You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘world series’ tag.

houston astrosLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Although it’s known as “the City of Angels,” Los Angeles has always had a seamier side, and even revelled in it. Those people who raged against the sin of the big city and its movie industry, and who mostly avoided both by living in LA’s sprawling suburbs, were disparagingly called “Angels,” and were accused of being hypocrites for benefitting from the wealth that Hollywood brought to the area, while publicly holding their noses at the scandals and deal-making that have always been a part of Tinseltown. They were LA wannabes, and none were worse than the California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels baseball team, who took screen legend Gene Autry’s money but cultivated a “real American” vibe as opposed to the glitz of the Dodgers, while moving closer and closer over the years to acknowledging their true LA heart through regular name changes. Now owned by Disney, the happy face of Hollywood, the Angels are still seen by many as holier-than-thou, although they and their parent company are just as sleazy as anyone in LA.

Texas Rangers – Sure, the Texas Rangers are renowned law men, the southern equivalent of the Mounties who always get their man. But what you might not know is that the baseball team were not named for the dispensers of frontier justice, but actually after the character of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings. The baseball team intended for the association to be with the Aragorn who was crowned king, but until the Rangers win a World Series, they are more likely to bring to mind the mysterious and untrustworthy Strider.

Oakland Athletics – An archaic term for nudists, “athletics” was bestowed upon the team in their original home of Philadelphia, when they were accused of practising in the buff. Although naked athletes were common in ancient Greece, it has never been commonly accepted in the United States, which helps explain why the team has changed cities more than once.

Houston Astros – the Astros were named in honour of the NASA astronauts, since the headquarters for the American space program is located in the city. Not everyone, however, was inspired by President Kennedy’s call to land a man on the moon; the USA has a higher preponderance of creationists, flat earthers, and other followers of discredited belief systems than any developed country in the world, and many Americans resented NASA for questioning their faith that there was nothing beyond the Earth. “Planet Earth not good enough for ya, Astro-Nut?” they’d say, and many still do.

Seattle Mariners – Few groups are as loathed as sailors and Mormons, and in Washington State, they’ve managed to combine their mistrust of both into a single slur: “mariner.” It combines the lawlessness and promiscuity of sailors with the lawfulness and bigamy of Mormons into one catch-all. Why anyone in the state would think of naming a baseball team “Mariners” is beyond me. What was wrong with “Pilots”?

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"Come to padre!"

“Come to padre!”

Our ongoing series revealing the forgotten slurs and insults kept alive by Major League Baseball continues with the National League West.

Los Angeles Dodgers – In their original home in Brooklyn, the Dodgers took pride in representing the tougher neighbourhoods of New York, far from the glitz and glamour of Manhattan. Visiting teams got a rough ride from fans and their opponents alike, and a common occurrence was for wallets and other valuables to go missing from the clubhouse while a game was being played. When visiting players started to keep their valuables in their uniforms, the “Artful Dodgers”–in particular the infielders–began picking their pockets when they were on the base paths. Eventually teams started to boycott games, forcing the Dodgers to move to Los Angeles and clean up their image.

Arizona Diamondbacks – It’s surprising that this name was chosen for the 1998 expansion team, since it’s a highly offensive term in this state with so many retirees. A “diamondback” is a Bridge player who reneges on suits, and there have been high profile cases of retribution against them; Arizona also has notoriously lax gun control laws.

San Francisco Giants – In the early days of baseball women were not welcome at games, since the new sport was rough-and-tumble and “too exhilarating” for the “fairer sex.” As baseball gained popularity and respectability later in the 19th century, teams began to loosen the restrictions around women attending games. The New York Giants held out the longest, banning women well past the turn of the century, when budding suffragists labeled the team and its owners as women-haters, and “miso-giants.”

Colorado Rockies – A “rockie” is Scottish slang for people who add ice to their whisky. In the frontier American West, where refrigeration was rare and expensive, “rockies” were believed to be flaunting their wealth, which led to gunfights and lynchings. As the West was won, and Colorado established itself as a centre of wealth in the region, its citizen took on the nickname “Rockies” as a badge of honour. Many years later, the expansion baseball team took the name, unaware of its pejorative past. Ironically, the team has not been known for its wealth, either in talent or payroll, and has reached only a single World Series, being swept by the Boston Red Sox in 2007.

San Diego Padres – Protestant baseball fans in California have long accused the Padres of being owned and supported by a secret cabal of child-molesting priests, a notion given some credence by the selection of the team name in 1969.

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)

World_Series_TrophyAfter the New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels to claim their 40th American League pennant, and with their 40th visit to the Fall Classic starting tomorrow, Major League Baseball is considering some changes to the storied competition to crown baseball’s best team.

Presented each year to the National League or American League team that wins the World Series, the Commissioner’s Cup has been won 26 times by the Yankees, by far more than any other team.  This translates to one out of every four World Series wins going to the Yankees, although the team has faced a serious drought in recent years, not having been to the World Series since 2003, and not having won it since 2000, as Yankees captain Derek Jeter and every single broadcaster working today never tire of reminding us.  In a move reminiscent of the Royal Yacht Squadron Cup being renamed the America’s Cup after its first winner, discussions are taking place to rename the Commissioner’s Cup the Yankees Cup.

Currently 162 regular season games plus two rounds of playoffs determine the teams that play each other in the World Series.  Under proposed changes, if the team that wins the American League Championship Series doesn’t feature pinstripes as part of their uniform, they will be replaced by the New York Yankees.

Controversially, home-field advantage for the World Series is now decided in favour of the League whose team wins the All-Star Game in July.  In the future, the advantage would go to whichever team lost its franchise player to the Yankees in the most recent free agent offseason, unless the Yankees are one of the teams, in which case they, of course, will receive home-field advantage.

The National Anthem will now be sung before each World Series game by whichever singer/actress/model/stripper Alex Rodriguez is currently dating.  If the Toronto Blue Jays make it to the World Series, the Canadian National Anthem will be performed by former Yankee Bernie Williams on jazz guitar.

World Series games featuring the Yankess will be broadcast in prime time on all major networks, interrupting your regularly-scheduled programming. Games featuring any other team will be run on tape-delay after midnight on Fox, with a broadcast team of Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan, who will mostly talk about themselves.

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