The World Series starts on Tuesday. The Houston Astros will represent the American League for the third time in five years, while the Atlanta Braves will represent the National League for the first time since 1999. Entering 2021, the Braves had the tenth longest drought in MLB, with the Seattle Mariners franchise never making it to October classic. While most of the Rangers’ faithful and the baseball world already knows what side they’re taking, I decided to make a case regarding rooting interests for both sides. Why? Because exploring both sides of the spectrum is the right thing to do.
What the Astros bring to the table
I bet milliseconds before you read this, you groaned, yelled, laughed, or expressed some extensive emotion. Whatever anti-Astros feeling people have, the fact that the franchise made it to five straight American League Championship Series and three World Series in five years is damn impressive. If you’re a fan of dynasties like the Athletics and Reds of the 1970s or, most recently, the New England Patriots, then another title will do a lot for a history buff like you. Also, the negativity and controversy surrounding the Astros over the past twenty-one months would put the naysayers to bed.
Finally, for old-school baseball fans, it would solidify Dusty Baker’s MLB career as a manager. As a player, Dusty Baker won a World Series in 1981 with the Los Angeles Dodgers but has never managed a World Series winner. 2021 became the second time Dusty hoisted a League Championship trophy (2002 with the Giants), and if the Astros win the series 4-1 or sweep, Dusty will end 2021 with a winning record in the Postseason.
Hank Aaron and Dusty Baker pic.twitter.com/sVBtgkROVI
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) October 23, 2021
What the Braves bring to the table
Convincing Rangers fans to root for the Braves this World Series is about as easy as voting on recess all day in elementary school. However, the part I’m unsure about is whether Rangers fans want to see the Braves win or want to see the Astros lose. Anyway, from my Ron Washington tweets from last year and this year, he remains a special place in most Ranger fans’ hearts. While he was on the Dodgers roster in 1977, he didn’t appear during their World Series run, where they eventually lost to the Yankees. Nevertheless, it’ll be Wash’s third World Series trip in eleven years (as a manager and coach). Rangers nation wants to watch Ron Washington be on hand as his team hoists the World Series trophy in 1-2 weeks.
Another reason is more of a statement for teams that assume their season is over in June. Look, the Braves were 51-54 on the night after the trade deadline. They made moves that were afterthoughts I mean, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, and Eddie Rosario looked to be “who cares” responses from fans considering the focus was on the moves, the Dodgers, Yankees, and Red Sox put together. Atlanta was five games out of a BAD NL East with help from a Mets and Phillies scuffles. Nevertheless, with their entire outfield restructured, they took the division with eighty-eight wins but popped off series wins against the Brewers and last year’s World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. I’m sure writers are already getting their scripts ready for a documentary on the 2021 Atlanta Braves.
one time bob and dan interviewed ron and asked him what he listened to while running in the outfield before games. he said “juvenile, instrumentals.” this has always stuck with me https://t.co/0tJxROEgVA
— Jake Kemp (@NotJackKemp) October 24, 2021
As for myself, I don’t have a clear rooting interest in mind. My one-and-only hope is that the 2021 World Series is competitive and provides the drama that baseball is known for. Another fun fact is that in August next year, these two teams will meet in Atlanta, so get your popcorn ready!
Prediction: Astros in six games.
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