Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I have not been to,, deadspin or any other sports website today. I have not watched ESPN, Fox Sports, NESN, Oxygen or any other wonderful cable network this morning. I have not read the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The New York Times, the St.Petersburg times or the Herald-Journal. To sum up, I am basically saying I have not had any contact with the outside world in regards to the ALCS. And do you know why? No its not cause I'm a Red Sox fan, which I am, but rather because I already know everything that'll be written about the current ALCS.

You see many of the articles will highlight the fact the Red Sox have been in this situation before. Twice before actually. In both 2004 and 2007, two years in which the Sawx won the World Series, they had to surmount, what many believed to be insurmountable odds, to get there. The similarities are striking. In last year's ALCS, the Sawx took Game 1, then lost an extra inning Game 2 when they had to throw the back of the bullpen. Sound familiar? After losing the next 2 games they rattled off 3 straight wins against the Indians and advanced to the World Series. And of course I'm sure most of you remember the '04 ALCS against the Yankees, right? After getting embarrassed 19-8, at home, to go down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, the Sawx won four straight to advance to the World Series. And here we are again.

The Sawx, once again, find themselves down 3-1. This time to the young, fiesty, upstart, handsome Rays of Tampa. Their backs, once again, up against the proverbial wall. But how similar are the situations, really? Let's take a look:
  • We all know the Sawx were favored in both '04 and '07. Not in '08. They have been chasing the Rays pretty much all of the second half.
  • In '04 and '07 Big Papi was Mr. Clutch, Mr.October, Mr. Sparkle! But not the case in '08, hitless thus far in the LCS, as Red Sox Nation eagerly awaits for the real Big Papi to please stand up.
  • In '04 and '07 the Sawx were well oiled machines, firing on all cylinders. This time around, according to Jason Bay, "We're just not firing on all cylinders right now."
  • The '04 and '07 Sawx were healthy (with, of course, the exception of Curt Schilling). This year Papi is nursing a wrist, Mike Lowell is not even on the active roster, JD Drew has been hobbled, and Josh Beckett, who has been a dominant postseason pitcher in the past, is nursing an oblique. That's a Frank Thomas! Big Hurt? No one?
  • In '04 the the Yankees were flat, and did not gel as a team. The Rays don't have that problem. They are a cohesive unit of excitement!
  • The '07 Indians just fell apart, blamed partly on inexperience, and being young'uns. Now the Rays are for the most part young and inexperienced. But unlike the Indians, the Rays have now faced the Sawx 22 times in '08. Meaning they know the Sawx, and know them well. Unlike the Indians of '07, the Rays won, maybe the toughest division (only one team did not finish over .500) in baseball. In other words, the Rays have gained experience against the best.
The bottom line here is this, even though the Red Sox have managed to comeback, against the odds, in the past to get to the World Series, it does not mean it will hold true again. Its a different team and just because it happened before doesn't mean it'll happen again. The Red Sox went 86 years between championships. It was a given that they would collapse in the end, because that had been their way ever since they sent some lady, Baby Ruth I think was her name, to the hated Yankees. But lo' and behold, they came back against the Yankees. They had in essence exorcised their demons, but this years Rays have ditched the devil.

All those historical numbers, stats and other ballyhoo is relevant, but only to a point. Let's cliche it out:

  • To the Rays: those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it.
  • To Red Sox Nation: Sooner or later every good thing, comes to an end.
  • The Sawx are down but not out.
  • The Rays are just gonna play their game, and try and knock the Sawx off.
  • The Sawx will just have to take it one game at a time.
  • The Rays are not gonna take anything for granted.
  • Both teams respect the other and know what they are capable of.
  • Both teams are just gonna try and stay loose.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.
  • The Rays want to prove they're for real.
  • The Red Sox want to make history again
  • That's the way the cookie crumbles.
  • Every dog has its day.
  • You can't script October!
There! Now I have saved you reading every single article about the ALCS. Now you have more time to get your Seven Mary Three cover band!

1 comment:

  1. Papi is killing me. Nothing, absolutely nothing. The good news is that the Rays are starting Kazmir (I never thought I'd say that) and he's been giving up some deep ones over the last few months. Although, the Sox always find a way to not be able to hit lefties.

    I look at the scenario this way, the Sox, they've had a hell of a run and as you mentioned, all good things must come to an end. Now, you can't go out and win championships all the time and unfortunately that is the mindset of the town, you know better than anyone. Win it all or the year is not quite a failure, but it wasn't a success, even making it to a Game 5 or 6 of the ALCS. If they can stretch the series, make a game out of it as they say, I'll be a happy camper. True, I want them to win but I'd just rather not have them get smoked 12-5 or something like that. Lost in the fire of the Sox bats not producing is that this is a damn good Rays team. Worst to first aside, they play a good brand of ball.