Today on Grantland, a pair of World Series preview pieces: Rany Jazayerli on why the Tigers could win, and Jonah Keri on how the Giants could take home the championship. Both men predict the series will go seven games—Jazayerli takes Detroit; Keri, San Francisco. Also on ESPN.com: a list of experts' World Series picks. Jonah Keri has the Tigers winning in five.
An editor's note has been added to the top of Keri's Grantland story. It reads:
Before the World Series, Grantland assigned separate stories to its two lead baseball writers, Jonah Keri and Rany Jazayerli. Jonah was assigned to argue that the Giants would win the World Series, and Rany that the Tigers would win. Each piece explains how those outcomes could come about. At the same time, Jonah participated in a survey at ESPN.com that asked for his objective opinion on who would win, and his response there was that the Tigers would win in five games. This story explains how the Giants can win the World Series, even if Jonah believes the Tigers have a better chance of becoming MLB champions. We apologize for any confusion created by this situation.
Keri couldn't talk about it when we got him on the phone this afternoon, but it's not hard to guess how this all came about. Grantland wanted pieces arguing for each team's chances and assigned its two top baseball writers, even though both happened to think the Tigers were the better team. Either because Jazayerli's an AL Central guy, or because he had first crack, he got to sing Detroit's praises, while Keri was left with a position he didn't personally believe. The story itself is really just an analysis of San Francisco's strengths relative to the Tigers, which wouldn't necessarily contradict his prediction on ESPN.com, until you get to the part where he contradicts his prediction on ESPN.com: "Giants in seven." We'll chalk this one up to the demands of the format.
Taking a side solely for the sake of argument—this is how debate clubs function, and perhaps some ESPN programming, too. With that in mind, here's a topic for debate: "Resolved: ESPN has a unique way of making its smartest people look foolish. We'll take the normative position."