World Series: Why This One Matters

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2Photos: Courtesy of MLB.
UPDATE: The Series is tied up. In case you've missed it, here's why this year's World Series really matters.

At face value, sports enthusiasts would say that the 2013 World Series is going to be, well, kind of boring. Why? For starters, each of the contending teams — the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals — have garnered a Series win in the past decade. And, though it's very rare, each team had the best record in its division. No wild-card action. No underdog. No romance. So, sans Cinderella story, how is the rest of the baseball world supposed to know who to cheer for? How are they meant to be inspired? This is the first time the Cards and the Red Sox will meet in the Series since 2004, and we've got five big reasons you'll wanna keep up.

1. The Yankees aren’t in it.
Many people unfairly assume that if the Yankees are in the Series, they’re obviously going to win it. Chalk it up to 27 all-time Series victories, and we can kind of see where they're coming from. Anyone familiar with the Red Sox curse can tell you that the team has a whopping seven Series wins, and another one would be momentous in itself. As for St. Louis, it's second only to the Yankees in Series wins, and another one under its belt would bring it that much closer to dethroning the evil empire of baseball. And, since both teams were the best in their respective leagues, it's really anyone's game — as much as it pains this Boston writer to say it.

2. Both cities — and their fans — really, really care about baseball.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a place that cares more about sports — especially baseball — than Boston. And, St. Louis isn't far behind. Plus, if you find yourself at a bar with fans from either team, you're guaranteed to have found your new best friend. Cheers!

3. The dramatic playoff moments we're bound to see more of.
St. Louis faced the Dodgers in its playoff series, and it sealed the deal with a game-six win over the Los Angeles team — nine to nada. And, the Red Sox? Well, when it looked as though the playoffs were slipping away from them, Big Papi hit a grand slam that sent Detroit Tigers' outfielder Torii Hunter for a tumble over Fenway Park's green walls in pursuit. It was such a huge moment, the Boston police officer at the wall forgot to attend to Hunter, as he cheered for his Red Sox. And, we think both of those moments are just really cool, as well as entirely indicative of the kind of games we can expect in the Series.

4. Playoff beards are Boston Strong.
Boston's a resilient city, and some would say that following the Boston Marathon bombings in April, the team became empowered to represent how its city is Boston Strong (the logo for which is literally emblazoned on the Fenway field). Bostonians are rallying — hard. Even without the bombings, the Red Sox are players of tradition. And, one of those traditions happens to be facial hair. Though they also rear their heads come hockey season, playoff beards and the Red Sox are a package deal. Take a look at the roster, and you'll see the likes of Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Napoli rocking the most traditional, albeit unattractive, beards that they'll keep for the remainder of the Series. Even Red Sox fans will create makeshift beard masks to wear to the games, and little girls pull their pigtails under their chins in participation. How cute is that?

5. Badass rookies.
Rookies Xander Bogaerts (Sox) and Michael Wacha (Cards) are a mere 21 and 22 years old, respectively. Each has been making waves for his team, and Wacha was even named the MVP of the National League Championship Series. Watching them play in their first World Series is literally history in the making. You could be watching the next Babe Ruth and Rogers Hornsby. You could be watching the plays that baseball teams will reference for the next hundred years.

The series continues tonight at 8:00 EDT.