Major League Baseball the loser in World Series
By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
October 25, 2003
For those who may have missed it, there is a World Series going on over here.
Well not so much here, but baseball is still being played as the "Fall Classic" shifts back to New York for Game 6 tonight.
After two of the best League Championship Series ever played, baseball has lost steam with the "Evil Empire," or Yankees, and those pesky fish, or Marlins, duking it out for the championship.
Who would have thought that the Marlins wouldn't be as big a draw as the Cubs or the Red Sox?
The band wagons in Chicago and Boston started tipping over with so many fans getting on board to cheer these long suffering franchises.
At this point there is no need to go into the history of heartbreak of these two teams, especially since the players have traded in their bats for golf clubs at this point. But suffice to say, the Cubs and the Red Sox have caused more tears to be jerked from eyes than the final scene in "Old Yeller."
But what about those magnificent Marlins of ageless manager Jack McKeon maneuvering to multiply their rings to many. (Don't' you just love alliteration.)
The fans in Florida, around 10,000 if you believe the clubs average attendance during the regular season, have put in a solid 10 years or so with the team.
Heck, it's been a whopping six years since the last time the Marlins hoisted the World Series trophy. Come on these fans have suffered enough.
Sure the residence of Miami didn't know their hometown team was still playing until the Dolphins kicker missed a critical field goal last Sunday because he had to boot it off the dirt of the base path, but these are dedicated fans. Right?
The fish are in fine form after five games holding a 3-2 series lead, and the Marlins have powerful pitcher Josh Beckett on the bump trying to close it out.
And for the numerous Yankee bashers out there that are tired of seeing George Steinbrenner's boys every October, if New York does lose to Florida the curse of the fish may hit the Bronz hard.
Everybody knows about the "Bambino" and "goat" jinxes, but don't forget what losing the final game of the baseball year does to a ball club.
If you don't believe losing to the Marlins is a curse, just ask anybody in the city of Cleveland.
The Indians devastating lose on a bloop single by then Florida shortstop Edgar Renteria has sent the once powerful club of the mid- and late-90s back to the days of utter haplessness.
At this point, Cleveland needs to leave the beautiful surroundings of Jacobs Field and return to Cleveland Municipal Stadium so the team can go back to being called "The mistake by the lake."
And the Indians swoon isn't just the only thing to come out of this year's World Series that most people are saying is uninteresting.
Two other things have popped up that makes the final game or possible games worth watching.
Item one: Steinbrenner's facial expressions. Has there been a better TV moment than watching "The Boss" in his luxury box looking down on the field and thinking, I've spent $183 million on this team and the only pitcher I have left is Jeff Weaver to send to the mound.
Item two: the writing of this column has turned up a wonderful Website to add to this scribe's favorites list.
In order to find out the Indians used to play at Municipal Stadium, an extensive search over the world wide web was conducted and the discovery of "Ballparks of Baseball" was found.
This site has every building in which the National Pastime has been played in over the sports history. Hours on top of hours can be spent looking up such classic parks like the Montreal Expos' Jarry Park or the Philadelphia Phillies' Baker Bowl, which burnt down after eight years and had to be reconstructed.
So there you go, if you think the World Series has been a wash so far, there are at least three good reasons to tune in this weekend for the finale.
The possibility of the Yankees being cursed by the fish, Steinbrenner mentally figuring out how he trade his entire team to Detroit and a spiffy Website.