Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Frank Galasso on The 2007 World Series

Here are 4 great images created to commemorate the Red Sox sweep of the Rockies to win the 2007 World Series. This very talented New Englander is a "throw back" to the era when sports cartooning was a way to transmit game day stories and characterise players.
Visit Frank's Gallery at:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Boston Red Sox - 2007 World Series Champions!


Bobby Kielty #2 of the Red Sox pinch hit in the top of the 8th inning in Game 4 at Coors Field. He smashed the first pitch into the left field stands for what turned out to be the game winning hit. Kielty is a "story" unto himself. His career was on the rocks as Oakland released him this past summer. The Sox picked him up and he has been solid off the bench as a pinch hitter and outfield replacement.

The Closah does it again. The Great River Dancer spins 1 1/3 innings to save Game 4 at Colorado last night to win the World Series. This was the 3rd save in the series for Papplebon, who has established himself as the premier closer in baseball.

The Sox Are On Top of the World, Again!

ColorAAAdo Rockies Crumble, Tumble at Coors

After Three Long Years, a World Series Finally Comes to Boston. It's All Over in Colorado: Mountain Kings Hold Off Rockies 4-3.

Game 4 starter Jon Lester celebrates with his gal-pal in Colorado with World Series hardware in hand. Lester made some history - he was one of the youngest men to win a World Series Game at 23. At this time last year - Lester was in chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Both he & cancer survivor, Mike Lowell were stars in the Sox clinching game.

Click on underlined words for further info & pics.

Edes: Kings of the Diamond Shaughnessy: New Era DawnsCelebration Game 4 Coors Scene Back in Boston Video Slideshow: Road to Series Title Kapler: Beginning of a Dynasty Ryan: Exclamation Point
"Red Sox Nation is happy, girl."-- Julio Lugo to NESN's Tina Cervasio

Big Papi arrives home this evening with the World Series Trophy. Hundreds of fans were on hand to salute the 2007 Champs of Baseball.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Schilling Makes a Case for Sox to RESIGN HIM!

Full Name: Curtis Montague Schilling
Born: 11/14/1966
Birthplace: Anchorage, AK
Height: 6'5" Weight: 235 ??? (I doubt that)
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
College: Yavapai JC, AZ
MLB Debut: 09/07/1988

#38 has amassed a 53 win -- 29 loss record for the Sox since he was signed in 2004. He led the team to the World Series in '04 & '07. Curt has a 216-146 record in his career and could wear a SOX cap into the Hall of Fame. How about that - Theo?

Curt & his beautiful wife Schonda have made a great "pitch" to stomp out skin cancer and ALS!

Boston Baseball Heads View

The Red Sox went to great lengths to bring Curt and his Family to Boston. It was on Thanksgiving that The Trio visited the Schillings and convinced them Boston should be their new home. Since then, Schill has become a Boston Sports Icon -- with his "bloody sock" performance and his recent "will to win victories" in the ALCS & World Series. Let's show some smarts here and resign Schilling to a two year deal and keep him on the the bump for future Play off Heroics!

Farewell To Thoughts of Goodbye

By Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 26, 2007

Not that last night's start was the be-all and end-all, but it's obvious that Curt Schilling makes an impact and should continue to make an impact with the Red Sox rotation for at least another year. This is, as the commercial says, "The biggest no-brainer in the history of Earth."

Last night certainly silenced any debate, if there was one, about whether keeping him on this pitching staff is good business.

Pitching is scarce - just take a gander at the free agent list, where you'll read the names of Kyle Lohse and Carlos Silva - and if you've got a soon-to-be 41-year-old pitcher who affects your other starters and can pitch like he has in October, is there any choice but to offer him another year and let him finish his career in Boston?

No matter how annoyed the Red Sox might have been that Schilling didn't take conditioning seriously at the beginning of the season and that it might have affected his win total, you can't argue with the fact that he's made the transition from power pitcher to finesse pitcher seamlessly.

Next season, the Sox are going to have a young staff. Add Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz to the rotation and it would be wise to have a veteran starter who can act as a second pitching coach and teach these guys how to win.

VIDEO: ESPN's Phillips doesn't think Schill will be back
GLOBE GRAPHIC: Schilling in the postseason
GLOBE GRAPHIC: Tracking the starters
GALLERIES: Game photos Fenway scene
Game highlights Interviews Fenway scene

There's no doubt Schilling, who went 5 1/3 innings last night and picked up the 2-1 victory in Game 2 of the World Series, has come up big in the postseason. He had one bad start, but the rest have been quality pressure outings that would be hard to replicate. He's even had an impact on Daisuke Matsuzaka with a between-starts chat in which he emphasized to the young Japanese pitcher the importance of fastball command.

Who knows whether pitching coach John Farrell will depart the Sox and become the Pittsburgh Pirates' manager? If so, the Red Sox will need a new pitching coach, so it wouldn't hurt to have Schilling's voice available for a young staff.

As long as a team knows Schilling would not be a No. 1 or No. 2 starter, he should find employment next year. He can certainly be to the Red Sox what Roger Clemens has been to the Houston Astros and New York Yankees the past three years - a legendary pitcher who can be effective on the mound and as a teacher.

"He's tremendous behind the scenes in the way he can eliminate the gray area you have sometimes," said Jason Varitek. "It does happen a lot behind the scenes, and the fact that it is behind the scenes is very impressive."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sox Crush Rockies 2-1 - Game 2 - Halfway There.....

Ramirez (right) and Manny, Jr. (left) played catch in left field before the game.

Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima warmed up. Okie Dokie pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief and was named player of the game last night.

The moon rose over the Prudential Center in Boston before the start of Game 2 of the World Series.

The best feature of The Dancing Papelbon is that his legs move when someone swings the stick.

The K-Men broke out The Dancing Papelbon at the top of the center-field bleachers when the real Sox closer came out of the bullpen in the eighth inning ...

With his stolen base last night, Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury earned everyone in the country a free taco from Taco Bell on Tuesday, Oct. 30, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The Closah puts an exclamation point on his first World Series Save in Game 2 at Fenway. Jonathan ended any Rockie hopes of mounting another 9th inning miracle come-back.

Game 2 Summary - -- click on BOLD Type for facts and pics.

Sox Offense Finally Shut Down,But It Didn't Matter with Schill, Oki, and Paps on the HillSox Take 2-0 World Series Lead With 2-1 Win Over Rockies in Game 2

Red Sox World Series By the numbers
October 27, 2007
.458 - Mike Lowell is hitting .458 (11 for 24) with runners on base in the postseason.

.218 - Red Sox pitchers have held lefthanded batters to a .218 average in the postseason.

.209 - Opponents are batting .209 with runners in scoring position and .191 from the seventh inning on.

4 - Curt Schilling has allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in 13 of the 25 innings he has pitched; 4 have scored.

2 - Schilling has walked the leadoff batter twice in 180 innings he has started this season.
Compiled by Chuck Waseleski.
2 - Sox lead series 2-0

Connor McKay @ The Big Show!

The wide eyed grin is attached to my wonderful nephew - Connor McKay of Bedford, NH. Connor got an opportunity to sit in his Dad's great box seats for the World Series this week. What a nice memory for this 16 year old kid. His brother Kyle, who landed MY Tickets to the ALSC Clincher was caught on YouTube running down Commonwealth Avenue after the game. He was being chased by 1,000 Boston Police Officers in Riot gear. YIKES! Poor New Hampshire kid - comes to Bahston - the Big City. Happy my boys had an opportunity to witness Red Sox History this week!
Kyle McKay's Great Kenmore Adventure
This is the clearing of the streets in Boston after the Sox won the Pennant. At the end of the short clip you’ll see a kid in a white sweatshirt and ball cap, immediately after you will see another kid w/ a dear in the headlights look on his face…………..yes you guessed it, it’s Kyle! No he did not get in trouble but he has his 15 seconds of fame on u – tube!

Click on the link below


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Highland Mint Red Sox Championship Memorabilia

Some great Red Sox memorabilia marking the Sox 2007 American League Championship. This is top quality merchandise and of museum quality. I have traded with highland Mint and highly recommend any of these items for baseball collectors.

Sox Take Huge Chip Off Rox! Win Game 1 -- 13-1!

Top notch: Red Sox ace Josh Beckett gets a handshake from manager Terry Francona after his seventh and final inning of work in last night’s Game 1 World Series win.

Fenway Bleacher Creatures salute Josh Beckett & his 9K performance in Game 1 last night.

Josh Beckett throws the first pitch of 103rd World Series at Fenway Park on October 24th.

Red Sox - Rookie Second Baseman - Dustin Pedroia set the tone as he smashes a lead off homer in game 1 of the 2007 World Series at Fenway Park. The Red Sox lead the series 1-0 over the Icy-hot Rockies. Pedroia has been scorching in the past few games.

The Red Sox set a Game 1 -- World Series Record -- by scoring 13 runs. Their ace starter Josh Beckett led the way with a solid 7 inning performance. Beckett allowed only 1 run on 5 hits and struck out 9. Veterans, Mike Timlin & Eric GAGNEE pitched the 8th & 9th of scorless ball.

With Ace Going -- Sox Can’t Be Beat

By Tony Masarotti -- Thursday, October 25, 2007 (BOSTON HERALD)

The first 17 pitches were all fastballs - clocked between 95-97 mph - and so
Josh Beckett [stats] let it be known early. He planned to do to the Colorado Rockies what he did to the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians.

He intended to grab them by the throat.

And so, as the Red Sox [team stats] opened the 103rd World Series with a 13-1 victory over the Rockies last night in a game that was not nearly that close, here is what we once again learned: The Sox are absolute world beaters behind their gunslinging ace.

Beckett is now 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA in four postseason starts this year - his ERA actually went up last night, from 1.17 - and the Sox have outscored opponents by a 34-5 landslide in those games.

In October, with Beckett on the mound, the Red Sox look bulletproof.

“He’s just got such good stuff and it seems like he’s executing all his pitches,” said third baseman Mike Lowell, who also played behind Beckett during the pitcher’s dominating 2003 postseason with the Florida Marlins. “In ’03, I thought it was the best streak I’ve ever seen of any pitcher, and he’s made a good comparison this postseason. That’s as dominating as he’s ever been.”

Said first baseman Kevin Youkilis [stats]: “He’s proven himself over the whole year of how good a pitcher he is, and now he’s just stepping up even more and showing you that he’s probably one of the best pitchers in the game right now.”

What Beckett is doing, too, is showing that he is truly one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time. With last night’s victory, Beckett improved to 6-2 with a 1.73 ERA in 72 postseason innings. In major league history, among pitchers who have thrown at least as many innings as Beckett, only Mariano Rivera (0.77) and Christy Mathewson (1.06) have a better ERA.

Last night? The Rockies never had a chance. Colorado entered Game 1 with a perfect postseason record (7-0) and with a 21-1 record in its last 22 games, an efficiency that also produced an unfortunate truth. The Rockies had not played a real game in eight days when they took the field, and they had to do so against a man now pitching with the power of Nolan Ryan and the precision of Curt Schilling [stats].

In the first inning alone, facing the minimum three batters, Beckett threw 15 fastballs and struck out the side. Willy Taveras went down looking before Kaz Matsui and Matt Holliday both went down swinging, and the Red Sox had a pretty good indication that Beckett was precisely the same pitcher he was a week ago in the ALCS.

“First batter. I mean, you knew on the first pitch of the game,” said reliever Kyle Snyder [stats] when asked at what point he realized Beckett once again was locked in. “He has a rare ability to repeat his delivery. He and Curt Schilling are probably the best in baseball at that. Look at their walks totals. Curt Schilling has as good a command as anybody, and I think some of that’s rubbed off on Josh. It’s a real pleasure to watch.”

Lest there be any doubt, consider this: In 30 innings this postseason, Beckett has 35 strikeouts and just two walks. For his postseason career, Beckett now has 82 strikeouts and 15 walks, positively absurd totals for a power pitcher of his ilk.

In the history of the game, among pitchers with at least 50 postseason innings, only Lefty Grove and Deacon Phillippe have a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than the talented Mr. Beckett.

All of this brings us back to the Rockies, who, after a truly miraculous run, once again have been in touch with their mortality.

Colorado has lost nothing more than the first game of this series with the scene to shift to Denver for Game 3, though Beckett looms for Game 5. Beckett is 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA in his career at Coors Field. He is on one of the greatest postseason pitching runs of all time, and there is simply nothing to suggest the Sox can lose when he takes the mound.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Say It Ain't Soooooo Rudy?

Even America's Mayor Realizes What a Mess the YankeesHave Become... Welcome to Red Sox Nation, Rudy!!

Post: Yankee Flipper Rudy Being Rudy Daily News: Rudy's SoxUpdate: Giuliani Mulls Taking on Remy for President of RSN in '09If '08 Campaign for USA Top Dog Doesn't Pan Out
Rudy Giuliani will have some explaining to do in New York after telling a New Hampshire crowd he'll root for Yankees' archrival, the Red Sox, in the World Series.

Former NYC Mayor & Current US Republican - Presidential Candidate - Rudy Giuliani is a RED SOX FAN? Well Kinda. Rudy has announced his support for OUR Red Sox in their efforts to win the '07 Major League Championship. My Politics DO make strange bed fellows!!!

103rd Major League Baseball World Series set to Open at Fenway Park

Sox, Rox Ready To Write New Chapter

Baseball's 103rd Championship Carries Familiar Theme
BOSTON -- It all began in 1903. The Boston Americans, representing the fledgling American League, wanted to show they were worthy.

The National League humored the new league and its best team. Pittsburgh's Barney Dreyfuss and Boston's Henry Killelea agreed during the respective pennant races to pit their clubs against each other in a best-of-nine playoff after the season.

They would call it the "world championship."

Pirates ace Deacon Phillippe pitched five complete games, winning three, and the heavy favorites held a 3-1 lead with a presumed outcome. But Cy Young pitched a gem in an 11-5 Game 5 victory for Boston, and the team that would become known as the Red Sox won the last four. Never again would a World Series be a formality.

Time to write the newest chapter. That was the first one. The 103rd can begin now. Baseball and its showcase event are stronger than ever, possibly immortal, likely to outlast all of us. So enjoy it while you can. The game's league-vs.-league playoff returns when Josh Beckett throws the first pitch at 8:35 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and this time that same Boston club will face a National League team wanting to show it is worthy.

The Rockies play the part of those Americans now. They come in from Denver with one of the most impressive stretches of excellence in the game's history, having won 21 of their last 22, and yet as underdog as you can be. A Boston newspaper publishes a page explaining to New England who these visitors are. Vegas makes the Red Sox a 2-to-1 favorite. Rockies players embrace their underdog role as the clubhouse opens for interviews and curiosities are roused everywhere.

"It's so great for the team not to have that monkey on its back," Red Sox owner John Henry said next to the batting cage on Tuesday. "We carried that in the past, always that unluckiness. This year has been much more enjoyable than 2004. That was suffering, until the last out, for fans and management. We wanted it so badly. There was always this feeling that something bad would happen."

That is how people are talking throughout Red Sox Nation, and Henry is not in any way dismissing the Rockies when he says that. In fact, most of what he said in a conversation with reporters paid tribute to what Colorado has done, sounding almost like his long-ago predecessor Killelea, just wanting to see a series decide who's best.

"I haven't heard anyone say it's going to be easy, or relatively easy at all," Henry said, speaking on his club's behalf. "They've won 21 of 22? That's a remarkable team. And those are pressure games. It's going to be a tough series. People thought that about Cleveland, and look what we had to do in that series. [The Rockies] earned their spot in the World Series. I don't think there's a better team in baseball right now than the Rockies. You can't win 21 of 22 without being the best team at that time."

Home News Multimedia Photos

Troy Tulowitzki said he doesn't care what people think of the NL Wild Card. He is a rookie with a game beyond his years, seemingly unfazed by anything that an institution of favorites and underdogs can throw his way. He and his teammates have been waiting a long time for this, literally and figuratively. The Rockies are so good that they will have waited nearly 10 days to start this series, having swept the Phillies in three and the D-backs in four. They just don't care what you think, and they are saying the same thing that world champs like the 2003 Marlins or the 2006 Cardinals have said often.

"It really doesn't matter," the rookie shortstop said while dressing before BP. "Hopefully we're the underdogs. That's OK. We'll take that."

One of the reporters asked "Tulo" if the Rockies might become "America's Team."

"I hope so," he said. "I welcome all of America to root for us and get behind us."
An International flavor

World Series. It is as big as the name of the event sounds. If you don't believe that, then talk to Takashi Settai. He is deputy editor of the sports news department for Tokyo-based Nikkei, and the country of Japan is ready for this World Series like never before.

They will be pulling for Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima, pitchers for the Red Sox. They will be pulling for Rockies second baseman Kaz Matsui, who overcame obstacles and emerged as an integral force in the team's amazing autumn. There never has been this kind of high-profile representation in the Fall Classic.

"There is probably much more attention paid to this World Series than before," Settai said in the Fenway Park press box. "It's the first time for us to see Japanese players on both teams fighting for the championship. Last year, So Taguchi was there for the Cardinals, and before that [Tadahito] Iguchi with the White Sox, So again in 2004, and Hideki Matsui with the Yankees in 2003. You can't say which team they're rooting for now.

"They know Kaz as a struggling story; he was with the Mets, traded to Colorado, kind of survived last year, and this year did very well. Everybody in Japan knows that story. Dice-K is a huge prospect from Japanese baseball. Young, talented, many people think he can pitch well in the World Series. A lot of people are rooting for him and Okajima."

Matsuzaka and Matsui were teammates for five years on the Seibu Lions of the Japanese league. Settai noted that they spent a long time on workout day catching up, along with the former chief trainer of the Lions. And just to show how important is has now become to understand the Japanese perspective of Major League Baseball, it may surprise you to know that when Matsuzaka got the win after his five innings of work on Sunday night -- Boston's Game 7 clincher against Cleveland -- it marked the first victorious decision by a pitcher from Japan in MLB postseason history.

"He was beaten up so heavily at the time, I had never seen him like that," Settai said of how Matsuzaka reacted following his Game 3 ALCS loss at Cleveland, when he sat in front of his locker for an hour. "I had never seen him act like that. In Game 7, his pitch count was only 88 when he was taken out. Everybody saw him struggling as well in the fourth or fifth innings, but the result was the first win for a Japanese starter. Now many people want to see how he will do in the World Series."

Go The Distance
The 103rd World Series. It has been there every fall, save for the 1904 refusal by the New York Giants to recognize the AL's prowess and for the 1994 labor standoff. In all that time, there have been only two occasions when five consecutive Fall Classics did not go seven games. There was 1913-1918, the longest such streak; Babe Ruth and the Red Sox accounted for half of those series blowouts, in 1915-16 and 1918. There was 1935-39, five straight World Series won in a rout, the last four by Joltin' Joe DiMaggio and the Yankees. Is this modern stretch about to take its place in history?

"I don't think there's a better team in baseball right now than the Rockies. You can't win 21 of 22 without being the best team at that time."
-- Red Sox owner John Henry

This will be five in a row if there is no Game 7 on Nov. 1 at Fenway Park.

What does it mean? It means we're due for another Mr. November. It means the Rockies may be due to finally play an extended series. But you never know, of course. The Red Sox swept the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series, reversing the curse at last. And these Rockies have just been an unstoppable bulldozer.

A layoff and a chance of rain

The most popular issue surrounding workout day was the rest factor. Most people are tired of reading and hearing about it by now. The Rockies are tired of talking about it. In fact, they are tired of resting. They are wrapping up the longest layoff preceding any World Series, and second in postseason delays only to the 10 days of suspended play between Games 2 and 3 of the 1989 World Series, due to the Loma Prieta earthquake in the Bay Area. From finish time of the NLCS clincher to start time of this World Series opener, the delay is almost exactly the same in total time as that 1989 layoff.

"I don't think there's a lot of us who are worried about it in here," said Jeff Francis, who will start Game 1 for the Rockies on eight days' rest. "I think, yeah, we've had time off, but if you think about it, it's probably a good time of year to have some time off. You talk to a lot of guys in there, it's nice to be relaxed and take care of things that need to be taken care of before a World Series."

Someone needs to take care of the weather. Rain is in the Boston forecast from morning to night on Wednesday. According to The Weather Channel, the forecast conveniently drops from 50 percent (showers) to 30 percent (few showers) in time for batting practice, holding steady like that until 10 p.m. ET, when it is listed at 40 percent (showers), and then up to 50 percent at 11 p.m. In other words, it might be a stroke of luck if rain doesn't affect Game 1 in some way.

By 1911, the World's Series was so popular that baseball truly had become a national pastime. It was far more than a postseason exhibition now. The Philadelphia Athletics had a 2-1 series lead when the skies opened and forgot to close, leading to a rain delay that lasted a full week. Christy Mathewson then was beaten by the A's Chief Bender, and Philly then proceeded to clinch its second consecutive title.

Ever since then, the World Series has been the great unexpected. It certainly has been the case in the most recent years. If the Red Sox are a huge favorite, then based on recent trends, one could almost argue with certainty that the Rockies will win their first title. But that is why they play the games, and just to be sure it is scientific, they play them until someone has won four. It paved the way for today's NBA and NHL formats, and it is just so much more definitive than a one-night Super Bowl or a bowl-game format. There is nothing quite like the World Series.

Let the 103rd now begin. Carl Yastrzemski, who played in an electric seven-game World Series against St. Louis 40 years ago, the year he won baseball's last Triple Crown, will induce the first massive roar when he returns to throw out the first pitch before Game 1. The Boston Pops will play the Star-Spangled Banner. Ashanti will sing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch.

"To get to the World Series is as much as you can ask for," Henry said. "For players, anyone, it's being a part of the World Series that's the biggest deal. It's hard to get into a World Series. Look at that year Seattle had [116 wins in 2001]. Did they get to the World Series? [No.] Eight teams make it to the playoffs. If we make the playoffs, we have a 12 1/2-percent chance of winning the World Series.
"Making it in, you feel a great sense of relief."

The world championship can now be decided, just the way it was originally meant to be.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox - '07 World Series Favorites!

The Old Dame of Baseball - Fenway Park is groomed a ready for its World Series!

The Red Sox "Rebel with a Cause" is on the bump for Game 1 tonight. Josh is 3-0 in playoff competition thus far. The Rockies "did" defeat him in Inter-league play, but this is the big time and The Texas Buzz Saw is locked and loaded.

Rockies - Lefty - Jeff Francis warms up at Fenway in preparation for his Game 1 start to open the 2007 World Series. Francis is 2-0 in the playoffs and won against the Red Sox this season @ the Fens.

This Rebel Has A Cause
Bold, Brash Beckett Out to Be Best

By Tony Massarotti -- Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What we have here, by all accounts, is a gunslingin’, brash-talkin’, tall-walkin’ cowboy, right down to every last detail.

In the baseball sense, Josh Beckett [stats] is part Roger Clemens, part Pedro Martinez and part Curt Schilling [stats], the aces who have preceded him in the Red Sox [team stats]’ line of kings. In the Hollywood sense, Beckett is more like John McClane, the renegade New York City police detective in the ‘‘Die Hard’’ series who was reckless, fearless and arrogant enough to believe he could make a difference.

Yippee ki-yay (fill in the blank)!

‘‘He can be a bit of an antiestablishment guy from time to time, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that — a contrarian, I guess,’’ Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said of Beckett, who is 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in three starts this postseason. ‘‘If you tell him east, he’ll say west — even if he knows it’s east.’’

What Beckett knows now, like everyone, is that the world is watching, even if he will not necessarily admit it. Speaking at Fenway Park [map] yesterday in anticipation of his World Series Game 1 start against the Colorado Rockies tonight, Beckett continued to talk with both disdain and contempt. Ask Beckett what he is doing differently to excel on this, baseball’s grandest stage, and he all but delivers the answer with a sneer.


Nonetheless, as Beckett prepares to take the mound against the Rockies and lefthander Jeff Francis, the numbers belie his response. In the last 70 years, among all major league pitchers with at least 50 career postseason innings, Beckett’s 1.78 ERA ranks third, behind only Mariano Rivera (0.77) and Sandy Koufax (0.95). In Rivera’s case, he was a closer who never had to face the same hitters three or four times in a game; as for Koufax, he pitched in an era that existed before the advent of the designated hitter.

And then, of course, there is this: During Beckett’s career, his teams are 5-0 in postseason series.

Big-game hunterLong before he won 20 games this season, long before he even arrived in Boston with an air that suggested he was unimpressed by it all, Beckett had the swagger of a 300-game winner.

‘‘He was often referred to as cocky,’’ said Red Sox principal owner John Henry, who owned the Marlins when they chose Beckett with the No. 2 overall selection in the 1999 amateur draft. ‘‘Dave Dombrowski (then the Marlins general manager) saw that as a vital ingredient because he thought that translated into confidence. We did quite a bit of studying (on Beckett). Taking a high school pitcher with the second pick in the draft — back then, that was a lot of money.’’

Of course, Beckett’s ascension drew predictable attention, culminating with his performance against the New York Yankees in the decisive Game 6 of the 2003 World Series. Much like the current Rockies, the 2003 Marlins were a young, talented team that matured greatly through the season, resulting in a spirited, second- half run that brought them to the postseason.
What the Marlins lacked, many believed before the start of the playoffs, was experience, particularly on the pitching staff. But in his first postseason, after a regular season during which he went a mere 9-8, Beckett pitched in six games, posting a 2.11 ERA and averaging 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings while authoring a pair of complete-game shutouts.

At the time, Beckett was just 23. Still, Henry had long since recognized what Dombrowski saw in Beckett and what 2003 Marlins manager Jack McKeon also would identify: his ability to intensify his focus at those moments that called for it.

‘‘I went to see his first game at Double A (in 2001), and the jump to Double A can be a tough jump,’’ Henry said. ‘‘I think we counted something like 37 or 47 pitches before a batter even made contact. That confidence is a result of just knowing how good your stuff is.’’
Said McKeon when asked about Beckett’s nature: ‘‘He’s a fearless guy and

No Wake for Series. Lester gets Nod!

Red Sox fans were saddened to know that the old warrior, Tim Wakefield will be left of the World Series Roster. Wakefield has been plagued by shoulder problems for a month.

The fiery Josh Beckett will be the "master of arms" for the Sox in the '07 World Series. it is hoped he will have the same success he had against the Yankees. BUT - the Sox will have to go without 17 game winner Tim Wakefield. The knuckle-baller has shut it down for the season, due to shoulder tendinitis and back problems. These injuries kept him off the ALDS Roster and confined Tim to just 4 innings in the ALCS.

It was implied by Red Sox management that Beckett will pitch game 1 at Fenway on Wednesday. Game 2 starter will be Curt Schilling and Game 3 starter is John Lester. Game 4 starter would be Dice-K. Stay tuned for the drama which will build over the next 24 hours.

Wake on the shoulder

By Amalie Benjamin, Globe Staff

Tim Wakefield met with the media just a few minutes ago to describe the injury to his "posterior shoulder" that will keep him off the World Series roster.

Here are some of his comments:
"I really wish I was up here talking about my starting Game 2," Wakefield said. "But unfortunately that's not the case today. After long talks with [Terry Francona] and John Farrell and Theo [Epstein], my health, advice from the doctors, it's not going to happen, unfortunately.

"Could I pitch Game 2? Probably. But are you going to get 100 percent out of Tim Wakefield? I don't know that either, until Tuesday. After that I don't know either, because dealing with this problem that I've had for the past two months, it seems like my recovery time in getting longer and longer, and I just don't think it's fair to the other 24 guys on this team that I go out there and maybe I pitch well and maybe I don't, and then I'm not available for the rest of the series. It's not fair for the rest of the 24 guys in that clubhouse for me to put them through that."

The injury is the same one that kept Wakefield from a start in September and caused him to be left off the ALDS roster."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Red Sox Nation - World Series Bound

American League Champion Red Sox Memorabelia hit the stands this morning.

Upstart Rockies to take on Red Sox Team That's Been There

By Mark Newman / MLB.com

Red Sox Headlines
Ortiz-Ramirez combo as lethal as ever
Nothing fazes resilient Red Sox
Red Sox notes: Beckett to start Game 1
Experience not a necessity in October
Tale of two cities: Boston and Denver
More Red Sox Headlines

'The field is set for the World Series: The Rockies, a team no one thought would be here, and the Red Sox, a team everyone but Yankees and Indians fans thought would he here.';

Game 1: 8 p.m. ET Wednesday on FOX

BOSTON -- It's still a little hard to believe that the Colorado Rockies, of all teams, have been waiting around for days and days to find out which of the two clubs with the best record in Major League Baseball this season would have the right to face them in the 103rd World Series.

It's still a little hard to believe that the Rockies won 21 of their last 22 games, that their team ERA is 2.05 (bullpen is 1.55) this postseason, that purple and black are vogue colors in October, that Todd Helton is in the playoffs, that they swept the hot Phillies in three games and then won the National League pennant by sweeping a Diamondbacks club that had just swept the Cubs.

Theo Epstein is a believer. Standing on the Fenway Park infield grass during the celebration scene in the wee hours Monday morning following Boston's 11-2 victory over Cleveland in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, the Red Sox general manager already was thinking about the club that's coming to town.

"They're a very good team on a magical roll," Epstein said as he posed for pictures with players and their families. "But you should have to beat a great team to win a World Series. We have that this year with the Rockies coming in.

"I think it will be a compelling matchup, one that's great for baseball. Fans are going to love it. Someone's going to have to raise their game. Well, actually, I don't know if they can. How do you raise your game after winning 21 of 22? I just know that it's going to be a lot of fun to watch. We're good at drama."

All day long before the final game of this ALCS, ESPN Classic was playing a "Greatest Comebacks Marathon." Before leaving the hotel for Fenway Park, a visitor found himself gripped by those classics, such as Game 6 of the 1986 World Series (the Bill Buckner game) or Game 4 of the 1996 World Series (the Jim Leyritz game). It always seems to be the overriding theme when it comes to the Red Sox in October now.

Would it be at all shocking if the Rockies go up 3-0 or 3-1? No. Would it be at all shocking if the Red Sox proceed to win their second World Series in the past four years? No. In fact, it almost sounds like a logical pattern to watch.

A Red Sox comeback is a thing of beauty, unless you are on the wrong end of it. They just won three in a row to eliminate the Indians, as they had won three in a row to eliminate the Indians back in the best-of-five 1999 AL Division Series. That was the series when Boston won Game 4 by a 23-7 score, missing the extra point late in the fourth quarter. That was the series when Troy O'Leary hit a three-run homer to snap an 8-8 tie in the seventh inning of the Game 5 clincher.


And, of course, there was 2004. It was the mother of all comebacks in sports, forget just baseball. It was on the ultimate stage, and the mega-profile matchup between baseball's Hatfields and McCoys. It was the Evil Empire, always rubbing in its 26 World Series championships, taking that comfortable 3-0 lead, and then Dave Roberts stealing second and Big Papi hitting in the clutch and Johnny Damon hitting a grand slam and all hell breaking loose in New England. The Red Sox actually won that series, which was even harder to believe than the Rockies coming in to play the Red Sox now.

Now you have Jeff Francis vs. Josh Beckett on Wednesday night at Fenway.
Rox and Sox.


"Looking ahead," Beckett said amid the celebration, "it's going to be probably tomorrow and we'll start thinking about those things."

The Red Sox have an optional workout on Monday at Fenway. The Rockies will work out at home in Denver on Monday afternoon and then catch a flight to Boston. Tuesday will be a workout day, and then it's time for another Fall Classic.
This World Series feels a lot different than the 2004 World Series. That year, after the Red Sox accomplished something that most everyone thought was unachievable, it was as if the Fall Classic were already over before it had begun. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was complaining about hotel logistics; some Red Sox fans were complaining that they might not be able to get close enough to their players in a massive Rolling Rally parade celebration. The Cardinals never knew what hit them as a destiny train rolled through in four games and into baseball lore. Any of 29 opponents could have been rolled out and would have had zero chance against Boston in that time and place.

Those Red Sox won their last eight games. They were the definition of a hot October club, one you didn't have any business sharing the same field with, to be honest.

Well, Red Sox Nation, meet your 2007 World Series opponents.

They are the 2007 version of you. They have been idled for a long time simply because they are that good. Colorado is the first team to start an October 7-0 since Cincinnati's Big Red Machine did it in 1976 -- a team that Joe Morgan, their second baseman, said he considers the best in history. Everyone knows the Rockies' story. But now it's time to get this going, to finally see Matt Holliday swing a bat again.

There is great debate about how much Interleague Play -- a sensation at about the time summer begins -- really matters when you get to this point in an autumn. Or, in fact, how much anything that happened in the regular season matters in October. Take, for example, the Indians: They were 0-6 against the Yankees during the season, and they eliminated the Bronx Bombers in four. (By the way, if you are a Cleveland fan, then you have to admit that's a pretty wicked postseason road, having to go through the Yankees first and the Red Sox second -- baseball's two biggest payrolls.)

Will it matter for the Rockies? We are about to find out. They won two of three games at Fenway on June 12-14, as they outscored the Red Sox, 20-5, in the series. The Rockies were one of just two teams to beat the Red Sox's top two pitchers, Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling. They lost the opener, 2-1, as Tim Wakefield outdueled Aaron Cook.

Rockies right fielder Brad Hawpe went 3-for-12 in that series, but one of the hits was memorable. Hawpe hit a tape-measure three-run shot into the right-field seats off Schilling in the second game.

"That's a very tough place to play, but to go there and win two out of three games was nice," Hawpe said. "We had a chance in all three, but Wakefield was locked in that day. We took some good swings but came out on the unlucky end of it."
Wakefield isn't even thinking about that meeting. Just this one.

It's probably safe to say that no team knows how to focus quite like the Red Sox.
"I'm just excited to be part of a club going to a World Series again," he said.

Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo started thinking about the matchup while he was being soaked in the victors' clubhouse, following the first truly competitive series of this postseason. It's been awhile since there has been a World Series Game 7 -- not since the Angels beat the Giants in 2002. Will it be something like that? Or will it be a Rockies kind of 2007 postseason series? There were three sweeps in the first round, and Colorado did it in the second round; four is now the record.
"We're gonna have a tough time," Lugo said, matter of factly. "There are only two teams playing. The Red Sox are one of them. Yeah!"

Experience has prevailed for the Red Sox so far, as some thought it might. At the start of the LCS round, there were four teams and no one could match Boston for depth of experience in terms of savvy veterans who have rings to show. It will be a very new setting for the Rockies. Will it matter? Nothing has mattered to Colorado so far.

"We still feel there's some work to do," Sox manager Terry Francona said. "We have to get ready for the Rockies."

It's unbelievable to hear that at this time of year.

That's baseball these days.

This is going to be a total blast.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


The Closah welcomes the Captain to the Mound Party celebrating our Sox trip to the '07 World Series!
The Closah celebrates CoCo's magnificent catch in the triangle that sealed the deal and punched the Red Sox ticket to the 2007 World Series!

Boston Glob Front Page - October 22, 2007!

Big Papi hold the American league Championship Award high at Fenway Park on October 121. The Red Sox completed yet another ALCS Historic come-back. They defeated the Indians three in a row to win the Pennant. Cleveland Flopped and only could muster 5 runs in that span. Their pitching caved in as the Sox smacked 'em 11-2 last night. The game was tight until Rookie of The year - Dustin Pedroia smacked a 3 run homer into the monster seats and the Sox tacked on more in the 8th for the big win.

Members of the 2007 Boston Red Sox tear it up on the mound after they eliminated the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park on Sunday night. The Sox won the American League Pennant by posting the best record in baseball. They ousted an Indian team that led 3-1 in games until a Game 5 resurgence by the Sox. The Sox outscored the Tribe 30-5 in the last 3 games of the ALCS to advance to the World Series.

Sox’ Past Failures Forgotten

By Tony MassarottiMonday, October 22, 2007

Boston Herald Sports ColumnistSports columnist Tony Massarotti has been a must-read for years in the pages of the Boston Herald.

Gone forever are the Red Sox [team stats] of yesterday. In Boston, during the baseball season, there is now only an endless succession of tomorrows.

Once seen as a tortured and most tragic franchise, the Red Sox are now American League champions for the second time in four years following an 11-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians last night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series. Three years after the 2004 Red Sox permanently altered the fate and direction of the franchise, let the record show that these Sox were buoyed by a youth that seems entirely unencumbered by the weight of Red Sox pasts.
With the Sox, from now on, there is no looking back. The World Series begins Wednesday against Colorado.

“Fractured is probably the best way to describe it,” Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling [stats] said amid a clubhouse celebration when asked about the image of the franchise he joined following a fittingly heartbreaking end to the 2003 season. “From the clubhouse to the front office, there was that whole 25 players, 25 cabs thing, but when I came here, I knew right away that it was different.”

Ah, but if only that was where it ended. The Red Sox were fractured, all right. They were also spectacular failures, the team that always missed by thismuch. The Sox of old made critical blunders and paid for them dearly, and were reminded, year after year after year, that they had made unforgettable, unforgivable mistakes.

Not now. Not anymore. Now, when the Red Sox trail by a 3-1 series score, as they did against these Indians, people cite 2004 instead of 1986 or ’78 or ’67 or ’46. The Red Sox celebrate their heroes instead of vilifying their goats, and the good things are anticipated more.

“I do think that in games of huge magnitude, our guys don’t get overwhelmed,” said Sox manager Terry Francona, now 18-9 in his postseason career. “It doesn’t assure that you’re going to win, but it is a good feeling. You look out there and you see Jason Varitek [stats] behind the plate, guys like (Josh) Beckett and Schilling, they do what they’re supposed to do.”

But what about the kids? How to explain that? Last night, entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Sox held a dwindling 3-2 advantage. Rookie ignitor Jacoby Ellsbury reached on an error and rookie Dustin Pedroia [stats] ripped a two-run home run into the left field seats, and the Sox had a bulging 5-2 advantage on their way to a runaway win.

Prior to Pedroia’s homer, the Sox received five innings from rookie starter Daisuke Matsuzaka and two pivotal innings from rookie setup man Hideki Okajima [stats]. All throughout the night, it was as if the youngest and newest members of the Red Sox operated freely, without the pressure of expectation, without the burden of the past.

But then, think about it: Why should Pedroia care at all about 2003? Why should Matsuzaka care about 1948? Why should Ellsbury care about ’75 or Okajima about ’86, when, to them, the Sox are a team of here and now?

Of course, the list goes on. Jonathan Papelbon [stats] made his major league debut at Fenway Park [map] in 2005 when the Sox were reigning world champions. Beckett arrived in 2006, traded from one World Series winner (the 2003 Florida Marlins) to another. First baseman Kevin Youkilis [stats] was raised and nurtured in a Boston organization that has made four postseason trips in five years, so why wouldn’t he bat a sterling .500 in his first league championship series as a starter?

Children, after all, are products of the environment they are raised in. Teach them to win, they will win. Teach them fear, self-doubt and trepidation, and they will learn those things, too.
And so now the Red Sox are going back to the World Series following a regular season in which they finished with the best record in baseball and won their first AL East division title since 1995. Their trip effectively was sealed when the young, spunky Pedroia circled the bases after his eighth-inning homer that drew a standing ovation from an electrified, sellout crowd.
And then, zipping across home plate like a human windup toy, the young, spry Pedroia jumped into the arms of a beaming, waiting David Ortiz [stats].

Amid the cheers at time-dipped Fenway Park, it was as if the tradition were being passed on, like a father embracing his son.

Sox Win Game 6 in ALCS Behind Schill & Drew!

"In your face - Big Dave! I did IT!"
JD Drew connects for his 1st inning Grand Slam!

The "winningest pitcher in playoff history" Curt Schilling did it again. He tossed a gem for 7 innings at the Fens and led his Red Sox to a 12-2 victory over Cleveland to tie the ALCS. Schilling was masterful and solid winning his 10th game against 2 losses in his playoff career. Curt kept the Sox from being "eliminated" for the 2nd time in his Red Sox career. His memorable Game 6 "bloody sock" win over the Yankees in 2004 help propel the Sox to the World Series and a title. The Sox will play Game 7 on Sunday with Dice-K on the bump. Thanks Curt!

The Road to the World Series runs thru Boston.......

JD Drew hit a tumultuous Grand Slam in the 1st Inning to put the Sox up 4-0 over the Indians in Game 6 of the ALCS. The Sox won behind the solid pitching of Curt Schilling & the 5RBI night of Drew - an unlikely hero. I take back all the BAD THINGS I said in 2007 about this guy. Granted - he was a putz all season, but ya gotta take yer hat off to JD for helping propell the Sox to Game 7 in the ALCS!

By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff October 21, 2007

J.D. Drew went from pillory to pedestal with a single swing, Curt Schilling had another made-for-October moment, and Daisuke Matsuzaka will be given one more chance to prove himself to both sides of a still-skeptical globe.

Fueled by a first-inning grand slam by Drew, the Red Sox scored 10 runs in the first three innings to bury the Cleveland Indians, 12-2, in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series last night before a crowd of 37,163.

Schilling pitched seven innings, allowing just six hits, and will hand the ball over to Matsuzaka as the Sox attempt to become the sixth team in LCS history to rally from a 3-games-to-1 deficit. The Sox are the only team to do it twice (1986 and 2004), and by overwhelming the Indians last night had the look of a team bent on converting the hat trick.

"I do not want to finish the season yet, especially as a loser," Matsuzaka said.

Matsuzaka has yet to win in two postseason starts for the Sox, who will have all hands on deck, including Josh Beckett, ready to go behind him in Game 7.