Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Nightly Notes

The Rockies long, strange layoff finally ends tomorrow with the start of the World Series. In honor of the opening of my favorite event of the year, here's a notes column:

1.) First off, I'm sad to say that I was not able to get World Series tickets. I know you're all terribly disappointed for me . . .

2.) I suppose I should give a final, definitive prediction on this series. Let me start by saying that in almost every category, and virtually every matchup, the Red Sox have the edge. The Rockies have some really fun players (Matt Holliday and Troy Tulowitzki particularly, but really there are a lot of good stories on this team), but they just don't have anything like the star power that the Red Sox will be sending onto the field. Rationally, then, I should pick the Red Sox to win in 4 or 5. I'm not going with the numbers on paper, though -- I really think that the Rockies have the confidence necessary to get the job done, so I'm going to pick the Rockies in 6. After all, it's not as if the Rockies are a bad team -- lost in the stories about the remarkable 21-1 run is the fact that this team isn't just lucky, but is actually pretty darned good.

3.) I feel for Tim Wakefield, who has been left off of the Red Sox postseason roster due to a shoulder injury that appears to possibly be career threatening. Wakefield was an integral part of this team in 2007, and it's too bad that his season is coming to a premature end. On the other hand, if I were a Red Sox fan I don't think I'd be all that upset about the baseball side of this -- I mentioned in my "Beckett v. Wakefield" rant from last week that Wakefield just hasn't been very good at all in the postseason, so Jon Lester starting Game 4 over Wakefield probably gives the Sox a better chance to win.

4.) Speaking of Game 4 starters, the Rockies will also be shaking things up a bit. Regular post-season #4 Franklin Morales has been bumped to the bullpen to make room on the roster for Aaron Cook, who hasn't pitched since early August. On the one hand, I want to rail against this move -- Morales has been reasonably good since joining the rotation, and Cook at this point is an unknown. In the end, though, I think this move probably works, for three reasons: (1) the player being left off the roster is Taylor Buchholz, who hasn't pitched in the post-season -- no big loss there; (2) Morales provides a third lefty in the bullpen, which could be very significant for Clint Hurdle as he tries to match up with the sox lineup; and (3) Hurdle wouldn't have made the move if he wasn't convinced that Cook could contribute. If the Rockies can get 4-5 innings out of him in Game 4, it would be a success.

5.) In non-World Series news, the A's seem intent on moving -- but please tell me they'll be able to come up with something better than the "Fremont Athletics" if the move takes place.

6.) Tony La Russa is back for more abuse in St. Louis. Yes, they won the Series in 2006 -- but no one is going to argue that that team was all that good. In truth, the Cardinals seem to be headed in the wrong direction, and if I were La Russa, who knows darned well that he'd be highly in demand if he left St. Louis, I probably would have checked out. Heck, sit out a year if you don't like this year's openings. I just don't think the Cardinals are going to be competitive during his new contract, and I really don't blame him for that.

7.) Did anybody notice that Mariano Rivera seems to have backtracked from his earlier defense of Joe Torre? I don't have cites for you, but I seem to recall Rivera saying in the aftermath of the loss to the Indians in the ALDS that if Torre left the team, he'd have to think seriously about whether he wanted to return. Now, his agent essentially said that Torre's departure has no effect whatsoever on Rivera's plans. I'm guessing the agent got to Rivera and pointed out that the Yankees will drastically overpay for his services, and that he'd probably only get half the dollars per year (and fewer years to boot) if he went elsewhere. The Yankees seem poised to bring back Rivera and Posada, but I would just about guarantee that they'll overpay and go too long contract-wise for both. While that may work in the short-term, neither of these guys is a young player anymore -- and by the end of their contracts, I'm guessing they'll be as welcome as Jason Giambi is now.

That's it folks -- can't wait for tomorrow! Go Rockies!



  • At Thu Oct 25, 09:59:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The rockies pitching is junior varsity and hitting, although solid, too streaky. It was pretty obvious they were the best team in a very subpar national league. Bosox in 5 easily.

  • At Thu Oct 25, 10:14:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    The "junior varsity" pitching held the BoSox to 2 runs tonight in Fenway -- I don't consider that to be too shabby. Yes, they got rocked in Game 1, but that was because Francis was way off mechanically (could have been nerves, could have been the 12 days off since he last pitched in a game, could have been a mixture of both, or could have been something else entirely -- but it was something). Morales is a good pitcher but unproven. While the Sox have a decided edge in pitching (and, really, in virtually every category, as I think I acknowledged in the main article), I don't think it's accurate to say that the Rockies pitching is "junior varsity."

    As for BoSox in five -- it's possible, but I'm still a believer in the Rockies ability to make a series out of it. I think there will be some issues for the Red Sox in adjusting to Coors Field, and I'm not convinced that Daisuke or Jon Lester will win games 3 or 4. Beckett in Game 5 in Coors will be interesting (if it happens).

    I predicted the Rockies to win, and I'm going to stick with that -- but I'll freely acknowledge that the Red Sox are the better team, even if the Rockies make a comeback.

  • At Fri Oct 26, 11:38:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why would you be a believer that they'll make a series out of it? Have they proven that? I think they beat a couple of subpar national league teams in seven straight games. We are witnesses the current imbalance in MLB right now. Most of the top teams in baseball reside in the NL. The rockies have a decent club, one that has a pretty consistent offense. but there pitching is nothing more than slightly above average. And I'm not just talking about the starting rotation. It's about the the bullpen. Compare them. Then you'll realize.

  • At Fri Oct 26, 11:40:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Correction: I meant to say most of the top teams are in the AL and that the Rockies have no track record to prove they can "make a series" out of their current 0-2 hole. Matsuzaka is a veteran pitcher. Beckett has another start. And Okajima and Papelbon look untouchable. This series was over before it started.

  • At Fri Oct 26, 11:58:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    Anon -- I appreciate your comments, but I think you've misunderstood my position, and I also think you've written off the Rockies too quickly.

    First, as to your point about comparing the teams -- I've said now multiple times, in both the original post and in my first response, that the Red Sox win virtually every comparison. I am in no way claiming that the Rockies are the better team.

    Nonetheless, yes, I feel they can make a series out of it. They lost 2-1 last night -- hardly a blowout. And are you honestly going to tell me that the Rockies just can't hit? They had two bad nights against two very good pitchers in Beckett and Schilling, but I suspect that they'll improve in games 3 and 4. Daisuke is hittable, and Lester is unproven in the post-season (and in the altitude). Beckett in Game 5 will be tough.

    How you can say that the pitching is no good is beyond me, however. Again, Boston (best offense in baseball) scored just two runs last night. Yes, they scored 13 runs the day before, but I've already addressed that.

    Is the AL better than the NL? Yes. Are the Rockies going to lose this series? Probably (although as I said before I'll stick by my Rockies in six prediction for consistency sake). If the BoSox sweep the series, good for them -- but I don't think that's going to happen. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong -- wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last. I just think it's a bit silly to close your eyes to the fact that the Rockies are most definitely NOT a bad team.

  • At Sat Oct 27, 10:51:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    as i said the rockies have a decent club. One that could be a perennial contender based upon their everyday players. but its the pitching and lack of playoff experience that will keep them from winning this world series.
    And for the record: theres nothing I'd enjoy more than for Colorado to sweep their home stand and force the Sox to win back to back games 6 and 7.


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