AL: Sox or Yankees?

I will do my best to put away the hometown hat, but admittedly, it’s tough. I never thought it would be this easy to live, eat, breathe and sleep a team like the Red Sox, but lo and behold, we find ourselves the same way we were last year at this time: excited but incredibly nervous. No doubt, this feeling is made worse after the Game 7 antics of the Yankees last season and our anxiousness to get back to the playoffs. It’s been a looooooooong stressful season and now we’ll find out if Red Sox Nation can withstand a World Series win or if the title-less streak will continue.

American League Divisional Series -

Boston vs. Anaheim, Red Sox win in five games

For the first time since that fateful 1986 ALCS that would cause tragedy for both Donnie Moore and the entire Sox postseason, the Bo Ho’s and Angels will do battle again. This series will be an absolute dogfight as both teams are evenly matched and are clamoring to get to the World Series. But to me, there’s one major difference between the two…

Boston clinched almost a week ago, while Anaheim had to battle until Saturday to win their title.

While the Sox didn’t look great in the past seven days, they really didn’t have their optimal lineup out there at all times and with good reason. While the whole idea of catching the Yankees for the East was cute, it wasn’t going to happen, something we all really knew after we lost 2-of-3 to the pinstripes in Yankee Stadium recently. The fact the Sox played as well as they did, getting big offensive charges in bunches and taking over a game when they needed to.

But the big question is whether Pedro, Arroyo and Lowe are up to the task. This ALDS will rest solely on them as they’re facing the underrated staff of Jarrod Washburn, Bartolo Colon, Kelvim Escobar and a bullpen that holds some damn good talent. In order to win, they will need to hold the Angels to an average of three runs per game. Sound hard? Going up against a lineup that touts Vlad Guerrero, Garrett Anderson (still effective even if injured), Troy Glaus and Shone Figgins will be no joke. The only positive is that Anaheim suspended Jose Guillen for the rest of the season, a major offensive force in their outfield. I understand the ‘get rid of the jerk, galvanize the team’ line, but I think not having .297/24 and 107 rbi’s will hurt.

I’ll take my chances with Schill, Pedey and Lowe. We have no choice – we have to. Better or worse, the Nation has to rely on the Sox front office’s insistence that this is the team that could win it all. A lot has been made of Terry Francona’s managing style and if he could potentially ‘Grady’ this postseason. I’m not worried just because of this fact – Larry Lucchino and the Sox owners saw what fervor took over New England after the Sox got to Game 7 of the ALCS. Imagine if they went further. If Francona finds himself in that situation again, he won’t have to decide…he’ll be told what to do. There simply isn’t another option.

New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins – Yanks win in three.

Is there a more anti-climactic series than this? After the Yankees swept the Twins in NY last week, there is no chance the Twins win a game. That one series effectively killed their season. Done. Over. Fini. Johan Santana will keep it close but that’s it.

American League Championship Series:

Red Sox vs. Yankees

What more can be said? Can the Sox overcome their curse in Yankee Stadium? Will Jason Varitek finally show up? What Yankees pitching staff will show up? Will A-Rod crack under the playoff pressure? Will anyone show up at the Monarchs games on October 15-16 considering that Game 3 and 4 correspond? Will Nason probably go bezerk as a result? Yes!!!!!

These teams play each other so tough that it will come down to who can step up in the other team’s home field, plain and simple. If Schilling goes in Game 1 and again in Game 4, there’s a chance he could even go in a Game 6 situation if it meant closing it out. If it happens, this will be another great series that will go to a Game 7 unless…

…Keith Foulke is handed the ball with a one-run lead.

Mark my words: if there is to be a goat for the Sox, it will be Foulke, the heart-attack closer that the Sox didn’t want in this situation. Most of the time, he’s stable. Most of the time. The other times when he’s not is a mix of panic, fear, elation and release. As sad as it is to say, you both want Foulke facing A-Rod with a tie game in the ninth and you don’t want him facing A-Rod with a tie game in the ninth.

But it’s time to pick someone…so…

Sox in 7. F**k the Yankees…it’s our turn now.

World Series -

Sox beat the Cardinals in seven games as the demons of 1975 are exorcised forever. This will be on par with that classic battle, often regarded as one of the best World Series of all time. Best of all? Game Seven would be in Boston. Prepare for armaggedon.

thanks for reading,

nason

Did the last week happen?

You know, it was one of those weeks that seems like nothing happened yet a lot of things happened. Maybe it was because it was so busy for me at work that I didn’t notice, but it was less than the Best Week Ever, a great show on VH1 if you haven’t seen it.

Having said that, this week’s entry will probably be a little blah compared to others just because I *gasp* don’t have much to say. I’ll just hit up on some random comments, 34% you’ll find entertaining:

–I feel like I should be putting some effort into Halloween this year since I have zero work commitments for the first time in a few years. The only ideas I have aren’t really resonating with the Wow, Cool factor in my head, so I might need to head back to the drawing board. The top candidate right now? Paris Hilton.

–Is it just me or do football stats really suck this year? I mean, in past years, it seems like there were a lot more noteable stats for us fantasy geeks to gawk at every week, especially with qb’s. This year? It seems like every average qb’s line is something like 13-f0r-27, 195 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and the team wins 24-10. Case in point: Michael Vick. Fans don’t care about 147-yard passing performances – they like action from the game’s most (potentially) exciting player. It might the only case of a 4-0 team actually being disappointing.

However, you can’t dispute the Patriots and the main man, Tom Friggin’ Brady. For any remaining Bled-suck fans, let’s recap the Sunday feel-good win by the P-Men. The two actually finished with comparable stats: Brady tossing 17-of-30 for 298 yards and two td’s while Bledsoe slung 18-of-30 for 247, 1 td and 1 int. But it was the big Bledsoe fumble and ensuing Richard Seymour td run that sealed yet another win for the AFC East kingpins. It just seems like that play sums up what Drew’s career is about: coming up just a bit short by blowing it on a big play. While Brady-haters (there are still a few, holding on by their fingernails on discussing the Bledsoe offensive series vs. Pittsburgh in Super Bowl Victory Run I), it’s hard to dispute that he doesn’t lose games for the Patriots.

One more tidbit: Brady is 41-of-64 for 554 yards, five td passes and three INTs for a 98 rating. Bledsode is 30-of-50 for 351 with two td throws and 1 int with an 86.7 rating.

I still think the Pats and Eagles are the Super Bowl favorites though, even though Peyton and the Colts are proving to be still pretty damn good and Vick and the Falcons are an undefeated (yet hollow) club.

–Apparently, George Bush and John Kerry debated and Bush didn’t do well? Again, this was my week. I’ve been American for almost 27 years and I really don’t have any opinion on who I want to win. All politicians do is say the right things to get in and then pretty much forget about those promises. Why aren’t there more checklists for calling politicians on what they said they would do? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one of these. In any case, the 49ers and Dolphins could be two of the worst football teams of all time.

–There’s part of me that wants to talk Red Sox, but a bigger part that is done talking Red Sox. It’s playoff time and what will happen, will happen. The one thing I will say is that is sucks when you play a California teams because of all the wacky start times: 4:05 pm on Tuesday and 10:05 on Wednesday? Methinks offices throughout New England will take a hit with productivity this week.

–I think next week might be a good time to talk a bit about hockey stuff like the lockout and what I’ve heard working in the industry. A preview: the NHL isn’t coming back for a very, very long time and that’s a good thing.

–I saw a couple movies this week: Napolean Dynamite (thumbs-up for off-the-wall Idaho humour about a kid that wears sno boots), Lost In Translation (a good movie that wasn’t really about anything but had substance nonetheless) and The Forgotten (I was the only one in my group of four that actually liked it).

–In music, I picked up two albums this past week: Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ which is phenomenal for its daring outside-the-box approach to the future sound of the group and Chevelle’s new disc which I need to delve into this week. Which reminds me, if you buy a bunch of stuff at Best Buy, get one of the Best Buy Rewards Zone memberships. I’ve had mine for a little over a year and got like $25 back in gift certificates for spending an average amount of money there.

Even I know this is getting boring. Since you’ve been such a great audience, here is a link to the funniest email I was ever forwarded. If you have a sense of humour, you will die laughing at this:

http://maddox.xmission.com/irule.html

thanks for reading,

nason