Choosing The Right 2019 World Series Team For You

Back in April my cat, Mookie Wilson-Betts, chose the San Francisco Giants to win the World Series.

Hey! You there in the back chortling. He is a … CAT. Beyond turning his nose up this morning at the expensive food that he thought was so delicious last week that I went ahead and bought him a case … beyond that … what does he know?

I am painfully aware that if you’ve read this far you could very well have no idea who is playing in the World Series, which kicks off on Tuesday.

Pay attention … this will be on the test:

American League Champions

Houston Astros

versus

National League Champions

Washington Nationals

I hate to be a bandwagoneer, but I think we ought to find a team for you cheer for. I’m going to do my best to make this as painless, and as baseball-free, as possible.

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way.

Are You From Virginia?

You probably should root for the Nats … they’re close by, sorta neighborish … and they include …

Lynchburg, Virginia-born Daniel Hudson

And, from the University of Virginia …

Ryan Zimmerman

And, Sean Doolittle.

UNLESS … and this is important, people … you’re from the Richmond area, home of …

Three-time Cy Young Winner and Houston Astro, Justin Verlander.

Please consult a map for further direction.

Are You Warm And Fuzzy?

Which fits you better …

A team that has Orbit, the lovable, huggable green mascot of the Astros, who does cuterific things like this …

Yoga!

Or, a team that celebrates a bumbling, cheating President?

Umm, wait …

I meant these bumbling, cheating Presidents …

Come on, people, hasn’t Lincoln suffered enough?

It’s Orbit … in a popular vote landslide.

Do You Like Stuff? Here’s Stuff …

Corkscrews, underwire bras, and condensed milk? Thank you, Houston!

Lime rickeys, binder clips, and the Electoral College? Courtesy of Washington, DC!

Baseball-Ish Things You Should Know …

Embed from Getty Images

Houston’s ace second baseman is 5-foot-5-inch Jose Altuve. 

Astro’s third baseman Alex Bregman turned an unassisted triple play in his first T-ball game. He was 4.

Embed from Getty Images

Washington’s ace pitcher Max Scherzer has one blue eye and one brown eye.

Nats reliever Sean Doolittle visits independent bookstores when his team is on the road and tweets about them.

Do You Long For The Way Things Used To Be? Does “Back When I Was A Kid” Slip Out Of Your Mouth More Than It Should?

The Houston Astros were once the Colt .45s.

The Washington Nationals were once the Montreal Expos.

Guns or Canadians? You choose.

Dragonslayers!

The Houston Astros just knocked off the New York Yankees to advance to the World Series.

The Washington Nationals bested the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fox Sports Television hates it, but hey, it’s a win for the little guys!

Or, Is It?

$204.4 Million: Washington Nationals Payroll, #3 in MLB (Behind the Cubs and Yankees).

$165.7 Million: Houston Astros Payroll, #8 in MLB.

So hooray for the, ummm, not-so-little-afterall guys.

Best Home Run In A Post-Season Game? The Nominees Are …

Ryan Zimmerman’s 3-Run Homer versus the Dodgers on Oct 7

Jose Altuve’s 2-Run Walk-off to send the Yankees home on Oct 19

Home Base

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country, with a median home price of $240K.

$500,000 will get you “a 4,300-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath mansion with a two-car garage” in Houston, according to bankrate.com.

Washington, DC is the 20th-largest city in the country with a median home price of $426K.

$500,000 will get you a cute 700-square foot condo in DC’s Dupont Circle, according to Zillow.

The average cost of a Washington Nationals ticket, per Seat Geek: $38. The average cost of a Houston Astros ticket: $51

Still Can’t Choose? Let’s Cover A Few More Things …

Eats & Drinks

Houston has more than 10,000 restaurants – representing more than 70 countries. Houstonians eat out more times a week than any other city in America, according to The Culture Trip.

Washington invented the half-smoke sausage, and DC’ers consume more wine per capita than anywhere else in America, according to DC Trolley Tours.

Culture

The National Bonsai Museum is in Washington, DC.

“An Oasis Of Calm In The Middle Of Our Nation’s Capital”

The smallest bonsai tree – the Keshitsubo – will grow to only about 1 to 3 inches.

The Space Center Museum is in Houston.

By dbergere, via Creative Commons

Independence, the museum’s full-scale replica space shuttle, weighs more than 171,000 pounds.

Fuzzy Pets

President Calvin Coolidge was once given a raccoon that was to become part of the White House’s Thanksgiving Day meal. Coolidge, the old softy, couldn’t do it. He named the raccoon Rebecca and it was often seen roaming up and down the halls of the White House.

Mrs. Coolidge and Rebecca

Houston cannot beat Calvin Coolidge with a raccoon named Rebecca, so Houston is going to pass on this round.

Historic Importance

Washington, DC has been the capital of the United States since 1790. (Previous capitals of the United States have included Philadelphia, Baltimore, Lancaster PA, York PA, Princeton NJ, Annapolis MD, Trenton NJ, and New York City.)

You didn’t sleep through American history class, did you?

Houston was once the capital of Texas.

Historic Importance, Part 2

Houston is named for Sam Houston, former U.S. Senator and one of Texas’s greatest heroes. (He was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia. You’re welcome.)

Washington, DC is named for George Washington, first President of the United States. (He was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. You’re welcome, again.)

Virginia wins this round.

Bad Stuff

Houston’s biggest scandal? Enron. The Houston Astros current stadium – today’s Minute Maid Park – was called Enron Stadium from 2000-2001.

Washington, DC’s biggest scandal? Seriously, you want a list?

Baseball History

The Houston Astros last won the World Series in 2017.

The Washington Nationals have never played in a World Series.

Baseball-ish History

The Astros previously played in the Houston Astrodome, which was nicknamed the 8th Wonder of the World when it opened in 1965. The Astrodome originally had real grass; when the glass ceiling tiles were painted over, the grass promptly died.

The Sporting News Archives, Public Domain

The Astrodome was the site of the 1973 Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Please refer to the most excellent movie Battle of the Sexes, with Emma Stone and Steve Carell, for more information.

The Washington Senators – no relation to the Washington Nationals, by the way – played at DC’s Griffith Stadium.

via Wikicommons

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was married there in 1951. And, if you just went, “Huh?” I suggest you learn about Sister Rosetta right now … because she is awesome.

 

Transportation

At Houston’s Minute Maid Park, when the Astros hit a home run, a train runs around the track and the whistle blows.

 

Washington DC fans can take a Metro train to and from Nats Park. Unless the game runs late. (Oh, wait. They finally fixed that.)

Odds

I do not understand how odds work – odds are just drunk math, if you ask me – but according to all these numbers, it appears the Astros are the favorites to beat the Nationals.

In Conclusion

Here’s what it boils down to … do you go for the odds-on favorite with the home run choo-choo train, an adorbs mascot who does Yoga, and a 5’5” MVP at 2nd base?  Or, do you go for the never-won, long-shot team with the pitcher with two-tone eyes, the book-reading reliever, and Rebecca the Raccoon?

I respect whatever choice you make.

22 thoughts on “Choosing The Right 2019 World Series Team For You

  1. I LOVE this post, but still can’t decide. I really disliked friends who went to Orioles games with me until Washington got another team and then they bailed for another league and that other city…. But, not a fan of Texas…. Think I will sit this one out, though the Houston mascot is really cute, and wait for the Orioles’ next season…sigh!

    Cheers,

    Lynne

    “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed.” William Faulkner (1897-1962)

    >

  2. Thought you could share this wit a kid on the PT baseball team, if you have one…. Fun post!

    Lynne

    “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed.” William Faulkner (1897-1962)

    >

  3. Great post Jackie! But unfortunately it brings me no closer to deciding. The Nats also have Dave Martinez, who was Joe Maddon’s bench coach in Tampa and Chicago. He was on the chopping block this June. I’m so happy for him that the Nats were able to turn things around. I’m also not a big Bryce Harper fan, so I am admittedly getting some sadistic enjoyment from knowing he’s out spending his millions while his former team is playing in the WS. On the other hand…Jose Altuve.

    • Yup, Jose Altuve is hard to root against. I also can’t root against Sean Doolittle … for all he does on … and off … the field. Brandon Hyde (also a Maddon bench coach) had a tough season in Baltimore, but I think he did well. I like him! And, I’m looking forward to seeing how Maddon turns the Angels around. I think that’s a interesting fit!

  4. I read your whole post with great interest and a smile on my face, but I’ve been distracted by “bandwagoneer,” which has been in my head from the minute I first read it. Aaaaaaand now I’m looking for an opportunity to use it in spontaneous conversation. My brother’s little league team was the Astros, so that’s who I’m root-toot-rooting for–as good a reason as any, yes? No??

  5. The raccoon almost got me, but my best college chum lives in Houston so the Astros are my pick. Now maybe if it was a cat instead of a raccoon….

  6. Having experienced the utter joy of watching the Yankees sent home with their tales between their legs, I will now just sit back and root for a good series. To that end, I’ll root for whoever falls behind.

  7. Thanks for the grins and giggles to go with my coffee (btw, Boris the cat has been trained from kittenhood that he doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance of food until the coffee is brewing. He knows that only when the cupboard door closes, can he fruitfully do his ‘feed me’ dance).
    As a sad Yankee fan, and a devoted American League fan – I mean, who can forget that the both the Dodgers and the Giants slunk (slinked?) out of NY – oh, most people have forgotten – the decision is very difficult. But, as an adopted Virginian, guess I’ll have to go for the Nats (after all, the unrelated Senators were American League) based on proximity and the UVA connection. Heavy sigh.

  8. Love that you have a cat named for a baseball player. Mine was named Mattingly . I’m rooting for the Nationals and that was before the Stros beat my Yankees. Not a Verlander fan at all. The other players I can deal with and I’ve been to NationalsPark, beautiful park and easy to get to. Love the president’s race it’s funny. Teddy Roosevelt never wins,lol.

  9. Am still grappling with the fact that Washington is the NATIONAL league champ and Houston the AMERICAN league champ.

    Oh well. Having wanted the Yankees and Cardinals, both beaten by these teams, I hate them both and hope they somehow both lose.

    Plus, this WS is a carnival of former Tiger aces. *haz a sad*

  10. The kind of breakdown we needed for the World Series…

    I have been to both cities. Houston appears to have been built without a plan – certainly not a zoning plan. On any given block you might find a church, a school, and a gentleman’s club – next to each other.

    DC’s biggest issue is its transient population, which was a much bigger problem years ago than now. That being said, I love the city and were it my choice I would retire there, walk the mall regularly, eat ice cream on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (though they try to keep food out of there these days) and spend my days researching baseball history and other trivial treasures at the Library of Congress (or give tours of Ford Theatre).

    So, I will root for the home of the Washington Monument – Frank Howard – and cheer on the Nationals.

    Many happy innings!

    Paul Proia, Lighthouse Point, FL

    • Washington DC has earned its baseball bona fides. Plus, it’s the place where baseball sort of just pops up unexpectedly. Earlier this summer the National Postal Museum had Josh Kantor, the organist from Fenway, come and play for a lecture on the history of baseball and the “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” stamp, which was lovely and I’m pretty sure it was simply the museum’s curator’s effort to just get a little baseball into his lecture schedule … no matter how tenuous the ties. Having lived in DC during the baseball-less hole between the old Senators and the new Nats, I’m still a little annoyed at my still-there friends who abandoned the Orioles when the Nats showed up. But, sure, I’m a bandwagoneer … Go Nats!

Leave a Reply to Jan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.