Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rockies in 4!!!

The World Series starts tonight, and I would be so pleased to see the Rockies win in 4. My reasoning is quite different than one might expect. Of course, I'm a dyed in the wool Yankees fan, and any time the Sox lose, I'm a happy guy. And few things would cheer up a Yankees fan more than a sweep by the other team. Any other team.
This year is unusual. The Rockies are riding a 10 game winning steak, and a 21 out of 22 run that has moved them from a wild card contender right into the World Series. Early in September, they were 5 games out, and had almost no chance. They were 2 games out with 2 to go. Yet today, they are in the Series. No baseball team in history has ever had a run like this.

If the Rockies lose the Series, they had a good season. If they win the Series, they had a great season. But if they sweep the Series, it may go down as one of the greatest seasons ever. Other sports have had great teams that have had great seasons. The Dolphins perfect 17-0 season in 1973 immediately comes to mind. And while no team has ever duplicated a perfect season, I contend that 25 out of 26 (with the season on the line every day) would be a greater accomplishment. Football is a team sport. It is rare that one person can step up and make a big difference. A great run is preceded by a terrific block. A circus catch required a throw good enough to be on target enough to be reachable. Anyone remember seeing Ypremian's attempt at a pass in the Super Bowl? Even a great kick requires a front line that can protect the kicker long enough to get the ball through the uprights.

Baseball, on the other hand, is loaded with unlikely heroes. It is part of the fabric of the game.
The most famous may have been Don Larson, with a career winning record of under .500. However, in 1956, this 11 game winner pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. Or Bucky Dent, a light hitting SS (40 home runs in 12 seasons) belted one of the most famed blasts in Yankees history. Or even Brian Doyle (Who?) hitting .438 in the '78 Series. No other sport can boast such outstanding performances by such otherwise obscure players.
At any time, one player can turn around a game. A pitcher can be unhittable. In no team sport can one man have such an impact. So anytime in this run, just one player could have stopped it. Yet, no one did. The longer the streak continues, the more improbable it has become. Just as many have approached DiMaggio's mark of 56 straight games with a hit, no one has ever equaled it. If the Rockies manage, against all odds, to sweep the Sox it would surely go down as the greatest run in sports history. And I'd like that.

But I am sad to admit that if I had to put money on a team, it would be on the Sox. In 6.

But hope springs eternal. Go Rockies!!!