Respect the Beard!
In record time and devastating fashion, the Dodgers squashed their challengers from South Beach, retaining the Baseball World Heavyweight Title in two straight falls.* The champs lured the Marlins into a false sense of security early, letting them think they'd take the first fall. Then, from out of nowhere, Scott Van Slyke hit his finisher on Steve Cishek, giving the Dodgers the first fall.
Gif by the always-astonishing Conman. Duh.
The second fall was almost never in doubt, despite an aerial assault from Giancarlo Stanton in the opening moments. The Fish were no match for the sustained onslaught from the Dodgers, including a five-hit night from Andre "The Giant" (like the wrestler, not like the baseball team) Ethier.
For those of you just joining us, here's how the Baseball World Heavyweight Title works:
The BWHT imagines the World Series Championship as a pro wrestling belt defended in regular season series. The defending World Series champions start the season with the belt. From there:
1. A team must win a series from the champion to take the belt. One game isn't going to cut it, considering it's a 162-game season and teams all view the season in terms of series.
2. If the belt-holder splits a series (two- or four-game series), it retains. Much like on a draw in boxing or a count-out situation in pro wrestling, you don't get the belt unless you actually beat the champion. A tie isn't good enough.
3. If, at the end of the regular season, the belt-holder does not make the playoffs -- and due to the dynamics of this thing, that scenario is entirely plausible -- said team will be stripped of the title for not qualifying for the postseason. Then the winner of the playoffs -- the World Series -- takes the belt and the title into the offseason.
Let's take a look at the title history to date, as the Dodgers continue their run...
Up next for the Dodgers is the final fall of the match with the Marlins, with only pride on the line. Then, starting tomorrow, the Rockies come to town for their rematch from this past weekend. Rain has been banned from ringside by management, but will that really prevent him from ruining the Rockies' chances again?
*Yes, the series with the Marlins is still going on, but the title has been decided and I won't be free to do anymore updates until after the Rockies series.