The Red Sox were just a better team
The Boston Red Sox completed their sweep of the Colorado Rockies in Denver on Sunday night, winning their second World Series in four years.
How did the Red Sox so easily handle the red-hot Rockies? Was it the nine day layoff that Colorado had after sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks and waiting for their opponent to come out of the ALCS? Was it the baseball godsí evening out the averages, since so rarely do teams win 21 of 22 games in September and October? Or was Boston simply the better team?
This was a battle of polar opposites. On Opening Day, the Red Sox were the favorite to go all the way, while the Rockies were an afterthought in the NL West. In the end, the team that belonged there came out victorious.
People talk about hot streaks and chemistry and hard work, but when it came down to it, the cream rose to the top. The Red Sox had more talent than any other team in the majors this season. They traded for talent, they bought talent and they developed talent. They were the most complete team in baseball.
The Rockies, on the other hand, were merely getting timely hitting and decent pitching from their squad of pretty good players. Aside from left fielder Matt Holliday and closer Manny Corpas, the Rockies did not have any elite talent. The Red Sox had elite talent in every asset of the game. A dangerous lineup, October-proven starting pitching and a lights-out bullpen proved to be the recipe for success. No surprise there.
The Rockies were a great story, but they were by no means a great team. They could certainly hit, but lacked both playoff experience and starting pitching. Their only effective weapon in the bullpen was kept out of his role because Colorado never had a late lead.
Mike Lowell earned MVP honors of the Fall Classic, hitting .400 with a homer and four RBI in the four games.
Proven clutch sluggers David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were good. Newcomers Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia were even better. Old October star Curt Schilling was good. Younger October star Josh Beckett was even better.
Overused Hideki Okajima bent, but didnít break, and the best closer in baseball nailed down three of the games. Jonathan Papelbon doesnít even make his teammates sweat when he steps on the mound.
This game goes beyond the numbers, though. At no point were the Red Sox in any danger of losing a game. Even in the 2-1 game two or the 4-3 finale, it never seemed like the Rockies had a shot. Boston handled its business in a very professional manner, and just plain dominated the series.
The scary thing about this team is that it is probably going to get better next season. The only major free agents are Lowell and Schilling, but why would anyone want to leave the best team in the league that has enough money to pay as much as any other team? Boston has to be a leading candidate in every free agentís mind, so why would two guys who have been to the Garden of Eden want to leave?
Also, donít forget about the probable fifth starter in Bostonís 2008 rotation. Clay Buchholz was left off the postseason roster to rest his arm, but is the number one prospect in the Red Sox organization. He threw a no-hitter in just his second career start Sept. 1. Not too shabby for a 23-year-old. While the Red Sox have made huge moves for marquee players in the past few winters, they can stand pat this year.
In an off-season that will have many questions, particularly about a certain high profile ex-New York Yankee, there is no question about this: The Boston Red Sox are World Champions.
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