Play Ball!

Posted on October 24, 2012 

Tonight marks Game 1 of the World Series, with the San Francisco Giants facing the Detroit Tigers (Fox, 7:30 p.m.)

I don't really have a favorite at this point. Barry Zito, the Giants' starting pitcher tonight, is on my fantasy baseball team, so I root for him to do well even though it has no impact on his stats for me. Ditto for Hunter Pence, the Giants' right fielder.

Once my Mets got knocked out of the playoff pitcher -- basically the first week after the All-Star break, it becomes a matter of who I was rooting against. In the American League, that's always going to be the Yankees, because, well, they're the Yankees. I found it particularly delightful that Alex Rodriguez had an especially poor postseason (as he routinely has) and got benched.

In the National League, I rooted against the Washington Nationals. Why? Because of the idiotic mess they made with Stephen Strasburg, shutting his season down with a month left because they didn't want to risk his arm going past an arbitrary number of innings. To me, it sent the message to the fans and the rest of the team that the Nationals weren't interested in winning a World Series this weekend, and I think it messed up his psyche in his final few starts. Players only get so many chances, if any, at a World Series ring, and a Strasburg-led Nationals team would have had to be considered the favorite to win the NL pennant. Instead, their starting pitching let them down and they were knocked out of the first round.

Still, it should be an exciting series. The Giants have Matt Cain, who threw a perfect game this season, while the Tigers have Miguel Cabrera, who won the first Triple Crown in baseball since 1967. Who is going to win? I say the Tigers in six games.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Best thing about the World Series besides being the World Series? No "X-Factor" for a while.

ABC is all-new with "The Middle," "The Neighbors," "Modern Family," "Suburgatory" and "Nashville" from 8-11 p.m., while CBS has "Survivor," "Criminal Minds" and "CSI."

Even though it's been canceled, NBC will burn off the last couple remaining episodes of "Animal Practice" over the next couple of weeks. It's followed by "Guys With Kids," "Law & Order: SVU" and "Chicago Fire," which I gave up on after watching the pilot. The CW airs a new "Arrow," which has gotten a full-season pickup, at 8 p.m., followed by a new "Supernatural."

On cable, there's a new episode of "American Horror Story: Asylum" (FX, 10 p.m.)

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