World Series Fever, but not in Seattle

Examining SPU’s interest in the MLB playoffs

Kyle Morrison, Staff Writer

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October is known for its colorful leaves, cool weather, scary clowns and, of course, the Major League Baseball postseason. Since 1903, playoff baseball has thrilled Americans with its incredible plays, stressful situations and legendary players. 116 years later, baseball is going strong. This year’s World Series matchup showcases the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros.

The Nationals boast one of the best pitching staffs in recent baseball history with four aces in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez, who have stifled every lineup they have come across in these playoffs. 

Their opponents in the series will be the Houston Astros. In game 6 of the American League Championship Series, Astros star Jose Altuve hit only the fifth walk-off home run to end a series in playoff history, sending the Astros to their second world series in three years. 

However, not many people at Seattle Pacific University are interested in finding out who will win. 

“I think baseball is boring,” said sophomore Colt Hawley when asked if he’s been paying attention to the playoffs.

 Colt’s lack of interest in the “great American pastime” seems to be shared across the Seattle Pacific University campus. 

According to a survey of 142 random SPU students, conducted by The Falcon,  71% said they are not paying attention to the MLB playoffs. Some cited the lack of interesting storylines in this year’s playoffs for why they haven’t paid attention. 

“I only pay attention when something big happens, I paid attention when the Cubs won the world series in 2016,” freshman Jon Owen said. 

The Cubs won the world series in 2016 for the first time since 1908. Their championship was a cultural phenomenon and hard to beat as far as entertainment value goes. 

Predictably those at SPU who are paying attention are pretty much split down the middle on who they are rooting for in the World Series. 

Twenty-nine percent of SPU students watching the postseason are rooting for the Washington Nationals, 27% are rooting for the Houston Astros, 23% are rooting for the New York Yankees and 21% are rooting for no one in particular. Those rooting for the Nationals overwhelmingly cited the rarity of their World Series appearance as the main reason for their fan wide appeal. 

“The Nationals have never been to the World Series at all and it would be really cool to see them win it all,” said Freshman Andrew MacPherson, echoing many Nationals fans.

Rooting for the Nationals seems to be in the best interest of Mariners fans as well. 

“I hate the Astros because they are in the Mariners division — so I have to root for the Nationals,” freshman Jacob Sprague said. 

Those who are rooting for the Astros overwhelming cited either hatred for the Yankees or having family in the Houston area, thus making them sympathetic to the Astros cause.

But why is it that so many people at SPU ignore baseball? Perhaps it’s because the Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since 2001. 

“I support the Mariners even though they suck,” Julia Kumai stated.  

This attitude was very prevalent amongst SPU students who are not paying attention to postseason baseball. There is a major portion of SPU students like Hawley who do not care for the game because of its lethargic pace, and there are others like Evan King who flatly asked, “What’s baseball?” 

But for many students, the Mariners have single-handedly made the MLB postseason only something to be dreamt about and not actually participated in. 

Most Mariners fans at SPU have not been alive long enough to watch a playoffs with the Seattle  team involved. In fact, with the Nationals winning the National League Championship Series last week, the Mariners are the only major league franchise to have never appeared in the World Series. 

As Nationals and Astros fans watch, both the Mariners and SPU students will be turning a blind eye as the action unfolds. 

The World Series begins on Tuesday, Oct. 22. The first team to win four games wins the series.