Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tombstone


The Yankees and Red Sox are about to get back to playing their version of the shootout at the O.K. Corral. The Yankees (the Earp gang) are heading to Fenway to take on the Red Sox (the Clantons). This series could signal the end of the Red Sox as a serious threat to the Yankees this season. The Yankees will go into Boston with the advantage of a lead (1.5 - 2.5, depending upon the outcome of today's game with Baltimore), but the Red Sox have the comfort of being at home.

The Red Sox are banged up right now with their most serious injury being to their catcher and captain Jason Veritek. They have pitching problems and they are not exactly playing their best ball of the season right now. All of that goes out of the window when the Yankees come to town. The Yankees and Red Sox play only two types of games either close and tense or blowouts. The Red Sox will blow the Yankees out in one game during this series. That always seems to happen. I'm talking about a game where they beat the Yankees by 10 runs or more. If I were a betting man, I would say the most likely candidate is the Randy Johnson start. Outside of that game however, I expect that the other four will be close.

I never really look forward to these games with the Red Sox. It just pisses me off when the Yankees lose and there is only a sense of relief when they win. There is no joy for me in these games. 19 games against the Red Sox just seems like too many to me. I know that the unbalanced schedule forces teams to play their own division for half of their schedule, but it just seems like overkill to me. The Yankees vs. the Red Sox is the best rivalry in baseball, but there is a point where it just becomes too much. The games are very draining on both teams. Closers end up pitching for more than an inning, bullpens are taxed, players press too much. It may be good for ESPN and Fox, but it ends up hurting the teams in the long run.

Let's hope that as at the O.K. Corral, the good guys come out on top. Did the Earp gang fire on the Clantons and McLaury's first? We'll never know. But hopefully the Yankees come out firing with both barrels against the Red Sox tomorrow. The second game of tomorrow's day/night doubleheader features two pitchers with ERA's over seven! By all definitions, that should be a shootout. Of course, the Yankees do have a way of making subpar pitchers look like world beaters (look no further than last nights loss to the Orioles for an example of that). Let's just hope that they aren't firing blanks over the weekend.

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