Tuesday, October 30, 2007

BoSox at Top of World Again--Yanks Slump To Bottom, Again [Addison Quale]

We may have just witnessed the most eventful weekend in baseball history. In one fell swoop the establishment of one dynasty was solidified just as another crumbled before our very eyes. The Boston Red Sox, a team which had led the majors for much of the year as the premier team then slumped its way into the playoffs. But just as you thought they were sleeping, they pulled out the big guns for October and finished it off by sweeping the Rockies with the biggest World Series run differential in history. It’s the second time in 4 years the Sox have taken home the title and with the same core of players. What’s even more impressive is that it looks to be the making of a dynasty as the Sox will most likely only improve at every position as this year’s team was comprised of many rookies and young pitchers.

Was Lowell truly the MVP? Perhaps in a team-leader sort of way. But I think they got it wrong—just as they did in 2004. It should have gone both times to the closer: Foulke in ’04 and Papelbon in ’07. How can you not give it to a pitcher who closes 3 of the games in multiple inning high pressured situation saves? Did anyone notice how bizarre he was in the post-game interview? This guy is just weird. I thought his “25 man team effort” comment was a bit forced since some players never even stepped on the field—Snyder for one. (And how scary was that when Gagne was warming in the bullpen in game 4??)

Overall, I thought as much as the Red Sox dominated this World Series, a lot of breaks went their way—the way the ball landed so many times just out of reach for the Rockies and just in reach for the Sox. And they escaped by the skin of their teeth in the last game. The Sox had pretty much used up Okajima and Timlin was on his last gasp. No other relievers seemed to be able to handle the pressure of October for the Sox—not Delcarmen, not Lopez, definitely not Gagne. I think the Sox ended up being very fortunate.

As for the Yanks, just as 2004 brought the Sox the title while crushing the Yankees along the way, this year’s title brings with it more bad news for the Bombers. Could things honestly get any worse for them? I can only think of it as effectively the defeat of the Yankees as we know them. They will never be the same as the core players from their championship runs in the late 20th Century (seems so long ago…)—Posada, Rivera, Clemens and Torre as manager—will most likely be headed out the door. Also the main reason the Yankees even made the playoffs this year was that a man named A-Rod had an absolutely explosive season for them. He will be gone as well. In other words, Red Sox are on top of the world. The Yankees are in the dumps—and may be looking seriously at their first playoff miss in over a decade. It seems the Sox may really be the new Yankees! Oh how the tables have turned.