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The best series in recent memory, no one is watching

By Josh Brannock

The last month in Major League Baseball has been one of the greatest of all time. Two teams made the wild card on the last day of the season after being down by what seemed to be an insurmountable number of games.

The Tampa Bay rays and the St. Louis Cardinals both made history as they came back from a record number of games down in the final month of the regular season to reach the playoffs. The Rays won their game in an amazing fashion, coming back from a 7-0 deficit and winning the game 8-7 thanks to a walk-off homer in the 12th. And the Cardinals, well, they just won.

The two teams that held the lead going into the final month of the season lost in possibly an even more dramatic fashion. The Atlanta Braves lost in extra innings to the Philadelphia Phillies to blow an 8-1/2 game lead in the wild card. At the time of the loss, that was the largest amount of games a team has ever been down in the final month and still managed to make the playoffs.

The Boston Red Sox, however, would not be outdone. They lost to the Baltimore Orioles after being just one strike away from clinching the wild card. The only thing that makes the Red Sox loss worse is that they had a nine-game lead heading into the final month, making that the largest amount of games a team has ever come back from.

Now, this is old news, but it still adds to the point. The playoffs have been amazing this year. This World Series has been one of the best, yet nobody seems to care.

Let’s look back at the games up to now. The Cardinals won the first game with a final score of 3-2. This game’s big moment was an argument between home plate umpire Jerry Layne and Ranger Adrian Beltre. Layne ruled that a ball was fair even though Beltre argued that it hit off of his foot. Later, replays showed Beltre was right. The call proved to be the deciding factor in a close game.

The Rangers won game two 2-1. The game looked liked it would end in a Cardinal win when pinch-hitter Allen Craig drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh. But thanks to two sacrifice flies in the top of the ninth inning, the Rangers were able to pull out the win.

Game three showcased possibly the best offensive performance in World Series History when the Cardinals won 16-7. Cardinals first basemen Albert Pujols proved he is one of the best of all time that night. Prior to the sixth inning, Pujols was two for three with two singles. In the sixth inning, Pujols hit his first of three home runs, a three-run bomb that took the life out of the Rangers.

In the seventh, he hit a two-run homer. In the ninth, he capped of his night with a solo jack. Pujols joined Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson as the only players in world series history to homer three times in a game. Pujols set the record for total bases in a game with 14. Three home runs in the final four innings of a game? That’s a huge feat for just one team, let alone just one player.

Game four was highlighted by a pitching gem that came from an unexpected source, Derek Holland. The Rangers won 4-0 thanks to Holland’s incredible game. In his first career world series start, Holland allowed just two hits in 8 ⅓ innings pitched. Holland’s pitching and a three-run homer from Nelson Cruz kept the Rangers from being placed on the brink of elimination and tied the series at two apiece.

Game five just added to the great series drama that unfolded in the prior four games. The Rangers pulled off a 4-2 win over the Cardinals. This time, it was Rangers catcher Mike Napoli who brought the drama. Headed into the bottom of the eighth, the teams were tied at 2-2. Napoli came to the plate with bases loaded and one out. He hit a two-run double that proved to be the game winner. With the two runs batted in, Napoli became just the second player in history to have four multi-RBI games in a world series joining Mickey Mantle.

So you would figure with all the excitement, drama and history being made, more people would be watching. Sadly, America’s game is being pushed further and further into the outer realm of sports. Saturday’s game three seemed to be less important than watching Oklahoma lose to Texas Tech. The Sunday-night trouncing the New Orleans Saints gave the Indianapolis Colts seemed like a bigger deal than the pitching gem thrown in game four. Game five was overshadowed by — I can’t believe I’m saying this — the Jacksonville Jaguars Monday night game.

There are a few things to be blamed for this. There’s the lifeless play-calling of Joe Buck, the lifeless Bud Selig — bad public relations for the sport — or just that America wants a fast paced, unexciting game. It’s a sad day to think one of the greatest fall classics of all time is being missed because the New York Yankees, the Red Sox or the Phillies aren’t in it. People are more interested in another episode of SportsCenter because they must know who tweeted what, and what’s going on with an NBA season that’s not going to happen.

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