October 21, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Fall Classic 2006 is underway

The well-rested (and tanned?) Tigers being heavily favored to win this World Series, it was no surprise when they took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. It was a surprise, however, when the Cardinals came back in the next inning with a home run by Scott Rolen, and expanded their lead to 4-1 in the third inning with help from a homer by Albert Pujols. (He is said to have a sore hamstring.) So it may be an interesting, close-fought match after all. The Cards certainly have the edge in terms of postseason experience, or indeed any major league experience.

UPDATE: Winning by a decisive 7-2 margin, the Cardinals have completely changed the psychological dynamic of this World Series. The fact that the Tigers' star rookie pitcher Justin Verlander gave up seven runs (six earned) does not bode well for the rest of the series. The Cardinals' Anthony Reyes (also a rookie) would have pitched a complete game if it weren't for the home run by Craig Monroe in the top of the ninth. I missed that weird play in the sixth inning where Brandon Inge committed two errors, as Jim Edmunds and Scott Rolen scored on a fielder's choice. (!?) Young teams tend to be "brittle," going quickly from cocky self-assuredness to panic. I hope that's not the case with the Tigers.

As a special World Series treat, here's a quickie "side-by-side" comparison between Comerica Park and Busch Stadium III, like I did last year. Click on either of the thumbnail images to toggle back and forth:

USCellularField MinuteMaidPark

We have a winner!

Mark London correctly identified "all previous stadiums in which the World Series was played during their first year of existence" and is thereby entitled to (another!) stadium sponsorship. He already sponsors the three Pittsburgh stadium pages, and both Minnesota stadium pages. He has chosen Miller Park, thereby cornering the market on the upper Midwest! Here are the correct answers:

Other answers submitted included Busch Stadium II and Three Rivers Stadium, but it was more than 12 months after those two were finished when the World Series was played in them, and the 1976 version of Yankee Stadium, which was essentially the same structure as the original. As a token of appreciation for their interest, I'll try to think of some "consolation prize" for the other folks who entered the contest. Next time I do a trivia quiz maybe I'll come up with a more significant incentive, such as a photo print...