World Series Preview

October 20, 2013

This will be the fourth meeting of Cards and Sox since 1946 when the Red Birds won after Enos Slaughter scored from first base on a single.  Maybe Jacoby Ellsbury can return the favor.  I saw the Sox clinch Al pennant in 1967 from the right field bleachers, beating the twins.  They then lost in seven games to the Cards, but Jim Lonborg, who got the clinching win in game 162, took a no-hitter deep into game 2 of the Series in his following start.  The 1967 World Series might have had a different result if Lonborg had been available to pitch games 1, 4 and 7 rather than 2, 5 and 7.  Lonborg broke his leg that offseason while skiing and was never the same pitcher.  The third World Series meeting of these teams occurred in 2004.  Everyone remembers the Sox taking an unprecedented four straight games from the Yankees after losing the first three ALCS games, but they also won four straight against the Cards, thus taking winning their last eight games of 2004.

The 2013 Cards have better pitching than the Sox or Tigers.  The starters appear about as formidable as the Tiger starters.  Plus, relief pitching on the Cards is better than on the Tigers. 

I like the Sox offense more than the Cards.  Defense is good on both teams. 

Both cities have very supportive fans, who can make a difference for the home team in a close game.  But the Sox have a greater advantage in their house than do the Cards in St. Louis for two reasons.  Fenway is a more quirky park, offering a particular advantage defensively to the Sox.  Furthermore, Red Sox fans are nastier than average.  Good sportsmanship isn’t in their nature.  Both franchises have plenty of recent World Series experience.  Since 2004, this will be the third appearance for the Sox and fourth for the Cards.  No team has been more successful in their respective leagues since 2004.

The Sox have better intangibles.  They know more ways to beat a team and following an awful season in 2012 look like a team of destiny.  Much has been made of the beard thing as a force that built team chemistry.  The large beards on many of the Sox players lends the team a pius look, suggesting that the Devine will be on their side, that is assuming that baseball matters in a world grappling with serious social and environmental problems.

Copyright 2013, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.



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