Sox-Yanks essay: Why 'This is the Year' ... or not
It's the Red Sox and Yankees in the ALCS for the second straight season, which again has confident Sox fans saying "This is The Year."
We asked you to submit an essay on why (or why not) this is the year the Red Sox will beat the Yankees in the ALCS and win their first World Series in 86 years. We were planning on posting just a few of the entries, but we were so overwhelmed by the number and the quality of the responses that we decided to post them all. Enjoy ...
Ted Williams is drinking a few cold ones with the Baseball Gods - and that my friends, is why This is the Year! He has taken the seat at the right hand of the Almighties - previously occupied by the Babe - and has now full control over the post season strings. Games 1 and 2 against the Angels - he was letting the Sox Nation enjoy a team bound for destiny. With Nomar's replacement hitting game clinching RBI's and Sox fans screaming in delight in their boxers at 1:30 a.m on Friday, Teddy was going to make certain that the Fenway faithful are in for the ride of their lives. After passing around a few more Red, White and Blues to the Devine Ones (in cans no less - as he is saving the good stuff for the Yankee series)Teddy had to hit the head in the seventh inning of Game 3 - and left his post for Vlad to work some last minute wonders. But - he returned. He guided Washburn out of the pen - and placed Papie right where we wanted him to be - crossing home plate in a thrilling walk off. The Yanks have already drawn way down on the Mystique tank - just to get out of the Division Series with the Twins. That was all that was left in the tank when the Babe was ousted by Mr. Baseball. But - it was enough to save their butts in Game 2, and again crank out a few big hits in Game 4. Just what we all wanted - use up the magic to get into the ALCS - so there is none left when the real Series begins. So - there it is. We have everything in order. We have two Number 1's - ready to take the hill, fully rested, and with more heart and determination then any hurler in pin stripes this October. We have a number 3 pitcher - whom any team in baseball would love to have in their rotation - that has ice running through his veins and his corn rows! We have a reliever that can finally come in and get the job done - as shown by his prowess with bases juiced on Friday night. We have a defense that makes outs when they should and has stopped the delivery wagon of unearned runs - which the Yankees have historically relied upon. We have a line up that falls shy of matching the big pay check boys in pin stripes, but I'll take our line up with our rotation - any day of the week. You know Damon, Manny and Ortiz will make the hits. But even better, you know that Millar, Tek, Mueller or Nixon will always come through when the other one of them do not. Most runs in baseball baby, most runs in baseball. But most importantly, we have the spirit of Teddy. He will do his thing. He'll break out the Buds for the first few in Yankee Stadium, and then Michelobs for Fenway. It won't go back to New York - so a few cold cases are all it will take. That will be the difference. No more magic left in the tank. And a friend - is finally up there talking to the Powers That Be. Wait til you see what happens in the World Series. He's dusting off the bottles of the good stuff!!
This isn't Boston's year. It will never be Boston's year. Do you want to know why? Karma, and a little thing called professionalism and a sense of urgency. What you clowns don't understand is how to win, because you've never won. You sold Babe for a handshake and some gumballs, you were the last team to hire an African-American player and you couldn't hold on to your lead in 78. You don't know how to win, you don't know how to close. All you do know how to do is lose and choke and isn't it convenient to blame all that on a curse. Does that make it easier to swallow after every catacalysmic loss? It is easier to believe that the world is against you? That there is a conspiracy against the Sux. Blame it on whatever you want but the dirty bums on Yawkey way do not know how to win. They're fine for the bluster and bravado. Millar, Timlin, Ortiz, please continue to run your mouths, it will just be that much better when you're sent home by they Yanks yet again. The Yankees know how to win, they have a history and culture of winning, of caring about winning. Winning is all that matters, it doesn't matter how long your goatee is, or how big your hair gets. Does that translates in wins? Maybe in August, but not in October. We'll let it go 7 again just to maximize the pain for New England again. 1918, say it with feeling.
Larry, Yanks in Seven
When Hendu hit a two-out, two strike homer to save the SOX in the ALCS in '86, I felt they had the best team in baseball, as I do now. When they were up with two down and bases empty in the Series, my thoughts, although I was only 17 at the time, were for my family and friends, especially the older ones who had been lifelong Sox fans. I was so happy that they could finally see a championship team. Then came Schiraldi and Mookie and the rest, and as I watched I felt for the first time in my life the meaning of fate. Throughout the years we have watched the Sox win many games in dramatic fashion, some even in the playoffs, like last year against Oakland. It seems like mostly, though, when they have won, they have won big, like the '99 Pedro-orchestrated whupping of the Yankees. What I remember are the gut-wrenching losses, where you know the outcome, just not the morbid method of loss. So maybe fate is REALLY the historical horrendous bullpen the Sox have maintained, and that is my main reason for belief. These Yankees have over 60 comeback wins this year, but I believe that Boston's pen can hold a lead. Of course, the way they hit in the clutch against Anaheim, they may not need it!! Of course, to fully exorcise ALL the demons, we must beat Clemens in Fenway to win it all. Boston over Houston in seven!
Steve, Sox in 6
BOSTON IS CURSED! your a doomed team,and never ever refer to anything cowboy again. YANKEES FANS OF OKLAHOMA
I think that this is year, just fir the fact that we are due for it. I also belive that the sox have the better all around team in 04. Look at our pitching staff starting and bulpen. Look at the Yankees staff not a true consistant number one in the group. The Yankees do have a decent pen though but they have been way over used this season and Torre has had to depend on them way to much. The Sox have to leave it all out on the feild this year. This has to be the year wetaher thay want it to be or not this team for the mostpart will lose some of its neucleus. I also think that the fans will help will this team through to the next round as crazy as that sounds I really think if all of the " Redsox nation" belives it will come true. This is the year because Everything has fallen into place and the stars have alinged not to mention Pedro has the rally midget and whats better then that. All kidding aside Look at this team and the leadership around this team this is a great team. This team is better then the Yankees top to bottom and even Yankee fans know it. There going to got beat and thats the bottom line Sox on Fox in 6 games.
Bill, Sox in 6
This Red Sox team is at least 30 to 40% better than last years team, which was good enough to beat the Yankees. This Yankee team is at least 20% worse than last years. That will more then make up for the 7 game heartbreak of last year. The Sox starting staff is MUCH better. Pedro and Wakefield return, but now we substitute Curt Schilling and Bronson Arroyo for Derek Lowe (chokes against Yanks) and John Burkett (a washed up has been)...what a difference!! The Yanks have Mussina returning, but Jon Lieber, Kevin Brown, and Javier Vasquez replace Roger Clemens, Andy Petitte, and David Wells, as in Rocket, Petitte, and Boomer Wells!! What a minus difference...true A-Rod replace Aaaron Boone at third (Boone was excellent fielder), but Miguel Cairo(just so so) replaces Alfonso Soriano, AND Jon Orlerud replaces last years Jason Giambi (who homered twice in game 7)and lets not forget Nick Johnson who was quite good last year..so the infield is WEAKER overall....Matsui is the same, Schefield is a huge improvement in right..but Bernie has slipped quite a bit in center..overall outfield improved, but not by alot...Red Sox infield has improved. Last years Nomar hit horribly the last 2 months, and was always a pourous defender. Cabrera is younger, healthier, better base stealer, close as a hitter (not too the Nomar of 1999), and a MUCH BETTER defender. Belhorn is a better fielder than Walker, but Pokey Reese is spectacular and will be in the 7th innings on...Millar and Mueller return but Mankevitch gives Boston a GREAT defender at first for late innings....Outfield returns intact, however Johnny Damon is considerably improved, and was badly hurt entering last years Yank series in game 3...Kaplar returns but Dave Roberts is terrific new addition...Varitek is as good or better than last year, Mirabelli is improved...Posada is way off last years numbers...Yanks bullpen is thin..Gordon & Rivera are superb, but that is all she wrote...KEITH FOULKE is a huge addition to Sox pen, more than off setting Williamson, in stature as well. Embree, Timlin return,Curtis Lescanik is excellent addition if needed, had a great September, and sore arm is rested...Yanks bench thin, Sox bench adds Youkillis, Reese, Roberts, much improved...Torre gets a big edge over shaky thinking Francona, but if Sox relax, and do their thing, it will not matter much..let the players play, and pitchers pitch, and it is crystal clear...the Sox finally sleigh the Yankees, with SUPERIOR PITCHING the key to success!
Harvey Ludwin, Red Sox in 6
Arod will show the Sawx what they missed out on. Sure Manny can hit, but he can't field or steal bases the way Arod can. This showed to be a very valuable tool in game 4 when Arod stole 3rd, then went home on a wild pitch. Yanks go up 2-0 then head to Fenway where they will beat Arroyo and Wakes and lose to Schiling. Finally, Lieber will finish up our son Pedro.
Joe, Yanks in 6
3 words for you..........."Defense wins Championships". I know it is cliche, but the biggest difrerence between this year and last year is......Yanks pitching is worse........Sox pitching is better. I would take Schilling over A-rod anyday during the playoffs........pitching is key........and the Sox are stacked.
Brandon, SOX in 6
WHY THE RED SOX WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES It was SO simple and it was there all the time. It wasn’t a Dan Shaunessy-created curse or any voodoo activities. It was more obvious than we all thought. This year, for the 1st time in franchise history, the Sox sold out EVERY home game. Every single seat and standing zone was filled. Now it won’t lift any curse in and of itself, but for a fan base that has been suffering so long, perhaps it just took selling out Fenway for an entire season for the baseball powers that be to acknowledge it. What this means (bear with me, and take a little leap of faith if you will) is now that the maximum amount of Sox fans witnessed it, this will be the year. Every possible seat that could have housed a fan, did so this year. Call it karmic response, poetic justice, whatever, but when the Sox take it all this year it will be in no small part to the fact that the maximum amount of Sox fans were able to enjoy the glorious ride, the whole ride. That coupled with the hunger this team has showed through all adversity this season will carry us through to the biggest party this town has ever seen. Time to get together, have some fun and enjoy our ride to glory!
Matt, Sox in 5
WHY THE RED SOX WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES It was SO simple and it was there all the time. It wasn’t a Dan Shaunessy-created curse or any voodoo activities. It was more obvious than we all thought. This year, for the 1st time in franchise history, the Sox sold out EVERY home game. Every single seat and standing zone was filled. Now it won’t lift any curse in and of itself, but for a fan base that has been suffering so long, perhaps it just took selling out Fenway for an entire season for the baseball powers that be to acknowledge it. What this means (bear with me, and take a little leap of faith if you will) is now that the maximum amount of Sox fans witnessed it, this will be the year. Every possible seat that could have housed a fan, did so this year. Call it karmic response, poetic justice, whatever, but when the Sox take it all this year it will be in no small part to the fact that the maximum amount of Sox fans were able to enjoy the glorious ride, the whole ride. That coupled with the hunger this team has showed through all adversity this season will carry us through to the biggest party this town has ever seen. Time to get together, have some fun and enjoy our ride to glory! http://www.thisistheyear.com
Matt, Sox in 5