Who to Root For: The World Series

Published by David Freed on October 29, 2012 at 11:57PM

With the San Francisco Giants taking a 3-0 lead in the World Series heading into tonight’s game at Comerica Park, we at The Crimson would like to offer our take on who Harvard students should root for. As Giants ace Matt Cain takes the hill against Detroit flamethrower Max Scherzer—whose 231 strikeouts this year were second only to teammate Justin Verlander—, here are a couple factors on which to base your choice.

Position Within the Series

With the Tigers trying to do what no team has ever done before in World Series history—come back to win after being down 3-0 in the series—, they are definitely in the role of the underdog here and grab the sentimentality card. Harvard students that love the underdog and want to see the little guy win may elect to root for Detroit’s finest in the final four games of the series. The Giants have played gritty baseball thus far in fighting off six elimination games—including winner-take-all games against the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals—but now take the role of the heavy favorite moving forward.

Style of Play

For old school, blue-collar students who favor steady success over flashy play, the Giants are your team.  Only five teams cracked more home runs in the second half of the season than the Giants—who win on the strength of pitching and defense—have all year (103). The two biggest hitters on the Tigers squad, Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, cracked 87 between the two of them.

History at Stake

At Harvard, the Ivy League’s oldest educational institution, history matters. History majors can appreciate how baseball, a game full of statistics and the past, could have its history books rewritten as the next seven days unfold. The Giants are seeking to become only the second National League team since 1934 to win two World Series championships in three years, while Detroit is looking for its first championship since 1984. Detroit is the first team ever to feature a Triple Crown pitcher (Verlander) and hitter (Cabrera) on the same squad, while the Giants have tied a major-league record by fighting off the aforementioned six elimination games in a single postseason.

Team Makeup

For students who believe in the power of collective action and group work, the Giants are the squad to support. They have received contributions from nearly every member of the team and no team gets more from so many different players. The Tigers, on the other hand, are the epitome of individual excellence. Behind stars in Cabrera, Fielder, Verlander, and Scherzer, the team features little depth and have ridden the coattails of their four best players all season long.