Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Put me in coach

There's a line in The Replacements when Gene Hackman approaches Keanu Reeves and says something to the effect of, "the difference between a winner and a loser is that when the game is on the line, a winner always wants the ball." (yes, I just knowingly quoted a Keanu Reeves non-Matrix movie). Looks like NBC sports writer Ron Borges agrees. So Burkett gets the call this afternoon. Pedro will sit out. On the one hand, it doesn't make much difference if you can win game 6 and not game 7 - that was the rationale for saving Pedro for game 5 in Oakland instead of pitching in game 4 when the series was on the line. On the other hand, if you pitch Pedro today, Wakefield would be ready for tomorrow, and Wakefield has been unhittable against the Yankees this series.

Do I sound like a fair weather fan? Bashing on Pedro, questioning Little, laughing that Ramirez got fined? The truth is, I love the Sox and I think they have some of the classiest, hardest working players in baseball (Nomar, even though he's been struggling; Varitek, who's been outstanding; Damon, who needs a haircut but we forgive that; and even Walker, who's struggled defensively but keeps coming to the plate ready to hit and do whatever is necessary to help is team.) My fear, as a long devoted Sox fan -- and by extension Yankee-hater -- is that recent events have made the Sox look more and more like our dreaded nemesis: a bunch of overpaid pretty boys (Jeter) that are good, but not nearly as good as they themselves think they are. At the start of the ALCS, everyone I knew was cheering for a Sox/Cubs World Series - including a few Yankees fans; now the sporting world is in doubt. The former underdog is now the team to beat, just to shut them up. That makes me sad.

Still, hope springs eternal right? If the Sox can string together a couple of victories to clinch a World Series berth, I'm sure the sporting world - myself included - will forgive and forget.


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