It would have made for a nice story line this business of the Los Angeles Dodgers limelighting their way into Fenway Park to play the Red Sox in the World Series. Lights! Camera! Whining! Imagine: Carl Crawford Adrian Gonzalez and the injured Josh Beckett back at Fenway. Gonzo would have complained about World Series games being played at night. Crawford would have complained about how everyone in Boston was mean to him. Beckett wouldn’t have complained at all it being his day off. But from the moment the St. Louis Cardinals completed their demolition of the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series all the old story lines were tossed in the dumpster. Heck the Dodgers might just as well still be in Brooklyn for all anybody around here cares. Besides the more one looks at a World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals the more fun it becomes. The Red Sox host the Cards in Game 1 tonight and it already has the look and feel of a classic Fall Classic. Besides who needs story lines? Were there any real story lines going into the 1975 World Series between the Sox and Cincinnati Reds? None. But then Bernie Carbo (OK he started out as a Red) and Carlton Fisk hit two of the biggest home runs turning Game 6 and the entire ’75 World Series into an instant classic. And so it will be with this World Series between two oldtime baseball towns whose fans take the game seriously. The Cards have great starting pitching. The Sox have great starting pitching. The Cards work the count. The Sox work the count. The Cards have a bright young manager (Mike Matheny) who’s running a team in the World Series for the first time and ditto with the Sox’ bright young manager John Farrell. (I could do the city-against-city thing but I’ll stop with the Budweiser-vs.-Sam Adams showdown. Bud wins on gross sales Sam Adams on quality. Advantage: Boston.) But for those of you who absolutely positively need pregame story lines fear not: There are plenty. And they’re pretty good. The best and really it’s much more fun than listening to Gonzo and Crawford is the Texarkana Texas death match between Red Sox infielder Will Middlebrooks and Cards pitcher Michael Wacha. That two kids from the same small Texas city are competing against each other each in his first World Series is the kind of pure Hollywood that the Dodgers couldn’t possibly have matched and they live in Hollywood. It helps that Middlebrooks is a super pleasant kid whose eyes light up like a Little Leaguer when he talks baseball. And he’s more than willing to play nice with the Texarkana story line saying yesterday “I wanted to play the Cardinals just because obviously my buddy Michael Wacha is on the team and it’s a big thing for our hometown.” Red Sox fans are going to love Wacha. At a time when we are just begging Major League Baseball to speed up the games Wacha a 21-year-old who has all of 15 major league appearances on his resume is a poster boy for the sub-three-hour game. From the moment the catcher throws the ball back to him Wacha is practically in his wind-up with the next pitch. The day he retires Wacha (or as Pedro Martinez calls him “Wacha Wacha”) should be made Pitching Coach of the World. And then there’s the history between the teams. And OK some of it is a tad moldy but it’s important stuff.
This series may prove one to remember
Boston Herald | Oct 23