Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm Optimistic... but still Cautious

Pennant flag, flying high over the Prudential Building, downtown Boston

(Globe Staff photo, taken by David L. Ryan)

We took the AL East,

Rallied from a deficit to take the AL Championship...

Our next mountain comes from Colorado.

I've never been one to go by how a team looks on paper, to determine whether I think they are going to win. Time and time again, in the playoffs, if you just look at that alone, it does NOT guarantee the win.

Just ask the Yankees. On paper, they looked like their offense was going to CRUSH their way into October. Instead, they got crushed themselves.

The Rockies? Who, other than Rockies fans themselves, would have thought THEY would make it into the postseason, nevermind the WORLD SERIES. Had you told me in May that the Rockies would be in the Series, I would have laughed at you. But not anymore.

The Sox start the World Series tonite (I still get all goosebumpy when I write those words!) at Fenway, against the Colorado Rockies. Josh Beckett vs. Jeff Francis 8:23 pm. Here are the matchups, and Postseason performance by position:

  • 1B Youkilis, .425 Avg. vs. Helton, .154 Avg.
  • 2B Pedroia, .286 Avg. vs. Matsui, .310 Avg.
  • 3B Lowell, .333 Avg. vs. Atkins, .185 Avg.
  • SS Lugo, .229 Avg. vs. Tulowitzki, .179 Avg.
  • Catch Varitek, .243 Avg. vs. Torrealba, .320 Avg.
  • OF Ramirez (.400), Crisp (.161) Drew (.306) vs. Holliday (.286), Taveras (.167), Hawpe (.304)
  • DH Ortiz, .387 Avg. vs. Spilborghs, .300 Avg.

tonite's pitchers: Beckett (1.17 ERA) vs. Francis (2.13 ERA)

Beckett will definitely set the tone for this series, once again. If he plays his game, and we win, it will take the wind out of the young Rockie club. Afterall, the Rockies have won their last 21 out of 22 games, and have had 8 days of rest. Coming into the World Series, their confidence level has been off the charts. Every game they have won since early September was a MUST WIN game for them. How can they not feel like Supermen, with a run like theirs?

And, while their story is the stuff dreams are made of, the Sox have business to finish. Beckett's first loss this year was at the hands of the Rockies, who came here the second week of June. Colorado won that series 2-1. I'm sure Beckett remembers Atkins, who hit a grand slam against him.

Still, I think the Sox have the edge, and will win this all in 6. We've been in first all year long, and its time to seal the deal.

If they lose, will I be upset? Sure, I will be disappointed. But not upset. I am so, so proud of these guys. They have made this summer unforgettable. My family has spent the last 6+ months with these guys, about 170 afternoons and evenings, to be exact. While some parents and their kids might have been watching Extra or Wheel of Fortune, we were tuned in to NESN night after night. Ask my 6 year old Jon what happened on Mother's Day. He might not remember that really cool beaded necklace he made for me, that made me cry when it fell apart 2 days later. But Jon can tell you that on Mother's Day the Red Sox beat the Orioles that afternoon, and they called it a Mother's Day Miracle.

These 40 guys are a permanent part of our lives. No matter what happens. And when they win it all, my family will be there together to celebrate.

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