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 ...
simple. the sox have a better team top to bottom. as long as the pitching staff can do what it is capable of, and hold down the powerful yankee offense, we should be looking to do the same against the cards in 10 days. there is always the "yankee intangible" whatever that may be at any given moment, but this sox team, to quote a famous brother " is on a mission from God". RED SAWX in 6.
I never thought I would be writing into the Boston Globe about anything, but I wanted to see what the faithful from the other city had to say. While reading your fine publication I came across this essay contest. So what the heck, I might as well give it a shot. Yankees in Six!! There is something about this team that even the great teams of the late 90's didn't seem to have. It has an unbelieveable confidence that it will find a way to win. This is probably due to lack of real solid pitching. We had all those come from behind victories for a reason; we were always behind! You can take that two ways: first, their pitching is terrible and will cause this team to implode. Second, they did win 101 games so they do have an ability to come and get it. The Red Sox starting pitching is better but except for Schilling, not much better. If you actually believe that Pedro is just going to turn it on and whip the Yankees you are fooling yourself. He is owned by the Yanks, you and I both know that! Arroyo? OK if you say so and Wakefield is Wakefield so good luck trying to figure him out. And please do us a favor and start Lowe, please! Let's not forget the most important reason the Yankeess will win: they are the Yankees and you are not! I don't care how many times Ortiz or Damon say they want the Yankees, they really wanted the Twins. Minnesots does not come with all the history and demons the Yankees possess. The sox will probably win game one and lead in game two until some strange turn of events will give the game back to NY. The Sox will say how happy they were to split because that was really their goal (see Minnesota). From there it will just be fabulous theater. Yanks take games 3 and 5 but give Boston game 4 because deep down we care. Game six will be back in NY and you'll throw wakefield against Leiber. It maybe a slugg-fest but no matter, the boys from the Bronx always find a way. You know it and I know it. It doesn't matter what Peter Gammons thinks, he chose the Sox to finally defeat the Yankees for the AL East title. Nice call Peter. What's next, Pedro will resign with Boston next year? He'll look good with the NY on his shit! Go Yanks!
George, Yankees in Six
“This Red Sox team is different.” How many times have we heard this? Or “This will be the year.” Well, I won’t say if the Red Sox will win the World Series or not as we have not been able to beat the NL in the World Series in 86 years, but they should dispatch the Yankees. Here is why: The Red Sox have better starting pitching in Schilling, Pedro, and Arroyo. If Wakefield can find his form of last year, the Yankees are in serious trouble. Not only that, the Red Sox lineup, from Johnny Damon to Bill Mueller, is a threat to put runs on the board at any time. They now have base stealing threats with Dave Roberts, Orlando Cabrera, and Pokey Reese. Their infield defense is better and they have won close games because of it. So what if Pedro got rattled by the Yankees in the last few games, let’s see if they can beat him when it counts. Last year, the Red Sox battled Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettite, and David Wells. The only one that is left is Mussina. They have replaced those that left with Jon Leiber, Kevin Brown and Javier Vasquez. Not one of these starting pitchers put fear into the Boston lineup’s heart. The Yankees big-name hitting lineup needs to score 8-10 runs a game in this series or they will be golfing soon. The Red Sox will win this series in 5 and Steinbrenner will have a coronary.
T R , Sox in Five
Because it has to happen in my 70 year old fathers lifetime. I'm in the belly of the beast and I need it as well.
Sean, Sox in 6
The Sox will get it done this year because of what I believe is their pitching superiority. Expect two blowouts and two close wins split. The difference will be the intangibles. Which role player will step up and perform above expectation? The Yankees have an advantage of power off the bench but ,should be negated by good middle relief. The star players on both squads will all do what they do. Miscues and contributions by the bench on both sides will be the determining factor. These teams match up very well and, once again will provide an entertaining series which will include just about everything that can happen in a baseball game. The other unknown will be a contrversial call or two. Expect something bizarre to occur. Sox in seven with the seventh game going right down to the final pitch!
Earl, Red Sox in seven 4-3
Of course, I believe that the Red Sox will beat the Yankees. I have believed every year that the Red Sox would win, for that is the nature of love. Each year has been no different. Until now. But this year is different. The team is different three ways: statistically, emotionally, and spiritually. Much has been said about the relevant statistics by people far smarter than I am. As a simple guy, I count runs. The Red Sox scored 949 runs this year. The Yankees scored 897. The Yankees were second-best in Major League Baseball, but the Red Sox were first. The Red Sox allowed 768 runs. The Yankees allowed 808. The Yankees allowed more runs than the Red Sox. If the Red Sox score more runs and allow fewer, then they’re a better team than the Yankees are. At this point, every Yankees fan I know would ridicule me for saying that the Red Sox are a better team, because they know that the Yankees won 101 games while the Red Sox won only 98. To that, I would reply that the games were won on different schedules, with different travel dates, different rainouts, and even different National League teams. If the difference in wins were greater, or if the differences in runs scored and allowed were less, then that position would have more merit. As it is, the loud but feeble protests of Yankees fans don’t hold water this year, even with magic words such as “clutch hitting” thrown into their arguments. Furthermore, there’s another way where the Red Sox statistics are better. Their players, and particularly their bench players, have the right statistics. I marvel at the combined talents of Theo Epstein and Terry Francona. Mr. Epstein has given his manager a bench where every player has a critical skill surpassing that of the starting player: Dave Roberts’ speed, Gabe Kapler’s range, Kevin Youkalis’ strike zone judgment, Pokey Reese’s and Doug Mientkiewicz’s Gold Glove defense, and Doug Mirabelli’s ability to catch knuckleballs are all crucial to the team. Mr. Francona has shown that he recognizes their talents and that he knows how to use his team as an orchestra (even if orchestral music is not often heard in their clubhouse). Mr. Francona has not only managed his team, he has led them. He has also encouraged his players to be leaders themselves. That is the emotional difference this year. When things were tough in mid-summer, Mr. Francona took the heat. When they got better, he pointed to players. The players took his cue. Every time I see a great play, I see players pointing, cheering each other on. This is an evolution of the camaraderie of last year’s Red Sox. Last year was over-the-top rowdiness coupled with the surprise and elation of performing beyond expectations, except for the failure to participate of a few superstars. This year the rowdiness remains, but the congratulations are task-focused with full participation of the superstars, and in an environment where everybody expects to win. Every contribution is valued, and nobody is indispensable. There is Manny Ramirez, but there is also David Ortiz. There is Curt Schilling, but there is also Pedro Martinez. There is no single point of failure. This is a team. And that is the core of the spiritual difference. Too many of the Red Sox’s epic failures were the result of a veteran playing too long. The pain of watching Pedro pitch the eighth inning in Game Seven last year is still fresh in the minds of the Nation. The pain of the ground ball going between Bill Buckner’s legs is older, but it’s still there. So is the pain of watching Yaz pop up to Nettles in 1978. Martinez should never have pitched the eighth inning. Dave Stapleton should have been in for Buckner. And Yaz, as great as he was, should not have been the number four hitter on the 1978 Red Sox, because he was clearly past his prime. Nevertheless, the belief in a single veteran paralyzed the manager each time, the wrong person was in place, and the past cannot be undone. The future, however, can change. The future begins this Tuesday, and the last of those indispensable Boston superstars caught a plane to Chicago around July 31st. This time Boston is better than New York, and this time things are different. My prediction: Boston in seven, in the thirteenth inning, with Derek Lowe coming in behind three scoreless innings for Keith Foulke, almost blowing the lead, but having Doug Mientkiewicz behind him to make the final out on a difficult play. As I admitted in the beginning, I still believe, for that is the nature of love.
William , Red Sox in seven