Programming note: For comprehensive Giants-Royals World Series coverage, watch "October Quest" tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The last stupid World Series question, non-manager division, was asked Monday when Sergio Romo, the Giants reliever who has persistently and stubbornly been a native-born American, was asked by a reporter during Monday interview sessions what his country of origin was.
"United States,” Romo said, according to The Chronicle’s intrepid Central and South American specialist, H. Schulman. “It’s nice to do background work.”
Romo, as most of you are aware, was born and raised in Brawley, which is 70 miles off the exotic foreign land of Arizona.
We bring up this hilarious anecdote because of the enduring themes of this World Series will be how America doesn’t know either team. This relies on the notion that people have evolved beyond the biological need for attention spans, and are actually just meat with eyes.
And perhaps that meat part is true – at this point, we wouldn’t dismiss the theory right away.
But Romo is one of 13 holdovers (16 if you count the injured Matt Cain and Marco Scutaro, plus Javier Lopez, who wasn’t needed in the Series) from the 2012 championship team, and nine from the 2010 Series.
And that dovetails into the other meme of this series – the Giants will do with experience what the Royals will have to do with athleticism.
[RATTO: Giants' experience may not be enough to beat Royals]
This is, of course, the one thing the Royals do need to be concerned with, because their charm is based on the fact that they have next to no World Series experience (second baseman Omar Infante with Detroit and James Shields with Tampa Bay).
The Giants are the team with oodles of it, since you also have to include Jake Peavy in 2013 with Boston.
But the weird thing about experience, even for secret foreign-borns like Romo, is that you get all the experience you need by the end of Game 1.
Experience is a storyline before any games are played; once one is, it really does revert to who has better players making better plays under better circumstances. To make it otherwise is to defraud your own eyes.
That is, after all, the art of baseball, even in the brand new world. The art of baseball coverage, though, is about old verities like nouveaux vs. oldveaux teams, and things that don’t matter any more (Kansas City sweeping the Giants in August), and incredibly small sample sizes, and managing disparities, and rosters that don’t change even if one team (the Giants) hasn’t enough left-handed hitters.
Oh, and ratings. This will not be a highly viewed series for any number of reasons, and there will be the usual gnashing of brains about the slow death of baseball.
San Francisco World Series have been particularly low-rated, maybe because the Giants haven’t put together a single natural disaster in any of the previous three Series. This can be marked down to crap marketing; the Giants are taking the integrity of the earth’s crust for granted.
Ultimately, though, the games will reveal and sell themselves on their own, no amount of buildup with alter that. The Giants will have to score more traditional runs, and the Royals will have to get runners on base for the running game to matter, and there will be very few home runs hit in these two high-leverage pitchers’ parks.
The point is, we didn’t know the Washington series would shake out the way it did, and the St. Louis series is a term paper for some sports administration class.
The Royals very nearly didn’t get out of the Wild Card game. If there is anything to know from this year, it is that the more teams you invite in, the less likely they will behave according to form. These are the first two non-90-win teams to reach a Series together in history, and there will be more of them in time.
And if the Giants do win, again, maybe Sergio Romo can become a naturalized as well as an official American citizen.