You and most of your colleagues at ESPN had a lot of praise for the Red Sox at the beginning of the season. They’ve made their way back up to where everyone thought they would be. What’s your perspective on them right now.
Ravech: "I think this team is pretty special. I mean, when you watch a celebration at home plate and see Gonzalez and Crawford and Ellsbury all standing in the same uniform at home plate, and you realize that Youkilis and Ortiz are not part of that, and Pedroia . . . they’re so loaded. Living and growing up in this area and covering baseball, I don’t recall a lineup that when all healthy and all doing well that is as good. Your shortstop is going to hit .300 if he’s healthy all year. Saltalamacchia is going to his a ball over the wall every now and then. And it’s impossible to imagine that this team, having invested so much money, not continuing to make sure that their investment pays off in the end. Barring injuries, this is the World Series team in the American League.
They turned that 2-10 around faster than I think even they thought they would.
Ravech: "Yeah, and just look at the standings all around the American League. The Red Sox, the White Sox, the Tigers, teams many of us thought would be very good, all started poorly, and yet they’re all within striking distance of the division leaders. I think it’s going to be a pretty unique year in baseball because of that, because some of the best teams aren’t playing like this best teams."
The NFL would call that parity.
Ravech: "I don’t know if that’s the case here. I think there are more teams with a chance than usual, partly because teams we thought wouldn’t be good started well, especially Cleveland. But because the good teams were allowed to hang around and no one really pulled away, eventually they will surpass the early leaders. Though I do think Cleveland will be there all year. They’re good. But this team [the Red Sox] is the best, and if Utley comes back and produces, it’s hard not to imagine what most people thought, that Philly and Boston would be the two standing at the end.’’
So you're saying you expect to be back to Boston for the World Series?
Ravech: "I always say you have to have good players, good health, and good luck. If they have all three, this team is the best."
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.