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Props to the dude for steppin' up (more or less):

NY Times

October 22, 2004

The Red Sox Prove the Naysayer Wrong


HO said the Red Sox couldn't beat the Yankees? Who said the Red Sox were so desperate to beat the Yankees that they couldn't beat the Yankees? Who said the Red Sox couldn't win because their uniform shirts say Boston? Who said the Red Sox couldn't win because they are the Red Sox?

The same person made all of those statements during the season, and his identity is obvious. It is just as obvious that I turned out to be wrong.

June 28, 2004 "Obviously, the status of the two teams can turn around in the remainder of the season, but the one constant that prevails is that these are the Yankees and they are the Red Sox. That's reason enough why these things happen.''

This should not be construed as an apology to anyone, the Red Sox or their crazy fans. Apologies are for George Steinbrenner to make to the city of New York and Yankees fans, if he feels so compelled.

The owner apologized for the Yankees' loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1981 World Series, but after the Yankees' loss to the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series, he simply congratulated the Red Sox and thanked Yankees fans for their support.

What has happened to Steinbrenner? Has he become complacent? Has he learned to accept losing? If he no longer has that fire in his belly, maybe he is what's wrong with the Yankees.

If that is his reaction to a postseason loss to the Red Sox, maybe he is setting a poor example. Twenty-four hours have passed, and he hasn't publicly threatened to fire his manager or his general manager, or his pitching coach or his hitting coach.

July 27, 2004 "They so desperately want to beat the Yankees, their fans so desperately want them to beat the Yankees, and their owners so desperately want them to beat the Yankees, that they can't beat the Yankees.''

This loss was never supposed to happen. This loss, coming after the Yankees won the first three games, is humiliating. Today, humiliation is spelled Y-a-n-k-e-e-s.

Fans have talked for a year about the Cubs and the Red Sox being five outs from the World Series last year, then not getting there. The Yankees were only three outs away this year, three measly Mariano Rivera outs from a sweep, and they not only didn't complete the sweep, but also didn't win the series. And they're not going to the World Series, either.

Instead, the Red Sox are the first team in baseball history to lose the first three games of a best-of-seven postseason series and win the series. That makes the Yankees the first team to win the first three games and lose the series. The Yankees will not run that banner up the flagpole on opening day next season.

There's one thing about being the first to do something; no one can ever replace you. The Yankees will be known forevermore as the first team to lose a series after having a 3-0 lead, just as the Red Sox will always be the first team to win a series after being down by 3-0.

July 27, 2004 "Except for individual games or series, though, the recent rivalry has been one-sided, and, it says here, will continue to be one-sided because the Red Sox won't beat the Yankees when it matters. They will beat themselves before they beat the Yankees."

In coming from so far behind, the Red Sox epitomized the cliché of playing them one game at a time. They were smart enough to know that they couldn't catch the Yankees in one day, but if they could win that day's game, they eventually would tie the series. That's what they did.

"We had to show up and win the game we were playing or we were going home," said Terry Francona, the Boston manager.

Francona succeeded where Grady Little, Jimy Williams and Kevin Kennedy failed. While the Yankees have made the playoffs annually the past decade, those Red Sox managers didn't reach the playoffs, or when they did, didn't eclipse the Yankees.

April 4, 2004 "The Red Sox have as much success catching the Yankees as a dog does chasing his tail."

The Red Sox threatened to catch the Yankees during the season, slashing a 10½-game deficit to 2 games, but that's as close as they got. In their league series, the Red Sox caught the Yankees on Tuesday night and passed them on Wednesday. That's why the Red Sox will open the World Series at Fenway Park tomorrow night.

David Ortiz was named the most valuable player of the series, but the Red Sox hero was Derek Lowe. After being dumped from the starting rotation and then not getting into Game 1 when Francona used five relievers, Lowe started Games 4 and 7. He allowed three runs in five and a third innings and left his first start with a 3-2 lead. Starting Game 7 on two days' rest, he stymied the Yankees on one hit and one run in six innings.

So to the guy who wrote that "these are the Yankees and they are the Red Sox. That's reason enough why these things happen," Lowe was a major reason why those things didn't happen this time.


I have yet to see any overwhelming evidence that Chass has ever seen a baseball game - I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, though, as he must have a get-me-in FREE press pass - but this is a refreshing departure from his usual cheap second-guess-laden whine and screech.

I find it interesting too, the rush to find and lay blame: on Torre, on Cashman, on Giambi, on Rivera...etc. This is not endemic to New York and its sports press, of course. Boston crucifies its managers quicker than anyone. And yes, I understand how one can get accustomed to winning, and take it for granted, and then point fingers like a pack of Pavlov's dogs - Hey, ain't no bitching like LA Laker bitching - but it's rare these days, in any circumstance, not just sports, where the party or parties on the losing end just stand the heck up and say, "You beat me. You were better. Congratulations."

And to get this mostly unqualified step-to-the-plate from Chass, well, i can only deduce he got him some last night.