World Series Preview

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It’s a battle of feel-good stories. Whichever team wins
people are going to want to pat them on the head and say how nice it is that
they won, how much they and their fans “deserve” victory after so many barren
years. But who deserves it the most?


Perceptions, as we know by now, are reality, so it’s not
much of a stretch to say that our perception of who ought to win for sentimental reasons is more important than who
actually wins. Or at least, that’s how I’m justifying this column.


But let’s switch this around. Rather than find out who
deserves it the most, or ought to win, let’s instead take a look back at the
history of these two franchises and decide who most deserves to lose. Which team has the history that
says they really shouldn’t, under any circumstances, be allowed to pick up the
World Series trophy.


To do this we’ll look at several, er, ‘important’ criteria:


More likely to
blackmail the public into paying for a sports stadium


This has become a ‘thing’ in recent years, as a number of
franchises have gone to their city and said we’d love to stay, but only if you
tax people hard enough to buy us a new stadium. Analysis shows that the main
argument – a good financial return on investment – simply isn’t there, but
political reality is that no body of lawmakers wants to be seen as the one that
lost the franchise. So hundreds of millions of tax dollars is extorted from
people for the sake of building sports stadia so that rich owners and rich
players can make ridiculously large sums of money.


That’s exactly what the Rangers did in the early 90’s to the
tune of $193m, thanks in part to their Managing General Partner, a certain
George Dubya Bush.


The rare antithesis to your community-bleeding Rangers was
the San Francisco Giants who, in 2000 opened their current stadium, which was
entirely privately financed. This has kept the Giants in economic hardship for
the succeeding 10 years but is an all-too-rare departure from the typical model.


Deserves to lose:
Texas Rangers


More egregious harbouring
of a bloated steroid addict


Juan Gonzalez may, or may not, be Texas’ worst offender in
this area. May be because he was clearly bloated, may not be because nothing
was ever proven. The topic has however given rise to one of the silliest
sentences in the world of Wikipedia where, on the subject of J-Gon’s alleged
steroid use, “Gonzalez has refuted the idea of ever taking steroids multiple
times, and is in fact a vegetarian”. Because of course, vegetarians don’t take


Then there was the more recently infamous case of Alex
Rodriguez, who admitted to taking steroids during his Rangers years in 2001-3.


On the other hand, the Giants’ Barry Bonds is perhaps the
most egregious offender in this area of all time, going as he did from a lithe
basestealer with the PIttsuburgh Pirates in his early years to a swollen-headed
monster with a ludicrously large torso from the late 1990’s on. Even before the
steroid scandal broke it was obvious to anyone who cared to look, that he was a
major user. But the Giants – in common with everyone else, ignored it


Deserves to lose: San
Francisco Giants (simply because their bloated addict was far superior to the
Rangers’ version)


Biggest joke of an
owner in franchise history


The Texas Rangers appointed a vacuum of (baseball)
knowledge, George W Bush, as their Managing General Partner in 1989, where he
stayed until 1994.


The San Francisco Giants have no shot at beating that. Ever.


Deserves to lose: Texas


Least justification
for calling itself a franchise


The Giants moved from New York in 1957 where they had been a
proud and successful franchise for 74 years, winning five World Series titles
and being part of the fabric of the city. So, whilst the current incarnation of
the franchise is “only” 53 years old, they really do go back almost to the dawn
of baseball time.


The Rangers, on the other hand, have a short history as the
second effort of a botched expansion, moving from Washington (where they were
called the Senators) in 1971. This was only 10 years after the Senators had
been formed as an expansion club, during which period of abject futility the
owner had bled the team of its money to service the debt he incurred in buying


Or to put it another way, if your Grandfather didn’t have
the chance to support the club as a team, it’s not a proper team.


Deserves to lose:
Texas Rangers


More delusional name


The Texas Rangers are world-renowned soldiers performing the
function of rangers and hailing from Texas. Now, the team doesn’t list storming
the beaches of Normandy in 1944 among it’s achievements, but at least it’s
named after something real.


The Giants were originally the New York Gothams – an
unbelievably cool name that would have struck fear into the hearts of
opponents. However, in the late 19th century their owner randomly
started referring to them as his “giants” and the name stuck.


However, San Francisco is not a giant. The players are not
giants. The team’s achievements are not gigantic. There is, in fact, nothing
about the franchise to justify the name.


Deserves to lose: San
Franciscans of average height


In conclusion, based on the above extensive historical
analysis I declare the Texas Rangers to be more deserving of defeat.


And that’s not even taking into account the fact that if the
Rangers win, there’s a very real danger that no-one in Texas will notice. They
may all be too distracted by Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo’s injury, and the growing
realisation that Jerry Jones needs to fire himself as General Manager.


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