The Sports Kid Column: Your Guide to Sounding Like You Know Something About Baseball


Bobby Wagner, Managing Editor

Let’s be real for a second. Your secret is safe here.

If you go to NYU, there’s a better chance that you know more about Shea Stadium, the concert venue, than Shea Stadium, the place ya gotta believe in. You might’ve copped a fire baseball tee from an H&M sale this summer, but you probably don’t know what the Astros throwback jerseys look like (incredible, for what it’s worth). The stealing you know best is stuffing an extra Chick-Fil-A sandwich in your bag when your meal plan was on its last legs, not Ricky Henderson stealing third to break the all-time steals record.

The World Series — one of the most beautiful events in sports, save from Joe Buck getting an absurd amount of undue praise for what amounts to pretty average announcing — is starting on Oct. 25. So, in the off chance you find yourself in front of a TV for first pitch of game one, here are a couple conversation starters (and their translations, in case someone asks a follow-up) that will make people say, “Who the hell is this kid? They know something about sports? They should go write for the Washington Square News sports desk.”

  1. I love the way Cleveland has used Andrew Miller — the best reliever in baseball — this postseason. It really stifled the Blue Jays hot bats. (And if you’re feeling adventurous, toss a little love for his beard somewhere in there too.)

Andrew Miller: a beautiful man with a beautiful beard who throws a beautiful baseball.
Cleveland: the representative in this year’s World Series from the American League.

American League: if you don’t know what the American League is, just know that it’s not the same as the National League, and it uses the designated hitter.

Blue Jays: the lone team from Canada. Notable for their beautifully designed logo and their fans’ pension for being literally the worst people ever in the entire world, ever.

Don’t use this one if you suspect that you’re in the room with a real baseball fan. They might begin to salivate and press you further than you’re equipped to go.

  1. It’s a shame that all those young arms for the Mets got injured this year. I would have loved to see them come back even stronger than last year and finish the job to get that World Series trophy back to New York. Noah Syndergaard is such a perfect human.

Okay, maybe only say this if you’re at a viewing party with me. But just know, I can’t be responsible for the ensuing waterfall of tears.

  1. My team [insert arbitrary city name, if you’re feeling risque] missed the playoffs this year, but at least I get to watch a team break a long championship drought.

This is most definitely your safest bet. The Cubs haven’t won the World Series in 108 years, so if they go on to win the National League, definitely play the “I’d love to see the boys bring one home for old Granny Wrigley, who’s been rooting for the team her whole life and has gotten nothing but despair, a goat and a sad man in glasses and headphones” card. But really, you can’t go wrong with any. The team from Cleveland (whom I will abstain from referring to by its name because it is overtly racist) and the Dodgers have gone 68 and 28 years, respectively, since hanging a banner.

  1. Gee, Terry Francona has come so far. It was so hard to root for him when he was the Red Sox manager, because the Red Sox have so many players with punchable faces, but he really is a great manager.

Terry Francona is the manager of the team from Cleveland, who, if you couldn’t tell this far in, is the team that I want to win the World Series. I’m rooting so hard for the Year of Cleveland in the wake of the Cavaliers bringing home the NBA title because, to be honest, before this season, the best joke that I could have made about that city was CLLLLLeveLLLLLand — for all the L’s. Now that the Cavs finally got them a win, the best joke I can make about that city is Robert Griffin III — god they still have such a long way to go.

Terry Francona seems like an awesome dude. I’m so glad he’s no longer an awesome dude wearing the same uniform as Dustin Pedroia and Jonathan Papelbon.

  1. I can’t believe that Joe Blanton, going on almost 10 years of MLB service, is/was (depending on if the Dodgers make the World Series) still pitching meaningful innings in the 2016 playoffs.

I mean, can you believe that a guy that looks like your high school chemistry teacher on drugs is still pitching meaningful innings in the 2016 MLB playoffs? I can’t.

Best of luck!

Email Bobby Wagner at [email protected].