Trolling The All-Star GameSure, it matters now. But does anybody really care?

AS MUCH AS IT PAINS ME TO ADMIT IT, I watched every minute of Major League Baseball’s All-Star festivities. This isn’t a reflection on the quality of the event so much as the absolute dearth of other sports options. Aside from the first few weeks after the Super Bowl, there is no worse time on the professional sports calendar than early July. The resurgent NBA just wrapped up a stellar championship series, leaving major sport diehards to sift through the athletic dregs. I would sooner watch a Mob Wives marathon than sit through another week of Wimbledon highlights, Dwight Howard trade analysis, and Bounty-Gate.

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Batter UpAs the Cards and Rangers prepare to face off, David Rifkin previews the all-CST World Series

With their Game 6 victory over the Brewers on Sunday night, the St. Louis Cardinals cruised into a World Series showdown against the Texas Rangers. You can hear the grumbling already: “Ugh, another mid-Western matchup that’ll kill television ratings.”

Quit your bellyaching and grab your remote, because this is one of the most intriguing World Series clashes in years. In one corner, you’ve got the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that snuck into the playoffs on the last possible day only after the Atlanta Braves folded like a [fill in the blank]. On the other side are the Texas Rangers, who make a return trip to the World Series and are beginning to look like a dynasty in the making.

These two teams start with offenses that were among the best in the majors (Texas third in runs, St. Louis fifth), and support their run-scoring capabilities with pitching staffs that grade out somewhere between mediocre and solid. Hopefully the fireworks in this series will finally let us dispose of the tired “Pitching wins championships” mantra. Do you know what really wins championships? Being the better team. Let’s find out which team that is. 

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