Leading Off: Plenty of reasons to watch the World Series

10/23/2013 12:00 AM

10/23/2013 6:42 PM

Much has been said about how local interest in the 2013 World Series lags because neither the Giants nor A's are participating. Logic says, "Obviously."

Reasons abound, however, for fans to follow the matchup, beginning tonight, between the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox.

First, the Cardinals represent the best of baseball. Their excellence generally is taken for granted, and few observers are surprised when they are among the National League's elite. The result is this will be their 19th World Series appearance, and they reached this point with a story line that is at least somewhat familiar to Giants fans: Fine young pitchers abound on their staff.

The Cardinals also play hard, hit in the clutch, have an elite catcher in Yadier Molina and are solid – not spectacular – throughout their lineup, reminiscent of the team that won two of the past three World Series.

The Red Sox are similar in their recent history. Their whine-stopping World Series championship in 2004 – a sweep over St. Louis – was the first of three Series appearances, including this one, in the past decade. Only the Cardinals' four appearances exceed the BoSox total.

Boston's pitching appears less formidable than St. Louis', but the Red Sox lineup has Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz for star power, and the kind of solid everyday guys who populate top teams.

For history buffs, St. Louis and Boston are old school. The Cardinals joined the N.L. in 1892, and the Red Sox were an original American League team, starting in 1901. That essence of permanence is enough to cause even casual fans to watch.

By the way: St. Louis in six games

Today's poll

Will you watch the World Series?

Yes

No

Vote above, or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Tuesday's results

Can the NFL do more to prevent violence at stadiums?

Yes – less beer and more cops: 81%

No – too many people to police: 19%

Total votes: 104

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