My wife is on the record as saying that she would watch more of the World Series coverage if they offered more posterior shots of Mark Grace. I imagine it wouldn't hurt if they also made him wear his old baseball pants.
November baseball officially began this evening thanks to the rain delay. As previously stated, I am pulling for the Phillies in the Series. It's a no-brainer, really. Apart from being an Orioles fan and therefore obligated to hate the Yankees, I believe in spreading the wealth. The Yanks have had far more than their fair share of championships. There are those who say it's good for a sport to have a team like the Yankees - easy to love, easy to hate, helps to drive the narrative. But I don't buy it. I think it's good when every city has a chance to feel that kind of joy from time to time.
And yet, I find that a rooting interest is a tenuous thing in baseball. Over the course of a game, I often find myself pulling for an individual player from the opposing team. For instance, I find it difficult not to hope that a middle reliever does well even if he's pitching for the bad guys. Ditto for pinch hitters and runners and certainly defensive subs. They're not superstars. They're just athletes trying to make a living - admittedly, a lucrative one.
With the Yankees, it's particularly complicated. Yes, I hate the team. But I can't honestly say that I despise all of the players. How can one not be impressed by Mariano Rivera with the career he has put together? I feel similarly toward Jeter, Matsui and Posada. They're not ostentatious braggarts. They are dignified sportsmen who love their game and play hard for their team every night. It's hard not to respect that.
A-Rod, on the other hand? Bum. The Yankees fell hard in my estimation when they let Joe Torre go. Four World Series titles still not good enough for the boss? Despite what I might feel about some of the individuals involved, it is always poetic justice when the Bombers fall.