You might not be aware of it — especially if you live on the East Coast — but on Wednesday night (October 27), the 2010 World Series officially gets under way in San Francisco. It’s a particularly intriguing matchup, pitting the pitching-heavy San Francisco Giants against the slugging Texas Rangers, and if you’re a baseball purist (and who isn’t?), well, then you’re definitely in for a treat.
Still, it occurs to me that most of you couldn’t care less about this year’s Series, mostly because it does not involve either the New York Yankees and/or Philadelphia Phillies. Call me a traditionalist — or an embittered Red Sox/ Mets fan — but I think things are better off without either the Yanks or the Phils involved (since I hate both of them), and I can’t wait for the Game One duel between Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee. (There will be plenty of strikeouts! And the final score will probably be 2-1!)
And, yes, I realize that is probably not enough to get you to actually watch (or even care), which is why I decided to combine my vast knowledge of rock music with my irrational hatred for the Yankees and Phillies and create this handy, rock-centric guide to the World Series. I’ve analyzed nine key players for both the Giants and the Rangers — broken down their attributes, strengths and weaknesses — and then assigned an appropriate rock band to each of them. Sort of like their spirit animal, only, you know, not. What can I say? I have a lot of time on my hands.
My hope is that you’ll read it, find a player (or band) you like, and perhaps tune in for a game or two. Or, if you’re a fan of the Yankees or Phillies, just have someone read it for you. The end result will (hopefully) be the same. Here’s my rock-and-roll guide to the 2010 World Series:
San Francisco Giants
Aubrey Huff: Aging bomber looking for one last shot at glory. Best days are behind him, yet he presses on nonetheless. Frequently goateed. Career is not nearly as long as you would have imagined. He is Limp Bizkit.
Brian Wilson: Good-natured, mentally unstable closer with an epic beard. Which makes him late-’60s/ early ’70s-era Brian Wilson, minus the weight gain.
Buster Posey: Toothsome, backwoods catcher with a tremendous work ethic and a penchant for big hits. Obviously, he’s the Kings of Leon.
Cody Ross: Scrappy castoff who silenced his doubters by catching fire in the postseason and propelling his team to the pennant. Underrated. Eternally smiling, probably because he just did something awesome. He is Kid Rock.
Freddy Sanchez: Former batting champ who has lost a step or two since moving to a big-market team. Contact hitter. Tiny. He is Death Cab for Cutie.
Jonathan Sanchez: Slightly wild starter who occasionally harnesses his vast potential (see his no-hitter last season) yet remains frustratingly inconsistent. Oftentimes you have no idea what the f— is going on with him. He is Sum 41.
Matt Cain: Bulldog-esque pitcher who doesn’t get a ton of run support, yet usually delivers. Is much better than his record indicates. He is the All-American Rejects.
Pablo Sandoval: Portly slugger who didn’t slug quite so hard in his second season, yet remained a fan favorite nonetheless. Nicknamed “The Panda.” He is basically a chunky MGMT, and his 2010 season (.268 avg, 13 HRs, 63 RBIs) was most definitely his Congratulations.
Tim Lincecum: Long-haired, willowy ace who bizarrely resembles Wiley Wiggins in “Dazed and Confused.” Once popped for possession of marijuana. Retro looks + slight build + cannibus fascination = the Dandy Warhols.
C.J. Wilson: Floppy-haired former bullpen hand-turned-lights-out starter. Has excellent sideburns. Kind of looks like Brandon Boyd … so, Incubus?
Cliff Lee: Unhittable, straitlaced ace who keeps coming up big in the clutch. Has bounced around from team to team, yet remains unerringly consistent. Not afraid to mix up his pitch selection, yet rarely — if ever — makes a mistake. Probably reads books like “No Logo” for fun. Just call him Radiohead.
Elvis Andrus: Speedy, soft-hitting shortstop. Prone to errors, to the point where you often wonder if he is playing stoned. Goofy hair. Bizarre name. He is Coheed and Cambria.
Ian Kinsler: Slugging, somewhat-handsome second baseman. Made the successful transition from one position to another while still in the minors. Capable of huge displays of power. In other words, he is 30 Seconds to Mars, his stint at shortstop was Jared Leto’s time on “My So-Called Life,” and his breakthrough 30-30 season was This Is War.
Josh Hamilton: Feared hitting machine who waged a well-publicized war against his personal demons. Has lots of tattoos, some of which are regrettable. Overcame addiction. Hits for both power and average. Likely MVP. In other words, he is Metallica.
Michael Young: Rock-solid face of the franchise. Despite being consistently good, has toiled away in relative obscurity for the majority of the decade. Found success thanks in no small part to the efforts of others. He is Muse. Josh Hamilton is his Stephenie Meyer.
Neftali Feliz: Enigmatic closer with excellent hair. Despite being very young, has excelled in a myriad of roles. Frequently unhittable, generally unflappable. Likes bright colors (as evidenced by his red glove). He is My Chemical Romance.
Nelson Cruz: Smooth-swinging outfielder with bad hamstrings. Steady, rather boring, yet still beloved, mostly because of his occasional flashes of brilliance. Probably owns something with epaulets on it. He is Coldplay.
Vladimir Guerrero: Free-swinging, decidedly old-school slugger who is frequently covered in pine tar. Swings hard, hits even harder, and is capable of driving nearly any pitch over the wall. Steadfastly refuses to wear batting gloves. Is proletarian. Just like The White Stripes. Or The Black Keys.
Share your rock star/ ballplayer comparisons in the comments below!