ups do the suits at Fox want in terms of getting some national attention.
Well, first and foremost I am sure Fox wants an actually GOOD World Series.
The Series hasn’t gone 6 games since 2003.
3 of the last 5 World Series were sweeps.
A heart stopping World Series a la 2001 could go a long way.
But short of that, let’s figure out the dream and nightmare scenarios for the Nielsens.
1. NEW YORK YANKEES vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fox executives sacrificing animals to the baseball Gods for this match up. The two biggest media markets make this a drool worthy Series. Throw in all of the clips of great Yankees/Dodgers series (Jackie steals home… Larsen’s no hitter… Koufax shutting down the mighty Yankees… Reggie’s three homers.) Throw in all of the New York celebrities and all of the Los Angeles celebrities. Throw in Manny Ramirez, A-Rod, Jeter and a galaxy of stars… and oh yeah. Joe Torre returns to New York. Could be the biggest series of the decade.
2. BOSTON RED SOX vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The allure of the Red Sox in the World Series is no longer as sexy as it once was… but there are still transplanted Red Sox fans everywhere. Plus the spectacle of Manny’s return to Boston would be very interesting.
3. NEW YORK YANKEES vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Remember when Ali started taunting George Foreman with “THE CHAMP IS HERE!”? That would be the Yankees, swaggering into Philadelphia wanting the title the Phillies got last year. Plus Ryan Howard and company is the only lineup that can match the Yankees fire power.
4. NEW YORK YANKEES vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Remember how the NBA promotes the Finals as a Star vs Star match up? Magic vs. Michael. Michael vs. Charles. Ewing vs. Hakeem. Well this would be A-Rod vs. Pujols. I’d watch it!
5. BOSTON RED SOX vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
The last two World Series winners stage a 1915 World Series rematch. Plus it would be a nightmare for New York fans from the north and the south.
6. BOSTON RED SOX vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
The Red Sox blew out the Cardinals in a jaw droppingly lop sided 2004 World Series. But neither Carpenter nor Wainwright were on that 2004 Series roster. If the Red Sox win, they would be unquestionably the team of the decade. If the Cardinals win, they might lay claim to that title.
7. NEW YORK YANKEES vs. COLORADO ROCKIES
The Yankees have played the Giants, Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs, Reds, Dodgers, Phillies, Braves, Padres, Mets, Diamondbacks and Marlins in the World Series. Why not the Rockies?
8. BOSTON RED SOX vs. COLORADO ROCKIES
Sure the 2007 World Series was a bust and a rematch probably won’t capture the attention of the world… but the fact of the matter is Fox wants Boston or New York in the World Series at any cost.
9. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
This might actually be the best match up, baseball wise. Good pitching, good hitting and one Hall of Fame manager in LaRussa up against a potential Hall of Fame manager in Scioscia. It will be confusing when they play in St. Louis as both teams will be wearing red hats.
10. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
You get the whole East Coast vs. West Coast thing. It’s kind of the ugly step sister version of the Yankees/Dodgers match up.
11. MINNESOTA TWINS vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Hey! It’s a 1965 World Series rematch! Just wait for all of the Twitter-ers to go crazy for THAT match up!
12. MINNESOTA TWINS vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
The Twins try to become the only team to win the World Series in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s… and they’ll need to take on the Defending Champs to do it. (Echo… echo… echo…)
13. MINNESOTA TWINS vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
What better way to send off the Metrodome than remind everyone of the 1987 World Series… the Series that introduced so many people to the baggie in right field and the baseball colored roof? Ahhh tradition!
14. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Think of how thrilled Fox would be ratings wise with THIS match up. A city whose fan base is notorious for showing up late and leaving early… versus that city’s suburbs!
15. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM vs. COLORADO ROCKIES
Maybe Fox can convince the people of Denver that this is actually a Broncos game.
16. MINNESOTA TWINS vs. COLORADO ROCKIES
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