At long last, it is World Series time.
There is plenty of winter ahead. Plenty of time to talk about what the Rays should do. Plenty of time to worry about what the Yankees and Red Sox do (John Farrell? Seriously? I know he is a Boston guy and appears to be a decent manager but perhaps Red Sox nation was looking for more of a splash. Right?) For now, lets revel in the one part of the baseball postseason that is above reproach (unless, of course, it rains).
I think I will be rooting for Detroit. In my experience, most baseball people are league-loyal. They root for their league champion like political parties. I have no particular objection to the Tigers, I really like Jim Leyland (inside story — he smokes on team charter flights because he is the manager and screw the FAA), and the Rays fan in my would like to see Joaquin Benoit pitch well. Also, there are good Rays reasons to root against the Giants. Aubrey Huff plays for them. Tim Beckham plays for us. Bruce Bochy’s hat is way too small. Etc.
More important, though, I think the World Series validates the Rays approach to team-building. After scraping by for two seasons, I was beginning to harbor some doubt that tons of starting pitching, a lucky bullpen, and just enough offense could actually win it all. But the 2012 postseason has reminded us all that luck is really, really important. A GM simply has to get his team into the conversation and then hope the ball bounces the right way. (Incidentally, here is a sportsbook review if you have a ball-bouncing prediction).
That was San Fran’s story in 2010 and appears to be their story again in 2012. Same goes for Detroit. I don’t know if the Rays will win the 2013 World Series. But I am confident that Andrew can get them into the conversation. And, in the end, that might be the place his job ends.