I don't have the time to provide an exhaustive analysis of the World Series... my earlier post on the Curse of the Bambino provides some background (scroll below).. but i thought i'd jot down a few post-euphoria notes:
The Red Sox outplayed, outpitched, outhit, outran, outsmarted, outcoached and just about did everything better than the Cardinals who put forth an embarassing performance uncharacteristic for a great baseball franchise..
its interesting that before the season started way back in april conventional wisdom held that the Red Sox starting pitching made them a prime candidate to win the World Series while the Cardinals starting pitching would hold them back....well it took the entire season for the Red Sox pitchers to pitch the way they were expected to and they picked a great time to do so.. from game 4 of the American League Championship Series the Red Sox starters were phenomenal (with the exception of Game 1 of the World Series).. meanwhile the Cardinal pitchers proved ineffective...
The big Cardinals surprise was their woeful hitting (What happened to you Rolen? 0-15?? Edmonds?) and poor baserunning....no spark
on the Red Sox side Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz provided some quality hitting but key efforts from a number of Red Sox were the difference...Cabrera and Bellhorn provided some quality clutch hitting while Johnny Damon's home runs in game 7 against the yankees were critical....even Trot Nixon managed to get an important hit in Game 4 after looking like he had lost his swing following his comeback from injuries
Schilling.. what can I say that has not been said... workhorse....stud... an unbelievably gutsy performance...a tremendous ballplayer.. a winner.
its nice Pedro managed to settle down for uncharacteristically smooth sailing in Game 3.... my feeling is he's on a downslope of his career and should not be re-signed by the Red Sox.. the guy is a trubblemaker and unless he is expected to regain his Cy Young form of a few years back there is no point to resigning him.....Lowe however gave me reason to pause before letting him go
the only positive for the Cards? Larry Walker did just about everything he was supposed and expected to.. what a solid performance.... he put it all on the line..
Larussa: never liked him and I ain't going to start now... I don't know what his problem is .. does he get too tense at playoff time? whatever the reason Larussa and post season wins go together about as well as unbiased reporting and Fox News... and if you can't win when it counts what good are you?
it seemed during this World Series that everything went Boston's way.. in fact since Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees its been a dream ride.. 8 straight post season wins establishing a playoff record!
although Manny got the World Series MVP I think the Red Sox relief pitcher Kevin Foulke may have been more deserving what with critical saves in all Red Sox World Series victories...
Nomar Garciaparra??? who dat??? the heart and soul of the Red Sox (and my favorite ballplayer over the past few years) was jettisoned 50 or so games before the end of the season in THE key decision by the Boston brass... after that move, for whatever reason (is Nomar a bad apple??) the Red Sox clicked and made a run at the Yankees for the division...basically they never looked back with the exception of the momentous hiccup against the Yankees in the ALCS...
Red Sox victory ----> John Kerry victory!!!!!!!!!!
the key plays if there were any to the World Series? the home run by Bellhorn in Game 1 after the Cardinals had finally managed to claw their way to a tie ballgame or the Manny Ramirez (yes manny!) throw to home plate to get Larry Walker out (on a momentous cardinals baserunning miscue) with the bases loaded and pedro about to crumble