It is almost November and the first game of the 2007 World Series is behind us. Here are my thoughts and observations.
The Talent Pool
It has never been as evident as it was Wednesday night that the National League just does not stack up against the American League. That pains me to admit because I am a fan of National League baseball. Although I don’t think it is quite as evident as in football with the AFC against the NFC, nonetheless, in baseball the talent disparity is there. Like most major newspapers across the country, I will hop on the “varsity vs. junior varsity” bandwagon. Is the American League just light years better than the National League or is one or two games blowing things out of proportion?
OK, I will admit I was wrong. The two-man Cy Young Award race is now down to one man, Josh-tober as Jay Mariotti likes to refer to post season darling Josh Beckett. I knew the Rockies were in for a long night when Beckett struck out the first four batters he faced. Think about his numbers, he is 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA in the post season and has three shutouts in nine October starts. So, after allowing a run and six hits in seven innings and making hitters look silly with an almost unhittable curveball, his response? I did enough to survive.While most pitchers wind down in September and October, Beckett is just getting locked in and while he may never admit it, his enough to survive is pretty special to watch.
This years Cinderella team was sent spiraling back to earth Wednesday night as the Boston Red Sox mangled the Colorado Rockies 13-1. Although the Rockies will say the eight day layoff did nothing to effect their rhythm, it was blatantly obvious they were rusty and probably a tad overwhelmed. Fenway can be a frightening place for the opposition and the Cleveland Indian hitters, while no disrespect to them, do not invoke fear like the Boston Red Sox lineup. Maybe the Rockies pitchers came in and tried to do too much on a night the Red Sox looked right at home. One thing is for certain, to have any chance the Rockies pitchers will have to have good command of their pitches and even then against a potent Boston lineup there are no guarantees that is in fact enough.
While I do not think the series is necessarily over, it all depends if the Rockies can shake off Game 1 and prove to me and all sports writers across the country, that the National League does not deserve it Junior Varsity label. Plus, what are the odds of Boston scoring 11 runs with two outs the rest of the series? We will soon find out.
Part Time Player; Big Time Ego
“If I’m a part-time player, I’m still better than your full-time player, and it’s a wise idea to keep me.”
Now for the first edition of name that quote. I will give you some hints, well actually just one. He broke Hank Aaron’s home run record with No. 756 on Aug. 7, 2007.
You guessed it; Barry Bonds was back in the news again Wednesday evening at a special speaking forum hosted by the Commonwealth Club. As he listened to his list of accomplishments being read, a record seven NL MVPs check, fourteen All-Star game selections check and Eight Gold Glove awards, Bonds drew standing ovations from the adoring, albeit mostly San Francisco in nature, crowd.
Barry Bond loves San Francisco, or so he says. He says San Francisco is his family and may have even hinted at the fact McCovey Cove should be renamed in honor of his splash hit home runs. Bonds has so much love mind you; he did not even stick around for a video tribute to him during the Giants final home game of the year. Some love Barry.
Although people outside of San Francisco may not like Barry Bonds,” the person,” I don’t think anyone is arguing Barry Bonds is a great baseball player, one of the all time best. As time is running down on the 43 year-old sluggers baseball career, how much is Barry Bonds worth? Should the Giants pay him 4 or 5 million to bat fifth and play every other day in 2008? Is he worth more than that as a DH? The Yankees probably don’t need him but somebody will. Is he worth the risk?
By the way, Bonds “the person” also said a tad bitterly, that if he were running the franchise, the Giants would have won a World Series by now. Right Barry, right.