(photo courtesy of MLB.com)
The finest path to becoming the World Champions, is by beating the better teams. The Sox certainly have their hands full this week, as they begin the ALCS tonite at Fenway Park versus the Cleveland Indians.
My call is Sox win in 6.
I hope you all are ready for some old fashioned baseball, as it looks to be a pitcher's shootout. The two Cy Young candidates meet head to head tonite: Josh Beckett vs. C.C. Sabathia. There will be very little wiggle room for errors during this series; make a mistake and the other team will capitalize.
I think there is an unspoken advantage that will work in our favor, and that is pitching coach John Farrell is on Our Team this year.
Before this season, Farrell spent the last 5 years as the Cleveland Indian's Director of Player Development. In many ways, we actually have to give Farrell some of the credit (or some of the blame) as to why guys like Carmona, Sizemore, Sabathia and Hafner have developed into the talents they are today. It was great that they were so talented when they faced those Yankees, but now they are facing us! (Thanks a lot John Farrell!)
I am sure Farrell is more than a little proud of this accomplishment. After all, at least half of the guys on Cleveland's 40-man roster developed while under his watch in Cleveland. And this year, we have seen the success he has had with our pitching staff, as he worked with Schilling and his adjustments this year, and helped Dice-K during his transition to American ball, among others.
But, while he's done a great job in the past in Cleveland, the fact that he is now on our side has to be a benefit. It's like having another scout, one who was on the inside track. Farrell has a lot of first hand experience with many of the Cleveland guys. That knowledge and experience has to work in our favor, even if just a little bit.
So even though those Cleveland guys are tough, I still think we've got the tools to win this series. And if we fall short, and Cleveland plays as well as their potential, and win, at least I know which guy I am going to blame.