Simply put, this is the most mangled, ugliest World Series ever.
Before cutting into the bumbling ship of fools that is Major League Baseball, let me first say a word about the Phillies and Rays: They’re sloppy. The Phillies have committed an error in every game. Both teams can’t hit with runners on base. Both teams look bad at the dish. Meanwhile, pitchers aren’t dominating, but are getting weird strike calls.
That takes me to the umpires, who absolutely stink. This is the worst officiating I’ve ever seen in baseball. To think that these are the seven voted on by their peers to get this far is ludicrous. The strike zones are ever-changing, safe-out plays are completely incorrect, calls are too animated to be deciphered. Maybe these guys are feeling the same fright the players are feeling. Maybe, but I doubt it.
Then there’s Major League Baseball. The lunacy of game five’s suspension stands out as one of the league’s worst moments, right alongside the tied 2002 All Star Game. Moreover, Commissioner Bud Selig’s evident slurring and confusion added to the fact that he’s incompetent at his job.
One more special shout-out: The Fox network. MLB worked around Fox’s precious schedule, setting 8 p.m. gametimes to gain ratings. Meanwhile, Fox has done a bad job promoting the series, while spending way too much time on advertising. Notice the seven-minute commercial breaks. That’s insane.
A League Gone South
Jason Weitzel at Beerleaguer covered Fox’s intentions very well. It’s true, Fox is catering to its baseball-watching audience: The 30-plus crowd, especially in the boomer range — the guys throwing around money, buying DirecTV, iPods, Sharp televisions and Chevy trucks. How many more times do I have to see Clark W. Griswold taking off his jeans? Or that pale-skinned physicist? It’s all about the dollar, baby.
And here in this World Series we see where baseball has gone off the deep end, following its uglier, destroyed brother, professional football. By catering to advertisers, Major League Baseball has to fall prey to scheduling conflicts and the damaging of the game’s integrity. And when there’s an absolute idiot leading the game, the problems are easier to spot.
It’s a shame, really, from a Phillies fan’s perspective. Not only are we being blasted for not being part of a fun, ratings-winning World Series, but we’re victims of the obvious pitfalls of a game going south in its practices. And in turn, some might forever associate the 2008 Phillies with the ugliest World Series ever. And that’s not fair at all.