Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

World Series 2013: Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals

When the postseason started, I was rooting for a showdown between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers. Was that the best possible World Series? Probably not. I was intrigued by the lure of a Fall Classic that no one has witnessed. The matchup that I least wanted to see was, honestly, the one that starts tonight at Boston's Fenway Park. Are the Red Sox and Cardinals the best teams in their respective leagues? Quite possibly. This could even end up being a great World Series.

Why is this my least preferred World Series?

Take a look at the last 10 World Series winners (2003-2012). During that span, the Red Sox and Cardinals have hoisted the trophy four times collectively. The Red Sox did so in 2004 and 2007. The Cardinals in 2006 and 2011. The San Francisco Giants are the only other team during that span to win more than one title (2010 and 2012). I understand that pales in comparison to the New York Yankees dominance of Major League Baseball between 1949 and 1958 with seven titles.

As a Cubs fan, I sensed a sort of kinship with Red Sox fans. Neither fan base won a World Series since the early days of the 20th Century. That was until 2004. The Red Sox were World Champions for the first time since Babe Ruth left Beantown (and his pitching days) and headed to The Bronx and achieved iconic status. I rooted for Boston that October. I wanted them to demolish the Yankees during the ALCS and pummel the Cardinals in the World Series. They needed seven games to eliminate the Yankees, but the Red Sox finished off the Cardinals with a four-game sweep. Boston won another in 2007 as they defeated the Colorado Rockies. Have the Red Sox replaced the Yankees as the Evil Empire? In historical terms, hardly. But in the here-and-now, you can make that argument.

My disdain for the Cardinals is somewhat related to being a Cubs fan. Full disclosure. But the Cardinals have been winning as of late, too. In recent days, the Cardinals have acted as the holier-than-thou keepers of baseball's so-called unwritten rules. During the NLCS against the Dodgers, several Cardinals called out the actions of Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig as "Mickey Mouse stuff". On top of that, their fans continuously pat themselves on the back as being "baseball's best fans". Besides that, they have won the second most World Series titles behind only the Yankees.

With all of that said, the end result could be a fantastic World Series. The Red Sox offense persevered over the Tigers despite the outstanding pitching by Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 2.25 ERA), Justin Verlander (0-1, 1.13 ERA) and Max Scherzer (0-1, 2.70 ERA). The Cardinals had equally outstanding pitching and allowed only the Dodgers to score only 11 runs in six games.

Here's the schedule:

Game 1: Cardinals at Red Sox (Wednesday, October 23)
Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA)

Game 2: Cardinals at Red Sox (Thursday, October 24)
Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78 ERA) vs. John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA)

Game 3: Red Sox at Cardinals (Saturday, October 26)

Game 4: Red Sox at Cardinals (Sunday, October 27)

*Game 5: Red Sox at Cardinals (Monday, October 28)

*Game 6: Cardinals at Red Sox (Wednesday, October 30)

*Game 7: Cardinals at Red Sox (Thursday, October 31)

*If needed.

And yes, I will be rooting for Boston over St. Louis.

Great perspective with your own honest bias built in!
Joe S   Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Thanks, Joe.
Bill Pearch   Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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