Phew. Dodged a bullet there. Initially, it seemed that Game Two of the National League Championship Series was going to start at 1pm. Having already bought tickets for that, and having to work that day, I was thrown into panic-mode by this rumor. And things got worse when my boss laughed at my request for the afternoon off. A small lifeline was thrown, however, as I was told I could come in early, as long as I worked my eight hours. The bad news: it had to be that day, I couldn't come in on Saturday. Since I needed to get out at 12:30, that would mean starting at 4:30 am. Sleep? It's vastly over-rated.
Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed: I've little doubt advertisers probably came into play. Nobody on the East coast is going to leave work at 4pm, to watch a game between two West coast teams who suck - or so they've been relentlessly told by the mainstream media - and were 'lucky' to get past their bigger brothers in the Division Series. No, since nobody outside Arizona and Colorado cares, might as well put it on at a time which will get them good ratings in two states, even if everyone else in the country wants a Red Sox-Yankees World Series. Wait: whaddya mean that can't happen? :-)
Still, regardless of the reason, I'm glad it was changed, and it only makes sense. The East-coast ALCS and the West-coast NLCS can now both get coverage in local prime-time, without overlapping. My only qualm is that the late (10pm Eastern) start of the D-backs game will mean even less coverage there, since it'll probably finish too late to make it into the papers on Saturday. Just another excuse for them to ignore us, since we'll be playing while they sleep. An accurate metaphor of the entire season, really: witness the article linked by Dkins in his diary, right. Hey, why bother showing up to the World Series? Let's just crown the Red Sox champions right now.
At least the Yankees went down in flames, meaning the World Series will be free of them for the fourth straight season. It's just like the early nineties! Well, except that there, the Yankees sucked so hard, they didn't come within sniffing distance of the playoffs. Then, boom, after the strike, twelve post-seasons in a row. But no World Series for seven years, and that's the main thing. Therefore, congratulations to the Cleveland Indians for knocking them off: now, they get to go after the Evil Empire Lite (much the same attitude, just a slightly less-bloated payroll) in Boston.
We still don't seem to have quite sold out the first two games of the NLCS. Is this indicative of the apathy of Arizona fans? Or more the fact that the same Bullpen Reserve tickets which cost you twenty bucks during the regular season, will now set you back $85? Probably an element of both. The city's rediscovered love for the team is barely newborn, so asking people to spend that level of money is like your new girlfriend wanting to buy a house with you right away. Again, it's mostly just a question of time: we haven't been around long enough to build a rabid fan-base, prepared to sell their own grandmothers on Ebay to fund the purchase of playoff tickets.
With regard to tickets, it's worth noting that registration is open for the change to buy World Series tickets. Worth the shot: nothing lost by applying, as you don't have to give your credit-card. It'd just be another iron in the fire for me. I chose #7 in our season-ticket rotation, which means I get tickets to the seventh home-game of the post-season. That *should* be somewhere in the World Series all being well, though it depends on what happens in the NLCS. It'd suck if we beat the Rockies in four or five, then the World Series is a sweep - that'd leave me next in line, but with nothing to show for it.
One point to note regarding the upcoming series...though charmer already pointed it out in the D-backs Daily. The D-backs and Rockies face off for the National League, with a combined salary bill of $106.5 million. That's lower than both the Mets and the Yankees - neither of whom are still playing. Colorado and Arizona are ranked 26th and 25th respectively, and one of them will be playing in the World Series. The Marlins were 25th in 2003, and won it all - that's the only comparable team since at least 1988, when USA Today's database begins. Has there ever been such a "cheap" championship series?
Something else worth mentioning - though this is more of an omen than anything else - is that each of the past six World Series winners has come from a different division. If this continues, it would make it the NL West's turn again this year, and they're certainly going to have a representative in the series. Must say, it's good to have four Championship Series teams who weren't there last year: indeed, the past three seasons have seen eleven different franchises reach this stage, with only the Cardinals (2005 + 2006) repeating. I'm no fan of one or two big teams dominating, as they do in some sports. See the Scottish football league for an example, where Glasgow Celtic or Glasgow Rangers have won it every year since 1985!
Excellent debate going on after yesterday's entry, covering the D-backs run differential, "luckiness" (and whether that's the right term for it) and lack of respect. Thanks to everyone who has been chipping in on that: we've had a wide spectrum of views, and it's probably among the most enjoyable threads I've seen here. I don't think we've resolved anything as such, but I think we all have a better idea of the problem. :-) Finally, I finally got round to scanning the Diamondbacks Insider article about us. That can be found here.