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Before this series reaches Game 2 or any further I’d like to take a stand and pick a side. I love the Boston Red Sox. Although I remain non-biased on how good they actually are. But if I had to put together at this point an argument why the Boston Red Sox are the best team in baseball it would be convincing.
Regular season baseball is about consistency and solid numbers. The Red Sox finished the season with the best record because of this. It’s why Josh Beckett is a Cy Young candidate. It’s why the Red Sox had the best team ERA in the AL. It’s why they had the 3rd most runs scored in the AL. The Red Sox were hot in all phases of the game.
The Red Sox constructed a team almost perfectly. I was one of many worried about how the Red Sox would work this year but Theo pulled together a great spread of guys. There is a very nice mix of veteran, prime-career guys and young guys. Pitching wise it looks like Schilling, Wakefield, and Okajima for the vets. Josh Beckett, Dice-K, and Papelbon for the prime guys. And Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen and Clay Buchholz for the young blood. And as this team moves forward there will be a new wave just like this one keeping the team consistent.
And one of the most important aspects of being a great team is having the clutch guys for the playoffs. You need the solid starters. I’d put Beckett and Schilling in this list. You need a very solid bullpen to hold down a game whenever trouble starts to loom. Jonathon Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, and Manny Delcarmen make up this list. And you need clutch hitters: Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, and Kevin Youkilis have been great. And of course a David Ortiz type. A great hitter who strikes more fear in the other team then a poltergeist at a little girls sleepover. A hitter doesn’t play any better then when the game is on the line.
In Game 1 of the World Series the Red Sox rocked the Rockies. To start the game 10 of the first 12 guys reached. And Beckett started the game by striking out four guys in a row. You have to give the credit to both sides of the ball. And give all the credit to how good the Red Sox played not how bad the Rockies were. A lot of people have been saying the layoff has held the Rockies back. But a this is the World Series and its only seven games. You need to step up fast or you lose. The Red Sox stomped them already, can they do it again tonight in game 2? And if they do run over the Rockies again can the Rockies come back?
This may be the best team the Red Sox have had in a very long time. And I’d say the best team in baseball. In a week a trophy will tell the world who the true best team in baseball is.