The Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs are in the World Series. This is cool if you like real baseball, but real baseball is boring and takes too long. However, this is awesome if you love movies based on baseball and you’ve seen Major League and Rookie of the Year.
Major League is centered around the Cleveland Indians franchise. The new owner intentionally tries to tank the season, long before the 76ers made it cool to do so, so she can move them to Miami. You see, there’s a clause the Indians contract that says if attendance falls below a certain number, she can move the team. It’s not like today where you can just move a team as long as there’s a billion dollar stadium to support them.
Rookie of the Year is the opposite of Major League. It’s focused on the Chicago Cubs and their attendance is already garbage, so the owner signs a kid who can throw the ball from the outfield stands all the way to the catcher, long before Yasiel Puig made is cool to do so. Many Chicago Cubs fans have tried to replicate this action, and that explains why the Cubs were so bad for all those years. They just signed a bunch of fans to play baseball.
Who would win if the Major League Cleveland Indians took on the Rookie of the Year Chicago Cubs? Let’s break it down.
The Cubs have Chet “Rocket” Steadman, an aging veteran whose arm may or may not hold up during the World Series. Steadman throws the high stinky cheddar, which is incredibly tough to hit. The Indians best pitcher is Eddie Harris. Like Steadman, he’s a veteran pitcher who knows all the tricks of the trade. He’s not above snotting the ball if it means getting the batter out. The Cubs have a slight advantage in this category because Steadman can cue up an awesome guitar riff when he throws.
This is where the Cubs are a bit of a mystery. Unfortunately, Rookie of the Year does a pretty bad job at developing their hitting. Some guy named Saurez is a good baserunner, Mullen drove in a run during the Mets game, and they must score at least a run or two if they’re winning games, but there is no one in the lineup who scares anyone. Otherwise, I would think that they would have been mentioned.
The Indians on the other hand, have plenty of talent in the lineup. Jake Taylor is a veteran catcher who is always a threat to bunt, Roger Dorn is a former All-Star, Willie Mays Hayes might be the fastest player in the league, and Pedro Cerrano can take any pitcher deep as long as they don’t throw him a curveball. If the Indians have any advantage in this series, it’ll be with their bats.
The Cubs are an outstanding defensive team. They turned a double play in one game. And, um, their catcher really knows how to catch the fastball. It seems like the majority of runs against them are home runs or deep balls, which leads me to believe that their infield defense is great, but their outfield defense is a little slow and could use some work.
The Indians infield defense is pretty shaky. Dorn oftentimes refuses to field ground balls, and Taylor has bad knees, really hurting his movement around the plate. If the Cubs just bunt down the 3rd base line all game, they could probably score a lot of runs. Their outfield defense is much better. Hayes is a speedy outfielder and Cerrano looks like he has a hell of an arm.
You want to see two guys who can throw it 100+ and strike out the side on nine pitches? They’re both in this World Series. Ricky Vaughn and Henry Rowengartner throwing nothing but flamethrowers and they do it better than anyone in the league. Vaughn, nicknamed “Wild Thing” due to his lack of command, isn’t going to stray from his buffet of fastballs, but Rowengartner could break out the seldom used floater. If either team is able to get to their closer with the lead, chances are the game will be over.
I’m just gonna say it: I think Cubs manager Sal Martinella is overrated. He’s done a good job of getting the team to play together, but he’s too much of a players coach and I don’t always agree with his tactics. Sal needs to be very smart with how he manages this series. He can’t use Steadman for as long as he typically does and he has to be careful with Henry. He can’t definitely can’t bat Henry like he’s done in the past. His taunting of pitchers and their big butts will get someone on his team killed if Vaughn is in the game.
On the other hand, Indians manager Lou Brown is quite possibly the best manager in the game. He’s an exceptional motivator, a great teacher, and tactically sound. Unless Martinella shows me something that I’m not expecting, the Indians have a nice advantage in this category.
This might be the most interesting match-up in the series. Do you listen to Harry Doyle on the Indians call or Cliff Murdoch calling the Cubs? Both announcers are exceptional. They’re not afraid to call it like it is and don’t sugarcoat things. Doyle is a bit funnier, but Murdoch does a better job of calling the action as he sees it. You can’t go wrong with either guy.
The Cubs might be able to get by on pitching and small ball, but the Indians can do those things as well and have more going for them. I just don’t see the Cubs winning every game 2-1 or 3-2, which is what they’ll have to do if they hope to win the series. The Indians have too much talent in their lineup to not produce for at least a couple of games.