Monday, October 29, 2007

A winter of discontent
And so, the baseball season ends the way it began: With people talking about the Red Sox and Yankees. This two-headed monster always seems to loom over all baseball discussion, and it will be stronger than ever Monday.

The Red Sox polished off a sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the World Series Sunday night in Denver; the Yankees are set to hire their first new manager since 1996. The game's other teams can take a holiday - at least a national one. No one will be talking about any of them for a while.

As an Indians fan, the Boston win is especially frustrating. A little more than a week ago, Cleveland appeared to have the Red Sox on the ropes with a 3-1 series advantage in the ALCS. Win one of three games, and the Indians would have played for their first World Series title since 1948.

Given the way the Rockies played against the Red Sox, one dares to believe the Indians would have won a world title easily.

Of course, that's not fair to the Rockies, who probably would have played a Cleveland team just as nervous as they were. Besides, the Indians didn't deserve to be in the World Series, anyway. (But that's another column.)

From a purely national perspective, this World Series was a real let-down. Four games, all won by the Red Sox, two of which were decided by five runs or more.

It was an underwhelming World Series, something that's becoming all too familiar. Three of the last four World Series' have been decided in four games. The lone exception was last season, when the Cardinals beat the Tigers in five games.

If there is drama, it happens before the World Series. The Indians and Red Sox went to seven games in the ALCS; the Mets and Cardinals did the same in last year's NLCS. Perhaps the most talked about series of the last 10 years didn't happen at the game's biggest stage - after rallying from a 3-0 deficit to take the American League from the Yankees in 2004, the Red Sox steamrolled the Cardinals.

So, after another World Series without too much drama (though Rockies' fans at Coors' Field were outstanding even when things looked hopeless), baseball fans can look forward to a winter of Alex Rodriguez filing for divorce from the Yankees and announcers forgetting that David Ortiz actually does have a given name.

Pass the Tums.

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