The Fall Classic

In most years this is a date that I anxiously look forward to. It is the first game of the World Series. This is the epitome of what all baseball players hope to obtain. Some players play their whole career and never get any closer to the World Series than what I do as a fan. There are literally hundreds of ballplayers who like me will be glued to their television sets watching each inning unfold evaluating the performances of the players and the umpires. The World Series is filled with pomp and circumstance. The bunting will be out in full force. There is just something about that red, white, and blue fabric draped along the stands that makes the game feel special. The World Series is the time when Major League Baseball plays on the national stage and they take every opportunity they can to put on the best “show” for the people. Most times I don’t mind all the frills although there are some that seem more staged and contrived than others. I am especially lenient during those times when the Diamondbacks are playing. I want each moment to last as long as possible so if MLB wants to wheel out former greats from the game or bring out another up-and-coming musical act to play before first pitch I’ll gladly watch if it means a few extra moments at the stadium.

This year I am struggling just a little with the World Series. I am usually accustomed to delving into the player match-ups and identifying what I think are keys to the success of each team. This year though with the Diamondbacks losing out to the Colorado Rockies I’ve lost some of my enthusiasm. I still believe in my heart that the two best teams are not necessarily being represented at this big game. I promised myself I would not dwell on that any more so instead I’m going to try and make the best of the situation and try and rekindle my love for this game.

The Colorado Rockies entered the post season on such an amazing hot streak. They could do absolutely nothing wrong. Every ball hit seemed to find a hole while every pitch thrown seemed to find the strike zone. Their winning streak through the final month of the season and through the first two rounds of the play-offs was historical. The problem with their quick disposal of their opponents was that it left them with a substantial lay-off before the World Series started. A full eight days of rest is a lot of time for a team to cool off. Playing simulated games and taking batting and fielding practice can only go so far before it will have an impact on a team. The question was, when game one begins will the extended rest have any impact on them as a team?

The Boston Red Sox had just the opposite problem. They were a few outs away from being eliminated after they went down 3 games to 1 to the Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox fought and clawed their way back and finally won their series with a dramatic game 7 victory in front of their home fans. While they had momentum on their side the question would be whether all of the games and the lack of rest would hurt them? Was there any gas left in the tank to take on a hot Colorado Rockies team?

The series had some great back stories as well. The tale of Todd Helton, the face of the Rockies, who was nearly traded to the Boston Red Sox last winter now facing that team wondering what might have been. After waiting 86 years for a World Series title the Red Sox finally won in 2004. Was that series win a fluke or was this team really good enough to win a second championship in 3 years? And of course there is the angle where the Colorado Rockies were no longer a member of the “Never Been to the World Series” club. There are now only 4 remaining members to that exclusive fraternity (Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals).

I had really expected the Colorado Rockies to be more of a factor in game 1. I didn’t think the lay-off would have as much effect on them as it did. The Boston Red Sox totally destroyed the Rockies winning by a score of 13-1. Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett simply over powered the Colorado line up. The score had to be a devastating blow to the Rockies fans. Their team had been so hot for so long. Everyone assumed that the Rockies would come back to earth a little. I just didn’t think their decent would form a 13-1 crater.

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