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October 17, 2004

Huge Win
by Larry Mahnken

Don't gloat. It feels good to be up 3-0, on the verge of beating our arch-rivals. It feels good to be on the verge of going to the World Series for the seventh time in nine years, a ridiculous number of times when you really think about it. It feels good. It feels REALLY good.

But don't gloat. Celebrate all you want, but don't make it personal. That just makes you a jackass. I'm not going to harp on the "it's not even close" remark from early September beyond this reminder of it, nor am I going to try to exact revenge for the schadenfraude a lot of BoSox fans displayed when the division lead was shrinking. I'm just going to be happy that my team is doing so well.

I am quite frankly as shocked as any Red Sox fan is that Boston is going down so meekly, I could see the Yankees winning, but I didn't see them winning easily. I thought that either way this would go six or seven (well, it still could...), and from the tone of some other Yankees bloggers, you had to know that a lot of us thought that it would be Boston on the winning end. Even SG didn't make an outright prediction here, I imagine because he couldn't allow himself to be dishonest, and he couldn't bring himself to predict a Boston victory (well, seriously, anyway).

Of course this series isn't over yet. In theory, Boston could win tonight, win Monday behind Pedro, and get a win from Curt Schilling to force Game Seven. And then the surging Sox win it behind Bronson Arroyo or Tim Wakefield. It could happen, I suppose, but everything would have to go perfectly for Boston -- they'd need six or seven innings from all their starters, they'd need to get to all the Yankees' starters. It's just not plausible.

I wonder, do the Sox fans out there want to hold out that hope that it can happen? Are they going to sit back and enjoy however many games they get to see their team in the rest of the way? Or do they want this to end quickly and mercifully, so they can move on the the Patriots (which, I assume, is a much happier thing to focus on)? I just wonder.

As for me, I'm half looking toward the World Series. No matter who wins the NLCS, this is going to be a great, great series. Both the Cardinals and Astros are great teams, and no matter who wins the Series, there will be no upsets -- unlike last season. I like how the Yankees match up, especially if their lineup keeps hitting like this, but I don't see them having an easy time of it.

Of course, I just said I had seen the ALCS going to six or seven games, and the Yankees maybe losing. So just disregard everything I say from now on.

Except this: be happy. There are few better feelings as a baseball fan than you'll have right now.