AT&T Park on October 26 2010 in San Francisco California. The Texas Rangers will face off against the San Francisco Giants in Game One of the 2010 MLB World Series tonight. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
This is the first World Series in which both participating franchises have not won it in 50 or more years -- the Rangers, never, the Giants, not in 56 seasons; the last time a team wearing "GIANTS" on their shirts won the Series was a New York Giants team, four years before they moved to San Francisco.
The Rangers have a solid hitting team -- though I wonder how the largely-immobile Vladimir Guerrero will do in the outfield -- and their pitching was better than expected in their ALCS win over the Yankees. The Giants, meanwhile, overcame some shoddy defense and beat the Phillies with timely hitting.
Most people are picking the Rangers. I have nothing in particular against the Rangers; I'm glad they made it to the Series after a 50-year drought. (Sigh.) But I'm picking the Giants. San Francisco in seven.
One bit of World Series trivia you may not have heard: Bengie Molina, when he makes his first appearance in this Series, will become only the second player to have played for both participants in a World Series during the regular season and also appear in the World Series. The other: Lonnie Smith, Cardinals and Royals, 1985. There are five other players who played for both World Series participants in the regular season, but who did not appear in the World Series, including one more from this year:
In fact, Ray and Molina were essentially traded for each other (minor leaguer Michael Main also went to San Francisco) in the Rangers/Giants trade that happened on July 1. Ray isn't on the Giants' World Series roster.
Also, Cliff Lee will become the third pitcher to start Game One of back-to-back World Series for different teams. The others:
Credit to SABR researchers Dave Smith, Brian Wood and Mark Armour for the above info.
MLB.com Gameday for World Series Game One
Discuss amongst yourselves.