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,