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"I say, mind the uniform, old chap!"

“I say, mind the uniform, old chap!”

Detroit Tigers – In the early days of the American League, the Tigers were one of the strongest teams on the field, but were also renowned for their womanizing off the field, in particular on the road, away from their wives and families: “Tigers in the bedroom, Tigers on the diamond,” it was often said. In the 1950s VD hit the team hard, and the team doctor demanded an end to the players’ promiscuous ways, which has been strict policy ever since, and around baseball the old saying has been modified: “Tigers on the diamond, kittens in the bedroom.”

Kansas City Royals – Not everyone in the 13 Colonies supported the revolution against King George III, and after the founding of the United States, some Loyalists moved back to Britain, some to Canada, and a few headed West, thinking to settle beyond the reach of the loutish colonial upstarts, and continue the fight against life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Some ended up in Missouri. The Yankees-Royals rivalry of the 1970s was seen by some as a continuation of a two hundred-year old struggle.

Minnesota Twins – Minnesota was the last state in the Union to officially ban intimate relations between siblings. Although the team name refers to the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, some rival fans insist that it winks at the practice of incest and its even more lurid result.

Chicago White Sox – Fans from more blue collar neighbourhoods accuse the White Sox of being effete and pompous, and refusing to walk a mile in another man’s dirty, athlete’s foot-infested shoes. Cubs fans have always believed their team to be the grittier one, willing to dirty their uniforms if necessary to win games, and point to the immaculate white uniforms of their south side rivals with derision.

Cleveland Indians – Long-time supporters insist that their mascot Chief Wahoo respects Native Americans; when pressed to change a name that more and more Americans find culturally insensitive, the most popular options as voted on by fans are Cleavers, Rockers, and Pakis.

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There is a tradition of certain matchups in baseball being given nicknames, e.g. when the Mets and Yankees met in the World Series in 2000 it was named “The Subway Series” (and not because it was sponsored by Subway sandwiches). When the A’s and Giants met in the 1989 series, it was deemed “The Bay Series” because both Oakland and San Francisco border on San Francisco Bay. Here are some potential matchups for the 2012 World Series and the obscure connections that might help in determining what to label them for posterity:

A’s vs Cardinals = I-70 Series (the A’s used to play in Kansas City, Missouri)

Orioles vs Cardinals = For the Birds or St. Louis Series (the Orioles used to play in St. Louis as the Browns)

Giants vs Yankees = Transcontinental Subway Series (the Giants used to play in New York)

Rangers vs Nationals = Battle for Washington (the Rangers moved from Washington and played there as the Senators)

Orioles vs Reds = Earth Tone Series (the Orioles were formerly the Browns)

A’s vs Giants = Earthquake Series (when they met each other in the 1989 World Series, there actually was an earthquake)

Giants vs Orioles = Big vs Small (the mascot of the Browns was a pixie, which are very small mythical creatures)

Rangers vs Braves = Cowboys ‘n Indians (The Texas Rangers enforced the law in the Wild West)

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