The Fall Classic kicks off in Kansas City tonight on FOX at 7:07 PM CT. The Royals are making back-to-back trips after a nearly 30-year World Series drought. It’s been 15 years since the Mets were in the World Series and they haven’t won since 1986, the year after the Royals last did. Fun Fact: Neither team has ever won Game 1 of the World Series. Combined both teams are 0-7 in that regard. Also, Joe Buck will have the call and everyone will be convinced he hates their team. Both Royals and Mets fans are readying their angry tweets.
Both teams are very exciting for the objective baseball fan. The Mets have an incredible starting rotation and the Royals have the best bullpen. Daniel Murphy is doing video game things hitting 7 home runs in the playoffs and Ned Yost doesn’t give two shits about your baseball sensibilities when it comes to bunting and running. I, however, don’t care for either team.
As a fan with illogical and irrational feelings, I hate the Royals the most. I’m a White Sox fan and while people in Chicago struggle with my lack of Cub-hate, I target my frustration and dislike to the other teams in the AL Central. Whichever team is preventing the White Sox from making the playoffs the most (besides themselves), that’s who gets the majority of my distain. The Detroit Tigers used to be that team, but now the Royals carry the torch for my White Sox rivalry rage.
The Mets receive a different brand of loathing from me. Having grown up around Chicago, there’s natural detest in me and many for that giant east coast city, their tough-guy accents and pizza arrogance. For the record, I love New York but love when my teams face theirs way more. However, there’s one player who was just named to the Mets playoff roster who I can’t say a single bad thing about. His name is…
Juan Uribe is everything that is good about baseball. He has fun. His teammates love him. He’s also no stranger to the big moment. Over his 15-year career, this will be Uribe’s 3rd appearance in a World Series. He made the final throw-out to win it all for the 2005 White Sox, homered for the Giants in another winning effort in 2010, and now he’s back to keep the 5-year trend alive.
Uribe makes the Mets’ World Series roster wearing his third different uniform this year alone. He joined the Mets in a trade with Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves, and started the season as a Los Angeles Dodger. Uribe actually ended the 2014 regular season as acting manager of the Dodgers, while also paying tribute to Don Mattingly and Tommy Lasorda.
As a manager, Uribe has a 1.000 winning percentage and a Gatorade shower as well.
Now Uribe can end this season with his third World Series ring. He has a chance to become the 4th player in MLB’s expansion era to win 3 world championships with 3 different teams, after Jack Morris, Dave Stewart, and Lonnie Smith. His Mets tenure hasn’t been particularly special, batting .219 with 6 home runs and 20 RBIs in 128 at-bats (Murphy has matched that production in these playoffs alone), but it’s hard not to root for the guy.
Of course my White Sox sentiments have a heavy influence on my admiration for Uribe. In the 10th anniversary year of their World Series win, at least one of the players from the roster are competing for it again. He’s one of 5 players from the 2005 White Sox roster who were still active in 2005 (AJ Pierzynski/ATL, Mark Beuhrle/TOR, Neal Cotts/MIN, Brandon McCarthy/LAD). Uribe also gave me one of my favorite baseball memories, catching a ball in the stands during the World Series that I’ll contend was better than Derek Jeter’s famous dive…somewhat irrationally, I’ll.
A year ago, I actively avoided the World Series. I had seen the Giants thing before and you already know my feelings about the Royals. This year, I’ve got Juan Uribe and will happily buy his jersey if he gets to light victory cigars again.