October 29, 2007 [LINK / comment]
Red Sox sweep Rockies; Dynasty?
Unless you're a big fan of the winning team, series sweeps in the postseason leave most of us feeling a little shortchanged. The baseball season is over already?? * This year, five of the seven postseason series were swept, and only the ALCS went the whole seven games. I said before that I wouldn't be surprised if Colorado won all three games in Denver, but I'm not surprised either that the Red Sox swept the Rockies to take the World Series title once again. Boston is dominant in almost every aspect of the game, and even though the Rockies fought back to within one run on Sunday night, they could not even it up. The fans in Denver were cheering loudly to the very end, which was nice to see. After that historic winning streak by the Rockies, destiny was just not on their side this year. In any event, Boston Manager Terry Francona and the whole Red Sox team deserve a lot of credit for being champions, and for acting like champions should act.
As for the future, there are big questions about free agents such as Mike Lowell and Curt Schilling, who may be ready to retire, but there is plenty of reserve depth on the roster. The superb rookies Dustin Bedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury, plus young closer Jonathan Papelbon give Boston the assurance of having a highly competitive lineup for years to come. Is this the dawn of a new dynasty?
* And as for the unduly fast conclusion to this year's baseball season, at least they finished before Halloween. Playing on October 31 would have been very strange.
Coors Field: "unfair"?
WaPo columnist Thomas Boswell recounts the standard gripes about the way baseball performance is distorted in the mile-high Coors Field, and then reminds us that Fenway Park has its own "unfair" conditions with the quirky angles and unbalanced outfield dimensions: "That's life. Get over it."
After Joe Torre was in effect let go by the Yankee front office, the departure of Alex Rodriguez is a logical consequence. The only question is, what other team has deep enough pockets to be able to afford him? Well, there is one located about 200 miles northeast of the Bronx...
The mail bag
Both Mike Zurawski and Mark London alerted me to the replacement of the turf that just got underway at Wrigley Field. Despite its aesthetic charms, the "Friendly Confines" have earned a lousy reputation among players for the bumpy, uneven surface. So, they are installing a modern drainage system and reducing the field level by a foot or two, which may allow for another row or two of seats. That would shrink the already-tight foul territory to absurdly tiny proportions, however, and I hope they think twice about that. See Chicago Tribune. That story reveals an interesting bit of trivia: The bulldozers uncovered the concrete base of the goal posts that the Chicago Bears used to use before they left Wrigley Field in 1970. It was approximately one third of the way down the first base line.