Bring on the…?
Was it just me, or did anyone else catch Manny Ramirez saying to Curt Schilling, “Thanks for getting us out of here,” on the field after the last out had been recorded in Los Angeles by the Freeway yesterday? So much for the Rally Monkeys. Reggie Willits, we hardly knew ye.
There is no good match-up for the Red Sox in the ALCS. The Indians come at you with the twin buzz-saw of C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona, which you are going to get four times in seven games. The Yankees, of course, have that relentless lineup (a particularly bad opponent for Daisuke Matsuzaka) and Chien-Ming Wang and Andy Pettitte aren’t exactly gimmes.
The Indians bullpen is good and deep but they don’t have the intimidators at the back-end, a la Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera. Of course, Joe Torre might kill Joba before they even get here by running him out for two innings every single night.
It’s in the Yankee rotation, after Pettitte and Wang, where it’s tempting to say, bring ’em on. Roger Clemens appears to be finally cooked, nobody knows if Mike Mussina is still alive, and George Steinbrenner, apparently, still is.
Despite all their rotation shortcomings, despite all the anarchy, despite the fact that Torre has lost his Midas (lucky?) Touch, and despite the fact that the Indians are a very good and dangerous team, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the Yankees are simply not a good match-up for the Sox.
Their hitters work the count exceptionally well, they are not intimidated by Papelbon, and Chamberlain and Rivera are a beast to overcome late in games. Not to mention the inevitable seventh game at Fenway (Schilling vs. Clemens, perhaps), which might be enough to send all of us into blathering hysterics.
But that’s just us. Let us know who you want to see Friday at Fenway. Yankees or Indians? Joba or Pronk? Evil Empire or the Offensive Racial Stereotypes?