Let's See How Far We've Come...
The Red Sox eliminated the Angels (gawd, please change the LAA designation) as the Old Lion showed himself to be anything but toothless, with Curt Schilling proving his resilience once again. Schilling ran his post-season record to 9-2, lowering his post season ERA to under two, propelling the Sox to the the ALCS and further enhancing his chance of enshrinement at Cooperstown.
Great players elevate their game in the big moments, and the Sox witnessed back-to-back homers by David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, and tacked on a seven run eighth inning to send the Angels heavenward.
So the Red Sox move to the ALCS for the third time in the past five seasons. They boast the top AL pitching staff, the second ranked defense, and one of the most productive offenses in the American League. They seem to genuinely like each other, and have some serious baseball junkies on the team, from Captain Jason Varitek, to Alex Cora, and Dustin Pedroia.
What was the best moment of the game for me? In the bottom of the seventh, Schilling fanned Mike Napoli with a splitter down, and the camera showed Kevin Youkilis' excitement in the background. Grown men play a child's game with passion and excitement, creating infectious enthusiasm. That's what makes for a special experience.
As for the post season questions, here are a few that fans might think about.
Would you rather play the Yankees or the Indians?
From a baseball standpoint, does it make a difference? Both have talent, quality pitching, depth, and a winning attitude. From a quality of life standpoint, you know that every Red Sox-Yankee game is at least a four hour ordeal, with soaring pitch counts, and endless agonizing shots of celebrity fans.
Has Roger Clemens pitched his last game?
Can any of us believe that Roger will depart until he's collected the last nickel he can? The best pitcher of this generation can't say no, and frankly, if somebody would pay me eighteen extra, extra large to win six games, I'd haul this sorry specimen out to the rubber.
Will Joe Torre Be Fired?
For his sake, Joe can only hope that he doesn't have to put up with the Bronx Zoo any longer. In the dugout, he looks like somebody has bamboo shoots under his fingernails and that he slept on a bed of nails.
What's the Best Line of the post season?
George Steinbrenner just signed the Orkin Man to a fourteen day contract for five million dollars.