Major League Baseball’s deceptive depth of statistical information might provide some illuminating comparisons between the Dodgers and Astros heading into the 113th World Series. But the tale of the tape below tells us more:
Sports Illustrated cover influence
Houston: In June, 2014, the cover included a shot of George Springer with the headline “Your 2017 World Series Champs”
L.A.: An issue last August declared the Dodgers might be the “Best. Team. Ever?” With a 91-36 record, they went on to lose 16 out of 17.
Edge: Astros. Remember how in 1987, “Back to the Future II” predicted the Cubs would win the 2015 World Series, and they were a year off? Now we have the FiveThirtyEight.com that sets everyone straight, and it gives the Dodgers a 55 percent chance of winning it all. It’s not as if they’ve ever been wrong in a political projection, right?
Historical NASA moment
Houston: “Um, Houston we’ve have a problem,” said by Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert in 1970.
L.A.: “Houston, we have a problem,” said by actor Tom Hanks, in the role of Jim Lovell for the 1995 film “Apollo 13.”
Edge: Blame Hollywood for changing the wording and giving it to the correct actor and longtime Dodgers supporter (you think they’d let Kevin Bacon deliver that line as Swigert?). Now it’s ranked No. 50 by the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema. You’re welcome, Houston.
Hashtag branding for the postseason
Houston: Kate Upton, President George H.W. Bush, Ric Flair.
L.A.: Everyone in Hollywood asking their assistants to run down and pick them up an L.A. cap.
Edge: Dodgers. It’s part of the territory and a product of mass inventory. Nonetheless, during Game 2, you’ll see more shots of Upton, the fiance of Justin Verlander, in a stadium suite than Magic Johnson ordering another Dodger Dog or Will Ferrell, Rob Lowe, George Lopez, Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube or (egads) Alyssa Milano trying to look naturally engaged in the action.