The air is getting brisk. The apples are cidering. Breasts are being forced back under sweaters. The point is, it's officially fall, or "autumn" as pretentious assholes who read books call it, which means the World Series is once again upon us. So if you're not one of the fifteen patriotic Americans who care about baseball, you'd better learn to fake it pretty damn well; now that the weather-control machine's online, Dick Cheney's got some free time on his hands to track you down, you Statue-of-Liberty-raping sack of sympathizing.

So here's a quick rundown of what you need to know.

1) The Red Sox haven't won a Series since 1918. Somehow you might have missed this fact since they don't bring it up much. Everyone knows about the supposed "curse," and Sox fans are often described as "long-suffering." However, the better phrase to describe them is "fucking annoying." They're like that friend who hasn't gotten to second base since high school and spends all of his time bitching about it so much that you want to just buy him a hooker to shut him up. The rest of America isn't cheering for the Sox to win because we love them, too; we're just really tired of hearing about it.

2) Red Sox Designated Hitter David Ortiz is a monster. Give it a few days and pitchers will just start throwing the ball over the outfield fence themselves just to save the trouble. Plus, he bears a striking resemblance to that cannonball on a chain from Mario Brothers that would jump out and bite you.

3) But wait, what's a designated hitter? In baseball, the DH has nothing to do with a night of innocent passion and carpet-burned genitals. In the American League, pitchers don't bat; a "designated hitter" bats for them. These guys, like the aforementioned David Ortiz, are usually slow, lumbering giants built like refrigerators with legs. This rule is mostly in place to confuse foreigners and girlfriends who are feigning interest in sports to please you. Speaking of foreigners" .

4) George W. Bush has outsourced all of our good baseball jobs. That's right, America, gone are the days when you could watch a team of red-blooded virulent racists like Ty Cobb play our national pastime. President Bush has apparently seen fit to outsource all of our good baseball jobs to Latin America. With all the Martinezes, Pujolses, and Larry Walkers, who somehow manages to be both British and Columbian, there's hardly a place for ridiculous American names like Woody Williams and Pokey Reese in America's game anymore. Rumor also has it that a crew of Pakistani umpires stole all of our flu vaccines.

5) At some point this season, a character on House, M.D. will risk a patient's life. Yeah, I can't believe it, either!

6) Fox Sports Announcer Tim McCarver is actually the most annoying person in history. If you hadn't picked up on it yet, McCarver likes Derek Jeter a lot. Too much. Whether or not Jeter is in the game, McCarver will go on at length about how great the Yankee captain is. Finish your beer if you hear him say, "Great pitch from Schilling. You know who probably would have made a great pitcher? Derek Jeter. But he's too busy curing cancer and adopting all those orphans to learn a good changeup."

7) Ben Affleck found another way to get on TV. You'd think when we realized this guy couldn't act, he would gradually work his way out of our lives. Nope. Everyone's favorite political activist is sitting at Fenway being "a huge Sox fan" and "talent vacuum." Yeah, great, asshole, this totally makes us forgive you for your work in (Insert the name of any Ben Affleck movie here). I want to see Sean Penn force him into a corner and make him choose between seeing the Sox or John Kerry win this year. Then, when Affleck cries, cut his face. Just to un-pretty him a little.

8) Sox fans are still wearing Nomar jerseys. Every crowd shot at Fenway shows at least one guy wearing a Nomar jersey. This guy was killing your team, was a whiny bitch, and a shitty shortstop for the last few years. But you're still wearing his jersey because you want to look like all the other adults who shelled out whatever allowance their dad still gives them to buy a replica jersey. Makes sense.

9) Red Sox fans will be asked to "believe." I'm sorry, this is just a bit much. You believe in Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, or the tooth fairy, or a woman's right to choose. You don't "believe" in a bunch of guys with bad hair and goatees in stirrup pants; you cheer for them. Then again, Journey never recorded "Don't Stop Cheerin'," so it would be hard to get adorable toddlers with thousand-dollar tickets to dance to the music over the public address.

10) St. Louis won more games than any team in the majors this season, but Boston is favored. You can say this is because of the Cardinals' suspect pitching or Boston's homefield advantage, but the real reason is that sports journalists, like the rest of America, hate the Midwest. Your wholesome family values, pale skin, and proclivity for saying "you betcha" bothers us a lot. Boston was the birthplace of the Revolution and gave us Cheers and the delicious Market restaurants that bear its name. What has St. Louis done for us lately? Nelly? Busch Light? Point, Boston.

11) Yes, the world is only two countries. Again, another trap set to trick foreigners. Especially after this year's Olympic basketball debacle, it's a good bet that the only sport we can win the world title in is one that the rest of the world neither knows how to play nor cares about. U-S-A! U-S-A!

1. Matt's got a new column so check that out.
2. Thanks to steady CH supporter Magazines for Cheap for sponsoring this update.
3. Don't forget to take pictures of your halloween costume to submit to our contest.

Now hit these hotlinks right out of the park. Get it, because we were just talking about baseball?