LOS ANGELES — Forget Jose Altuve, forget Clayton Kershaw, forget Kirk Gibson limping around the bases in 1988 or that the Dodgers won 104 games and the Astros won 101. The storyline that seems to have L.A. captivated the most on the eve of the World Series is another number.
As in the temperature. As in Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series could be the hottest World Series game on record. And Wednesday’s Game 2 could be even hotter — as high as 102 degrees, according to Accuweather.
This weather was a hot topic at World Series media day Monday. Usually, this time of year, baseball people are worried about rain. This year, they’re sweating triple digits. Well, some people are. You know who doesn’t seem to care? The people it affects most. The actual Astros and Dodgers who will be on the field.
“L.A. hot’s not like hot,” said Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr., who is from Florida. “It’s hot, but it’s not like a Southern hot.”
Heck, one Astro is claiming responsibility for the L.A. heatwave after their comeback win in the American League Championship Series against the Yankees.
“I think the Astros brought the heat with ‘em,” said third baseman Alex Bregman. “We were playing pretty good the last few days. We were just getting hot, getting started and we brought the heat here.”
Sorry, Mr. Bregman. But Accuweather actually attributes the heat to a “moderate Santa Ana event.” Maybe MLB weather expert Mike Trout knows exactly what that means. To the rest of us, it just means that Dodger Stadium stands to be way above the usual 78 degrees this time of year.
“I think everyone here has played in 100-degree weather before,” Bregman said. “I think everyone is ready to go. You could tell everybody in this clubhouse it would be snowing and negative-30 and we’d be out there playing.”
The hottest World Series Game 1 on record is 94 degrees in the 2001 World Series in Phoenix, but that was played with the dome closed at Bank One Ballpark (now Chase Field). So the on-the-field temperature here will certainly be hotter at first pitch.
Speaking of, Dodgers Game 1 starter Clayton Kershaw — who is from Dallas — doesn’t think the weather will be a factor either.
“I don’t think it’s going to change anything,” Kershaw said. “I think by 5 o’clock the sun will be down. They’re from Houston, I’m from Texas; it’s going to be hot for everybody. We’re all used to it. It will be fine.”
Way to rain on the heat parade, Clayton. His Game 1 counterpart? Also not trippin’ about the thermometer.
“I like to sweat, I like to get that perspiration, and make sure I have a firm grip on the ball,” said Astros’ ace Dallas Keuchel. “And, I mean, it’s the World Series, so if it’s a little bit hotter than usual, that’s fine with me. There’s no place I’d rather be.”
You might hear more complaining from fans and the media than anybody else. With that in mind, maybe both should heed some advice from baseball players who often play in places like Arizona and Florida.
“The mental side of it is big,” says Dodgers outfielder Curtis Granderson. “I always say it’s only cold if you think it’s cold. It’s only hot if you think it’s hot.”
Or listen to Josh Reddick, who is from Savannah, Ga., and knows a thing or two about surviving heat that’s a little more uncomfortable than what happens in L.A.
“I’m a big fan of Pedialyte. I think that’s really the one thing you gotta do,” Reddick said. “You can’t go out there dehydrated … I think that’s the biggest key. For me, I’m a big ammonia towel guy. That’s a big help. Get that on your neck every now and then. But I think hydration is the key.”
Sounds like a great opportunity for Dodger Stadium to start selling $15 Pedialyte Mojitos.
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More World Series coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Granderson left off L.A.’s World Series roster
• These Dodgers are pretty clueless about 1988
• 10 World Series storylines to follow
• This could be the X-factor for Dodgers, Astros