Well, the World Series ended on Wed, Oct. 30. I didn’t see the final game, as I was en-route to a conference in California. The Red Sox were the best team, which thereby made my Cardinals’ prediction look bad. The Game 3 obstruction call seemed controversial, but I think it was the right call, even though Sox fans feel otherwise. The next day, in Game 4, a Cardinal runner got picked off first, with 2 outs, bottom of the 9th, and Beltran up against Uehara, with the Sox up by 2. Why take the bat out of Beltran’s hands? In the 8th, the Cards had a runner on 3rd, with less than 2 outs, but couldn’t score. Had that run come in, it would have been a 1 run game, which could have changed the way the Cards approached the 9th inning.
However, the Sox took 2 of 3 in St. Louis, so that coming back to Boston, up 3 games to 2, made it tough on the Redbirds, and they couldn’t come back. Had the Cards been up 3 games to 2, things could have been different. This was the first time that the Sox had clinched a championship at home since 1918!
Things went well for Boston this year, so in spite of injuries to Buchholz, and 2 of their relievers, a lot went right. Manager Farrell, who had previously been their pitching coach, righted the ship after the disaster with Valentine. New additions such as Napoli and Victorino contributed substantially, and Lester and Lackey pitched well. Xander Bogaerts seems to be promising for the future. Uehara seemingly came out of nowhere to be a dominant closer.
For next year, the Sox will likely lose Ellsbury, their spark plug lead off batter, and Saltalamacchia, their switch-hitting catcher, to free agency. Will some of the above contributors continue to be good? The Sox have only repeated once, namely, in 1915-1916, when somebody named Babe Ruth was hurling for them.
The Cards were under the radar this year, as popular wisdom favored the dodgers, and the Pirates were finally good, after 20 years in the wilderness. The Redbirds had good young pitching, behind veteran staff ace Wainwright, and got timely hitting from Beltran, Holliday and Craig. I think they need another bat, especially if Beltran leaves, due to free agency. However, I think their future is bright.
Meanwhile, my Yankees have a lot of work to do, and I think it will be awhile before they are good again. There’s the A-Rod Biogenesis situation, Jeter returning for a last hurrah, Cano’s contract situation, and what will happen with Granderson, Teixeira, and CC (who had a bad year), among others. The farm system isn’t in great shape, and the Yanks may be reluctant to spend big time, yet won’t want to admit that they need to rebuild, and get younger and more versatile. Rivera and Pettitte are retired, and the glory days are long gone!
Thus, it will be an interesting Hot-Stove League over the winter, and wait ‘til next year!