I'm not going to say World Series, because the world has nothing to do with it. So I call it the MLBCS instead. And it is the forth MLBCS of my lifetime involving the Red Sox. Considering all the 'pain' the Red Sox have suffered in the 20th century, that's not a bad record at all. Since 1967 they have been the most loved professional sports team in New England. And win or lose, you have to love them. They have been good neighbors, and fine entertainers.
So the final series is upon us, and what happens? Rudolph Giuliani tells a Massachusetts crowd that he is rooting for the Red Sox to win. I think there are three possibilities here:
1. He's lying. It's like him telling the GOP that as he saw people jump from 1 WTC, he turned to Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said, "Thank God that George Bush is our President." It's a flat-out lie, and it is pointless.
2. And if it isn't a lie, then he's truly mad.
3. This is reverse-psychology. He is trying to jinx the Red Sox. So he tells a room full of Red Sox fans that he is on their side. After funding four Yankee championship parades up lower Broadway, and giving the Yankees tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded welfare, there's no way he is actually going to voice support for the Sox. He wants the Sox to lose.
I can't blame him. This is the season to hate Boston-area professional sports. We have Gregg Easterbrook writing that the Patriots are pure evil, and the nation is tired of the Red Sox being everyone's favorite, lovable underdogs. The fact is this time, the Sox are not underdogs. They are favored to win the championship considering the large talent and experience gaps that exist on paper between them and the Rockies.
I am scared of the Rockies. I really am. They are fearless kids who have won every game for the last month. The Red Sox have found their groove again after losing three straight. But will the comfortable and confident Sox be able to beat the red hot kids from Denver? Tonight will give us a lot of clues and indicators.
I'm scared. The Sox have to win at least one game at home. But the more they pressure the Rockies, the more the Rocks will fight back. The Rockies will not be broken in this series. They can only be held back just enough to give the Sox close victories. Here are my predictions:
Game 1: Sox win. Beckett delivers 7 solid innings for the victory. Not many runs score in the Boston drizzle. Final score 3-1.
Game 2: Rockies win. Schilling goes 6 innings, but Boston's middle relief gives-up the game. Sox offense goes cold. [Hard to imagine that happening at home, but I am expecting some heartbreak in game 2. If not, then disregard everything below.]
Game 3: Rockies win. Sox need more time to adjust to the cold mountain climate. The bullpen does not hold the line. Bottom of the order + Daisuke batting = automatic outs.
Game 4: Sox win 6-4. Lester delivers an inspiring victory going 7 full innings. Youkilis, Manny, and JD Drew go yard. Some amazing outfield catches, too.
Game 5: Sox win behind the arms of Beckett and Paps.. Sox squeeze by 2-1. Denver crowd is stunned.
Game 6: All hands on deck. The Red Sox clinch the series at home behind an amazing effort from just about everyone except Paps. A blowout. Sox win the MLBCS.
Sox in 6.
Just be sure to mute your televisions. You don't need to hear a word that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver say.