Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sox Stun Tribe - Get Ready for Rox [Addison Quale]

It's just amazing how the animal spirits get going when it comes to postseason baseball. After the Sox manhandled Cleveland in game 1, everyone seemed to be saying, "Well this will be easy! I wonder who we'll play in the WS?" It was amazing. The Sox won one game and extrapolated that they would win all the rest. Then, after just barely losing game 2 (by 7 runs) all of that momentum was squashed. Game 3 was lost. And then Game 4. And suddenly--or rather this became clear after game 2--the feeling was: "How do we even have a chance?? Cleveland is WAY too good!" It was unbelievable. And then, looking forward to game 5, I started thinking that Beckett is going to win this one. And if Beckett can win and bring it back to Boston, then Schilling certainly has a chance. And then if it goes to 7 anything can happen then. So really, the Sox have a pretty darn good chance here. And I turned out to be right. Anyway, baseball in the postseason is a bizarre animal. It's all about momentum. And confidence. Things that Rob Neyer I think has trouble quantifying. (He even said that players often throw away at bats not working the count in the late innings of blowouts--how does this get factored into predictions?) And that's what makes this game amazing. Because anything can and does happen.

As for the upcoming Sox-Rox matchup, both teams look pretty good. But the Rockies pitching sure seems to pale in comparison to Beckett and Schilling. Then again, their pitching has been absolutely outstanding as of late. And also they dominated these guys earlier this year at the Fens. I could imagine anything happening.

Either way, what an awesome season of baseball it's been. Especially for Sox fans. I mean, this team has been pretty excellent from wire to wire this year. And you can't complain about that. I think it's a disgrace to say: "If you don't win the WS, the year is a failure." I think that just misses the entire point of why baseball exists. That is--it is NOT TO JUST WIN. Winning is not everything. It's a sport. It's our pastime. It's beautiful--like art. And so it should be celebrated and followed--but not like religion. You should celebrate for your team knowing that even if they lost, you'd still be content that they played their hearts out this season for you. Whatever happens in the next week, I'm thankful for the Red Sox. I hope they sweep the Rox. But if they don't I'm still proud of them.

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