The Citizen's Mike Boylan and John Thompson debate the World Series

Wed, 10/24/2007 - 8:52am
By: The Citizen

Mike Boylan spent the first 17 years of his life in Beverly, Mass., a small city north of Boston. He has been a life-long Red Sox fan. John Thompson spent his youth in Denver, Colo. and spent many summers at minor league Denver Bears games.

These are their reasons why they think their favorite teams will win the 2007 World Series.

“Ten reasons why this is Soxtober” or “Why the Red Sox will win the World Series”

1. Starting pitching - The Red Sox have Josh Beckett - a shoo in for the 2007 Cy Young Award, pitching Game 1, maybe Game 5 and, if necessary, appearing in Game 7. He has been lights out this year and was the same way in the World Series back in 2003. He is intense, driven and dominating. The Sox also have Curt Schilling, quite possibly one of the best post-season pitchers of all time, pitching Game 2 and maybe 6. Throw in Dice-K and and the Sox have a big time advantage. Beckett and Dice-K both won 15 games or more and both pitchers had over 190 strikeouts. Schilling had over 100.

Colorado, on the other hand, has looked good thus far, but they haven’t had to get through a lineup like the Red Sox’s in the post-season. They are lead by Jeff Francis (17-9, 4.22 ERA) and Josh Fogg (10-9, 4.94 ERA). Their game two starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, has done well in two post-season starts (1.59 ERA, 11 strikeouts), but his ERA on the road is 5.01.

2. The bullpen - No contest this goes to the Sox. If the starting pitching can do better than they did against Cleveland - especially early on in the series - and pitch through six innings, Terry Francona can deploy Manny Delcarmen, Javier Lopez or Mike Timlin in the seventh, Hideki Okajima in the eighth and Papelbon in the ninth.

Good morning, good afternoon, good night.

Okey Dokey and Papelbon are a super tandem and both looked great in the Game 7 clincher against Cleveland.

Colorado’s pen has been solid, so far. Manny Corpas has tied Mariano Rivera for most saves in a post-season with five saves thus far, but that also means that five of their seven post-season wins have been close enough for a save opportunity. They also have LaTroy Hawkins and Matt Herges as well as Brian Fuentes, their starting closer earlier this season.

3. Batters 1-9 - The Sox have a line-up that can hurt you in many different ways, especially if “The Kid” (Dustin Pedroia) gets on base. Following Pedroia, Kevin Youklis, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and Mike Lowell, can either go deep or single and double you to death. J.D. Drew heated up late in the season and batted around .350 against Cleveland and if he stays hot, Colorado is in trouble. Captain Jason Varitek seems to have a big hit or two every series and the bottom of the line-up (Jacoby Ellsbury or Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo) is fast. If they get on base (and they seemed to do that more when Ellsbury played) they can drive the pitchers crazy with stolen base attempts and hit and run situations.

Against Arizona, Colorado’s starting lineup batting averages were poor to middling (Taveras .167, Matsui .235, Holliday .333, Helton .214, Atkins .143, Hawpe .333, Tulowitzki .188, Torrealba .200). That won’t be good enough to win this series and you can bet on the Boston pitching staff not giving Holliday or Helton anything good to hit.

4. Home field advantage - Yes, Colorado won the series in Boston in June - but Fenway Park is a special place and it certainly wasn’t rocking like it has been this post-season. And the Red Sox aren’t coming off of a seven game West Coast road trip which started after a late night loss to the Yankees. Colorado will be a crazy place to play, too, with fans freaking out at their first World Series, but Coors Field is a hitter’s park and the Red Sox have much better hitters.

5. The Red Sox have actually played a baseball game in the last nine days. All of that momentum of winning 21 of the last 22 games might have cooled Colorado off during a week of intra-squad games.

6. The last time the National League won two World Series in a row, 1981 and 1982 (L.A. Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals).

7. The Red Sox are battle tested. Dealing with adversity is a big deal in the stressful post-season and Boston knows it can bounce back from seemingly insurmountable odds. Colorado made an awesome and improbable run into the World Series, but if they go home and are down 2-0 or 3-1, will they be able to bounce back? I don’t think so.

8. “Sweet Caroline,” “Dirty Water” and “Tessie.” - Songs that bring the crowd to their feet and are now nearly synonymous with Boston and the Red Sox. They add to a terrific energy that is just a small part of what makes Fenway Park so great. What do the Rockies play to get people pumped up? John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High?”

9. I officially retired the Boston Red Sox hat I wore during the 2004 series and started wearing a new one. I have also worn a red Papelbon t-shirt throughout the post-season, washing it only after a loss.

10. The last time the Red Sox won the World Series, my wife was pregnant. She is pregnant again and we are expecting our second child in the spring.

Let's go Red Sox!!!!

10 reasons why Rocktober ends with a championship

1. Defense. The Colorado Rockies finished the season with a .989 fielding percentage, which is the single-season record for Major League Baseball. During their post-season run, the Rox have made several sparkling plays and defense wins championship.

2. Post-season pitching. In the seven game sweep of Philadelphia and Arizona. the team’s ERA was 2.08. This is not your father’s Rox; they can hurl the rock with the best of teams.

3. They’ve already pounded the Sox in Boston. In June, while the Red Sox were on a roll and had the best record in baseball, the Rox took two of three with an aggregate score of 20-5.

4. They’ve beaten Josh Beckett. Go back to June 14 at Fenway Park and look at Beckett’s line versus the Rockies. Five innings pitched, 10 hits, one walk and six earned runs surrendered.

5. Never lost a World Series game.

6. The ‘thin air.” Manny and Ortiz will be looking for the oxygen.

7. Rockies minor league first base coach Mike Coolbaugh was killed by a line drive during a Tulsa Drillers game this summer. The Rockies voted his widow a full playoff share and want to finish the job for Coolbaugh’s wife and kids.

8. Todd Helton. For years, Helton toiled in the hinterlands and now has been rewarded with a trip to the Series. He could have gone to other teams, but thankfully he remained on the Rockies and will be one of the feel-good stories of the year.

9. The Red Sox are in danger of becoming the new Yankees. Everywhere you look, you see members of the Red Sox Nation. Yeah, you suffered for a long-time, but now you’re in danger of becoming overexposed and being the new whipping boy around baseball.

10. John Elway comes out of retirement and is the Game 7 hero. Many of you may not remember that Elway played in the Yankees’ minor league system before he became a legendary quarterback with the Denver Broncos. Elway puts on the purple and black and tosses a no-hitter in game 7 to bring the title to Denver.

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Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Wed, 10/24/2007 - 12:57pm.

Seriously, could you have written anything more boring? What's next, the paper hiring Steve Brown to write for them? Smiling

John Munford's picture
Submitted by John Munford on Wed, 10/24/2007 - 10:20am.

The Sox will be a lot more winded from having played a lot more. An extra 3-5 games doesn't sound like a lot, but after a 162 game season it's quite a bit.

Conversely, the Rockies have had quite a layoff so it'll be interesting to see how that affects them.

When it comes down to power pitchers (Sawx) vs. sinkerballers (Rox) sinkerballers are more effective when they're tired. So the scales are tipped in the wrong direction for both teams.

As for my Braves and Cards they're on the sidelines this year but last year was a watershed year for the Cards. 2008 is a make-it or break-it for the Braves: last one with Smoltzie. They better stack the deck this season and pray for some luck.

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