By Terry Lyons, Editor-in-Chief
BOSTON – In an era when full disclosure is constantly touted as the right thing to do but full scale lying is the modus operandi, I will admit, I thought the Houston Astros would be awaiting the results of the National League Championship Series. I thought the Boston Red Sox were extremely fortunate to advance past the New York Yankees and I thought the ‘Stros would discard of the Sox in five games., especially after the 7-2 beatdown in Game 1 of the ALCS.
Will the Red Sox win in 2018?
I am a man of truth, justice and full disclosure.
Now, after truthfully stating my transgressions, it makes all the sense in the world for me to take a tip from the daily operation of the Oval and gaslight you all by stating the exact opposite of my prior prediction. I think the Red Sox will be World Series champions and they will do it in six games over either the Milwaukee Brewers (my choice) or the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yes, as we await Tuesday night, which seems, oh, so far away, I’m reversing the engines and picking the Sox. Yes, that might be worse than the Curse of the Bambino, but I’m now convinced this team can win. So, go out to your bookies and bet the ranch on the NL pennant winner, right?
As the MLB Postseason began, I thought the only advantage the Red Sox had over Houston was the fact they played the Baltimore Orioles so often. I thought the Astros had all the ingredients to repeat. I was in awe of the Sox offense but pessimistic on everything else, namely the starting pitching (ailing Chris Sale, unproven in postseason David Price, trending in the wrong direction Rick Porcello and un-tested in the playoffs Nathan Eovaldi).
I was even more suspect of the middle relievers and the closer, Craig Kimbrel.
As the postseason began, I thought the announcement of knuckleballer-turned-reliever Steven Wright being IR’d being played to all that would listen as a full-scaled ‘setback’ to the club’s future was an indication that all was not well past the Nikon sign. A day after Sox manager Alex Cora stated they chose to boot Heath Hembree off the roster (a ‘la keeping the ball in the park), they re-activated Hembree with a dispensation from the Pope, saying all was wrong with Wright and all was right with Hembree.
The thought the smokescreen emanating from the Sox that the Hembree for Wright switcheroo actually mattered was what pointed me towards an outright and decisive pick of the guys from Johnson Space Center. Days later, I realized Mission Control in Houston had their own concerns for every hurler south of Justin Verlander and what Alex Bregman, George Springer, Carlos Correa and a hammy-laden Jose Altuve couldn’t do was fix-up a bullpen of Josh James, Roberto Osuna and the man of 27.00 ERA Joe Smith.
Now, we find ourselves waiting around.
Cora will use the down-time to rest his ailing, stomach-bug infested ace, in Sale. He’ll also use the luxury of time to tune-up Price for a Game 2 start at Fenway where Sox Nation can finally pay homage to the player they’ve loved to hate. All the while, the video tape machines will be humming to see if they can zoom-in on the exact twitch in Kimbrel’s delivery to be sure he is ready to face the bats of the National Leaguers.
As Sox Nation waits, we too wait and pass the time.
Late night will allow time to see what the Boston Bruins are up to as they forge through the great Canadian west, having incurred losses at Calgary and Edmonton but facing-off against the Canucks of Vancouver tonight. That 21-year old Connor McDavid is really something, isn’t he? While we weren’t paying attention, the Bs put together a nice four-game winning streak before embarking on their trip westward.
Sadly, with all the attention merited by the Sox, the New England Patriots and the expectations for the Boston Celtics in the NBA marathon that ends when it’s 90-degrees again, not much has been said about the big, bad Bruins. They, too, have high hopes.
Today, with the temperature rising from 30-degrees to 60, we were ready to head out to Alumni Stadium to watch the Eagles of Boston College but they have a bye week in a short NCAA Football season. Maybe next time, BC.
Apparently, there’s a Boxing Match at TD Garden this evening. Nothing says boxing in Boston like scheduling a card that could’ve and, very much should’ve, gone up against Game 6 of the ALCS. A little luck of the Irish (see Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys as promotor and Danny O’Connor, a wonderful, local fighter unfortunately sidelined tonight because of injury) might allow a nice walk-up at the Garden.
Instead, dear Dropkicks, we’ll be watching the LA Dodgers at Milwaukee in Game 7, for the right to lose to the Boston Red Sox (in six) at Fenway Park.