Jayson Stark and Jim Caple breakdown Game One of the World Series.
2012 World Series Schedule And Tickets
(all games begin at 8 p.m. ET, all games televised on Fox)
Thursday, October 25
Game 2 — Detroit at San Francisco - Buy World Series Tickets
Saturday, October 27
Game 3 — San Francisco at Detroit - Buy World Series Tickets
Sunday, October 28
Game 4 — San Francisco at Detroit - Buy World Series Tickets
Monday, October 29
Game 5* — San Francisco at Detroit - Buy World Series Tickets
Wednesday October 31
Game 6* — Detroit at San Francisco - Buy World Series Tickets
Or at least, we mostly do. The debut of the wild-card play-in games means that the top seeds in each league — the Yankees and the NL East champion Washington Nationals — won’t know their first-round opponent until those games conclude on Friday night.
But here’s what we do know: The Baltimore Orioles will travel to Texas to play the Rangers in the AL wild-card play-in game on Friday night while the Atlanta Braves will host the St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the day. The winner advances to the LDS round and will host the first two games while the loser heads home to debate the relative merits and honor of being a playoff team for all of one game.
No question about it.
Funny thing, the harbingers of the eventual Yankee championship have nothing to do with the greatness of the team on the field.
The Yankees owe their eventual World Series to being swept on opening weekend and a men’s college basketball team.
The Kentucky Wildcats are the basketball team the Yankees will be thanking in October for their (upcoming) championship. The University of Kentucky won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship back in April, right as the MLB season was getting underway. The last six times Kentucky has won the tournament, the Yankees have gone on to win the World Series. The streak began in 1949, continued through 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, and 1998.
No one division has had a run of such dominance over their sport in the past decade than Major League Baseball’s American League East. Since the wild card spot was added to the playoff structure, the East has been represented by four of its five teams and in 13 of the last 17 years. It is no surprise that some people refer to the wild card as “the AL East Rule” and this trend should continue now that the league has added a second wild card team to the format. The East is always the highest caliber, most competitive, and most interesting division in the American League, and 2012 will not be any different.
It is pretty simple, the American League Central is the worst division in baseball. The Cleveland Indians were even capable of finishing as the runner-up in this division without so much as winning half of their games. Naturally, it has been since the Detroit Tigers unlikely World Series run in 2006 that the AL Central has been represented by the wild card slot, which has grown to be increasingly dominated by the east. There also may not be a division that seems like any more of a sure thing this season, with the trailing teams do very little to catch last year’s American League runner-up in the Tigers.
Less than ten years ago, the AL West was considered up for grabs between the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners, with Texas and Los Angeles chasing from behind. That is no longer the case. The Rangers come into the 2012 season aiming for a third consecutive American League pennant, losing the last two World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. The Angels are the understood kings of LA now, aided considerably by the fading Dodgers, and that city seems primed to enjoy another great baseball season.
I really didn’t have a horse in this World Series. My team of course was eliminated from post season contention by the Cardinals and that would make me not that willing to cheer for the Cardinals to win. I have liked the Rangers team for a number of years now and think they have a really great group of players and managers. So, I was cheering for the Rangers to win.
That said though, I enjoyed watching the series, all of it. Both teams and all the players. It was one of the better World Series I’ve seen in a long time. It was filled with everything a baseball fan could want. Pitching duels, home runs, huge comebacks, walk offs, outstanding defense, great management, players giving it their all. It was really something to see and if you missed it, well you missed some really, really great baseball.
The World Series had had 1 theme running through the whole thing – injury. Some players started the Series with injury while others have gotten injured as it has gone on. Either way it could have an impact on the game 7 tonight.
Carpenter will pitch tonight for the Cards on 3 days rest. Carpenter, as everyone knows, has been battling a somewhat gimpy elbow for some time and just trying to play through it. His last, and only other ever, start on short rest was in the NLDS and it did not go well, not well at all. If Carpenter comes out and doesn’t have his top stuff and tries to overthrow to make up for it, he could see a short night and this could impact the Cards immensely.