Tribute to the Tribe
- Updated: October 22, 2007
By Mishael Schiller
The Red Sox ALCS comeback of 2007 has one down-side. It was done against the Cleveland Indians. It was one thing to spank the Yankees in 2004 in their own house. Most people outside of New York (and some in it) LOVE to see the Yankees lose. There was no remorse in 2004. . .But this is 2007. The defeated team is not the New York Juggernaut, but the Cleveland Indians who are one well-put together and managed team. They were hungry for victory. Beating them doesn’t have that same nasty tang for Boston that beating New York brought. Sure, the Indians lost the ALCS, but let’s look at what they accomplished in the process:
Jake Westbrook: This guy battled last night. He scattered hits and allowed 3 runs over the first 3 innings in a tight, pressure cooker situation at Fenway Park. He was better when he left the game than when he started. He walked only one batter, intentionally. He pitched a great game, all things considering.
Kenny Lofton: His hand will go ring-less yet again. He was on the Yankees when they saw the prize slip through their fingers in 2004. In the past 4 seasons, he has been one win away from a trip to the World Series in 7 different games against Boston and could not pull out that fourth win. It ended up not making a difference in the overall scoring, but he now has 3 months off to think about that “out” call at second base in the 5th and the “hold up” call as he rounded 3rd in the 7th.
Eric Wedge: He did a great job of showing confidence in his players, and they came through for him. Gutierrez came up with 2 hits last night, after being given the start instead of Trot Nixon. He stuck with Westbrook through 6 and Westbrook turned his outing around in a maximum pressure game. Great management throughout the series.
As a team, they played hard, played well, got pretty good pitching from just about everyone, and gave the Red Sox a run for their money.
In one sense, you hate to see these guys lose. But, it’s baseball, and anything can (and does) happen. Congratulations to Boston, but also to Cleveland for a tremendous series and a game 7 that was a nail biter through 7 ½ innings!