I don't yet have the clout to take trips out of town on a whim. As it happens, the only reason I'm in Chicago this weekend is for my cousin's wedding. The trip was scheduled some months ago, long before the idea of the Rockies in the World Series entered anyone's minds. And yet... I left Thursday morning, the day after what would have been the last home game of the NLCS if they'd ended up needing one. And I return Tuesday, the day before the Series begins. Eerie, right?
If I was the sort of high-roller who randomly jets off to far-flung locales, this would have been a good weekend for it. Denver ("the best baseball city in the world since Monday before last") is going nuts for the Rockies and it's good to get out of that contained environment and see just how much the rest of the civilized world cares about Colorado baseball. Which is not a very lot.
Does anybody else think that the baseball media is doing itself a disservice by making such a big deal out of how low the ratings have been for the NLCS? Every year we hear this, to the point where I think sportswriters have convinced themselves that people really want to know. Even supposedly editorializing-free AP stories have put the ratings information right up at the top of the story. Aren't we just convincing people not to watch? The way sports fans in this country are -- and the viral spread of the Rockies' bandwagon is no exception -- people don't watch what they want to watch, they watch what they're told. By harping so consistently on how poor the ratings are, the media is telling casual sports fans loud and clear, "You don't care. You don't want to watch this." But there wouldn't be anything at all journalistically negligent about just writing that the games have been exciting and the team is on an unprecedented hot streak. That might make folks want to to tune in instead of assuring that they won't.
If you live in Denver and there's someone in your office who has been talking about how amazing it was to attend Game 3 of the NLCS in person, make sure to check their wastebasket. If there's not a disgusting thick lining of used Kleenex on the bottom, they weren't at Game 3. It took a few days to kick in, but despite wearing about 19 separate layers to Sunday night's game I now have the mother of all colds. Stuff is spraying out of every orifice. In this sense at least I appreciate MLB and its television masters giving us a long recovery delay before the Series begins.