(photo credit: yahoo sports)
By Terry Cushman – @cushmanMLB
We knew it was coming. At first it was a winter. Then only thirteen days. And now a little over four hours. The two most storied franchises in MLB history are loaded up, and primed for an epic race for another AL East crown. Loser has to sweat out a one game wildcard.
The winner of tonight’s game will likely go on to win this opening series, which will be the first of several. Chris Sale is aiming to remain the carrier of the torch, and the top hurler in the division. 24 year old Luis Severino is seeking to pry that torch away in hopes of leaving his own imprint on this rivalry. The winner of this pitching duel will likely emerge as the early 2018 C.Y. Young favorite.
Boston is reeling from the news that their hottest hitter, Xander Bogaerts, will be on the disabled list for the better part of two weeks. New York is fuming over the fact their big off-season acquisition, Giancarlo Stanton, is not even swing his bat at a major league level. But each franchise has immensely talented young cores of players who are eager to follow in the foots steps of David Ortiz, Nomar Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter. Any of which is capable of becoming the new face of this generation.
Alex Cora knows that the two previous managers before him (I’m pretending 2012 never happened) led their respective Red Sox rosters to the promised land, and is determined to establish a similar legacy. Aaron Boone is managing under the shadow of Joe Girardi, who many believed was fired unfairly, and knifed viciously in the back. A lackluster 5-5 record has his skeptics chirping, and he will attempt to turn the tides to prove he can effectively manage a top flight team in one of baseball’s biggest meccas. Or at least “appear” to effectively manage.
Last but not least, the raging pride of both fan bases will take command of all social media outlets as their respective teams impose their will on the other in front of a national televised audience. Which rotation will be the sharpest? Which bats will be the mightiest? Which manager will make the right moves and have the most faith?
The New York Yankees are the only team in MLB history to blow a 3-0 lead in the ALCS. Red Sox fans will never let them forget that.
Ever since Kevin Millar drew the walk, Roberts stole the base, Mueller drove in the tying run, and David Ortiz hit the walk off… The Boston Red Sox have been the best team of the 21st century.
I expect that to remain the same in 2018.
ICYMI: EPISODE 35 OF THE AVIDBOSTON PODCAST!!!
EIGHT STRAIGHT WINS, CHAVIS BUSTED FOR STEROIDS, GIANCARLO STANTON, YANKEES SERIES, AND MUCH MUCH MORE!!!
Also available on iTunes!