The Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians, 11-2, last night to win the American League pennant. I figured after Cleveland lost Game 5, the doors were opened for a Boston comeback. Despite being down, 3-1, in the series, the Boston bats and clutch pitching from Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling and Daisuke Matsuzaka led them to victory. It doesn't hurt that almost everyone in the lineup sans Coco Crisp came up big the last two days.
The Tribe bats just feel asleep and their 1-2 combo of Sabathia and Carmona fell flat in the ALCS. They seemed to not have been able to get anything started offensively and the struggles of Travis Hafner really hurt the team a lot.
Considering Cleveland's youth, they should have a chance to get into the playoff for many years to come; however, they were beat by a better team and one that's built to win.
Like I said Saturday, the Red Sox are a special team; alas, this is what I said:
I know the Red Sox are seen amongst many to be a warm, cuddly, fun team to watch - which I agree with. However, they are the like the Yankees: a huge financial super-power loaded with super-stars, a park which prints money, and with fanbase which will pay anything to see their team. I’ll say, I rooted for the Sox in 2004, because they had a great storyline, great and charismatic players, along with having the distinction of not having won a World Series in a number of generations.
Then they won it in 2004, and expectations along with the team itself have never been the same. The fans are more rabid than ever, and NESN has helped to transcend the Red Sox from a team to a brand; um, much like the Yankees.
I have nothing against the Red Sox, but I will not be rooting for them in ‘07.
Yes, they have bankable superstars; however, it is remarkable that a city with perhaps no more than 600,000 people has been able to become one of the biggest sports teams in all the land. They spend and sign players to contracts much like the Evil Empire. I’m not going to call Boston the Evil Empire II, but they are not the same warm and cuddly team from 2004.
I'm sticking with what I said; I'm not hating, but I'm not going to consider the Red Sox some sort of underdogs.