October 17, 2007
Out west where the purple mountains rise majestically from the Great Plains, one of the most awe-inspiring stories in the annals of baseball history is being written. The Colorado Rockies have not only made it to the postseason by rising from fourth place, they have grabbed the NL pennant in stunningly dominant fashion. They have now won an unbelievable 21 of their last 22 games, and you wonder if they can keep up the momentum next week in the Final Round. (See MLB.com.) The fact that they will have eight days of rest, much more than whoever wins on the AL side, makes that a very real possibility. It seems like almost every October for the past few years, there is a new Cinderella story in Major League Baseball. I love it!
I think stretching out the postseason schedule is pointless and counterproductive, and thanks to the sweep by the Rockies, there will be no baseball games tomorrow, as the ALCS takes a one-day hiatus. It's like dead air time, which risks losing the channel-switching audience. In this situation, however, it's probably fortunate for the Red Sox that they get a day to regroup after losing three straight to the Indians. Tim Wakefield was pitching superbly for five innings Tuesday night, but left one of his knuckle balls hanging too high in the strike zone, and [Casey Blake] smashed it over the left field fence. That started a six-run rally that was too much for the Red Sox to overcome, as all their runs came on three consecutive homers in the sixth inning, by Youkilis, Ortiz, and Ramirez. That had only happened once before in the postseason (1997 Yankees!), but it was all for nought. Too bad the Red Sox couldn't spread that offensive firepower around a little and get more RBIs. So now the Indians are ahead 3-1 in the series, poised to go to the World Series for the first time since 1997. Indeed, they may even win, for the fist time since 1948. Some day, this decade may be seen as the era of championship redemption for long-suffering "also-ran" teams. The Angels, the Red Sox, the White Sox...
I would like to acknowledge a contribution to this Web site from Edward Spirito. It's those expressions of support that keep me "in the game," even if time constraints sometimes slow me down somewhat. Many thanks to Edward and all those other big-hearted fans out there!