Baseball’s Heartland Series

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It won’t be easy but New Yorkers will get over the Mets’ demise in Game 7 of the NLCS Thursday evening. With the loss of starters Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez, many had actually rationalized an inevitable defeat long before the first pitch at Shea. Besides they can always commiserate with their brethren Yankee fans.

Easing the pain won’t be so easy for the honchos at Fox, who saw the possibility of having the nation’s top market in the World Series disappear into the skies over Queens with Yadier Molina’s game-winning homer in the top of the ninth. Minutes later, the network was stuck with less a World Series than an a Midwestern Home-and-Home (Detroit and St. Louis could just as easily shuttle between the two cities by bus.).

The saving grace might be the Tigers. Baseball’s worst team two years ago and now America’s Team and its manager Jim Leyland is America’s Grandpa. Their turnaround will be the Fox’s only hope of tugging the heartland’s heartstrings and building a national audience.

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