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Alex Ferguson previews the 2012 World Series between Detroit and San Francisco

Alex Ferguson Posted 23rd October 2012 view comments

The World Series starts on Wednesday as the San Francisco Giants host the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of a best-of-seven series.

For the Tigers, it was an easy path - they beat Moneyball (the Oakland As) and Money (New York Yankees) to get to the Holy Grail, while the Giants were the Comeback Kings, coming back from 'one more loss and you're out of the play-offs' holes to Cincinnati Reds and 2011 World Champs St Louis Cardinals, the latter including a 9-0 win in the deciding Game 7 on Saturday night.

Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera is a genuine threat to the Giants, says Alex

Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera is a genuine threat to the Giants, says Alex

So if you want momentum, it's San Francisco but if you want motor, go for the Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers had to get their engines started midway through the year when they were three games back to the Chicago White Sox on September 18th, but won 11 of their 16 games to advance, and now they look primed for the ultimate drive.

Don't get us wrong, San Francisco's going to be a pretty story - especially for the TV cameras. There are going to be lots of romantic shots of The Golden Gate Bridge, trolley cars going up and down the hills of San Francisco, maybe some girls with flowers in the hair and lots of shots of fans in boats trying to catch a home run ball that flies out of the stadium built by a bay.

Tigers are the soldiers in the story: Prepared to lead the fight and shine a bright light of hope upon a city that needs it, by God.

Alex Ferguson
Quotes of the week

While across the bay Oakland has had its struggles, San Francisco has a smarter, hippier neighbour. After all, that's where Silicon Valley is, right? San Francisco is where Silicon Valley is. Oh, and the baseball isn't bad either.

In sharp contrast, Detroit's not a pretty story. Armed with an unemployment rate of 12.4% and America's vote of "Most Dangerous City in the United States" (which it's won for the last four years), Detroit's been beaten, bruised, but keeps battling. You should get some shots, but you also might get some, er, shots.

But while the city has been on its knees as its various car companies have struggled to deal with the American nightmare of a recession, the Tigers are the soldiers in the story: prepared to lead the fight and shine a bright light of hope upon a city that needs it, by God.

Star man

If you want hitters, then Detroit's got two of the greatest of 2012: Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Cabrera won the vaunted Triple Crown this year - he topped the American League in batting average, home runs and RBIs.

And Prince Fielder? His numbers are frightening - he's in the top ten for almost every batting category - which means that Tigers are a two-headed menace, not one.

But the Tigers aren't just about the long ball - they demolished the Yankees through great base-running, timely hitting and pretty perfect pitching.

The leader of the pitching is Justin Verlander, who has been consistently excellent and Doug Fister. Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer have been excellent, too, but Verlander's a joy to watch - he's consistently excellent and he'll be Okay in AT&T Park's aggressive atmosphere.

And the Giants? After being the Comeback Kings throughout the play-offs, it has to be admitted that it's been a lot of fun watching this team. Major League Baseball's website nicknamed the 'team that won't die', which is pretty appropriate... because they won't.

It seems that this team is more comfortable playing for its survival that it is turning up early. It seems to want its opposition to have one foot on its throat but forget to stamp on its head.

Leading the comeback has been Marco Scutaro, the Series' 'old man' (he's 36), who has had an incredible NLCS - amassing 14 hits (a record) over the course of seven games (and batted out of skin since he arrived in 'Frisco at the trade deadline).

He caught the final ball as the Giants won in a downpour reminiscent of the closing scenes of the truly awful Robert DeNiro/Wesley Snipes film 'The Fan', but without the terrible acting. Scutaro's joy seemed genuine.

But the hitters are everywhere. Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan will all punish bad pitches, but the pitching is also frightening. Barry Zito looks like the pitcher he was in his early years at Oakland (note: this is not a good thing for opposing hitters), Matt Cain shut down the Cardinals on Monday night, and Tim Lincecum - the man with strange throwing motion who looks like he should be surfing rather than playing 'ball - are a nasty triumvirate. They also have a solid bullpen - something that the Tigers don't have.

What's going to make this World Series are the two sets of crowds. Both sets of fans believe that their team is going to win. But as a city, Detroit needs it more. And let's hope that if the Tigers do win, it starts something special not only for the organisation, but for Motown itself.

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