Howard Herman | Designated Hitter: An outside baseball look at the World Series
The Red Sox will host either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Milwaukee Brewers starting Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
It started after the Red Sox beat Houston last week. Everybody wanted to know whether I thought the Red Sox could win their fourth World Series title of the 21st century. That, by the way, would cement the Sox — in my mind — as the first baseball dynasty of the 21st century.
As I write, Game 7 of the National League Championship Series has yet to start, so I don't know who will play the Men of Alex Cora. I do know it should be fun.
Aiming to serve, it is time to look at the potential World Series match ups, analyzed in ways beyond the scientific and the sabermetric.
Largest city in their state: Milwaukee, check. Boston, check, Los Angeles, check. PUSH
Best song: Milwaukee has some ditty called "Milwaukee, Here I Come." Los Angeles has many, but the Lakers and other teams use Randy Newman's "I Love L.A.," as their post-game victory song. Boston, of course, has the only tune about its town written by guys from L.A. We're talking about "Dirty Water," by The Standells. The Standells, currently led by Larry Tamblyn, are a great garage rock and roll band. Oh, and did you know that not only did former Sox general manager — and pride of Dalton — Dan Duquette, help build the foundation of the first World Series Champions of the 21st Century, but that he was the driving force behind using "Dirty Water" as the post-game song? You can look it up. ADVANTAGE: BOSTON.
Purple Valley: It could almost be a NESCAC draw. Justin Long, a former sports information director at Amherst, is a member of the Red Sox media relations staff. That's pretty good, but it's nothing compared to the fact that former Williams basketball player Tucker Kain is the chief financial officer of the Dodgers. Kain, who was a reserve on the 2003 NCAA Division III national championship team, was a first-team, All-NESCAC player in his senior season. ADVANTAGE: LOS ANGELES.
Best TV Comedy Location: Two of the most iconic comedies of the last 30 years were based in Milwaukee or Boston. Personally, I would give the nod to "Cheers," because it was never not funny. Was there ever a better Boston-centric episode than when Sam, Norm, Cliff and Woody had to count all the bolts in the parquet floor at the Garden so Kevin McHale could sleep and get better on the floor? Probably not, but there is a statue of The Fonz in Milwaukee. "Happy Days" might just be the most famous sitcom based in any of the three cities, and is to this day a real part of our culture. ADVANTAGE: MILWAUKEE.
NFL Broadcasters: There are a lot of great broadcasters from all over the country, but Milwaukee is fortunate to have raised one and adopted one. The adopted son is Lee native Wayne Larrivee, the voice of the Green Bay Packers. CBS' Kevin Harlan is the son of former Packers president Bob Harlan and grew up in Milwaukee. ADVANTAGE: MILWAUKEE.
Best manager: All three of the managers still playing had never managed a day in either the major or minor leagues. Alex Cora and Dave Roberts were both bench coaches, while Craig Counsell had worked in the Brewers' front office. Roberts and Cora both have rings, Roberts as a player with the Red Sox and Cora with Houston last year. Cora has been with the best team in the sport for each of the last two years, so. ADVANTAGE: BOSTON.
Best player: There are great players on all three teams. But only one player can be an MVP and roll a 300 game bowling. Say hi to Mookie Betts. ADVANTAGE: BOSTON.
So there you have it. By my count that's three for Boston, two for Milwaukee, one for Los Angeles with a push.
I think we'll all be hearing "Dirty Water" when the World Series is over.
Howard Herman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.
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