It was something of a shock to see the Red Sox succumb to Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians in three games. “Something of a shock?” Well, Cleveland had a slightly better regular season record and an identifiably better bullpen going in. In those three games, we saw the Indians outscore the Sox 15 to 7 – more than double Boston’s output. And the Red Sox’ combined ERA for these three games was 5.00. So, what could we expect? Briefly, the plague of inconsistency that bothered the Red Sox most of this summer returned with a vengeance in October.
And it was a bittersweet departure for David Ortiz, who is one of the few athletes to retire while still at the very top of his game, even though he’s just a month shy of 41 years old. There isn’t much South Boston Online can add to Big Papi’s legend, except to list (in awe) his three key final season statistics: a .315 batting average, an astronomical 127 runs batted in, and 38 home runs, which (by the way) is a record home run output for a hitter’s last season. His role as a DH and potential 2016 MVP is only matched by his gigantic, Boston-wide personality. Many, many thanks, David
But here’s the pitch: the baseball season need not be over for Boston fans. How about it if we root for a World Series between the Cleveland Indians, skippered by Sox alumnus Manager Terry Francona, and the Chicago Cubs, with Theo Epstein as President of Baseball Operations (translated: “Rebuilder”)?
It’s not that it has been two long World Series dry spells for the Indians (68 years) and the Cubs (108 years. Our sympathies, of course. What’s more important, both Francona and Epstein got their baseball management chops right here in Boston, with Red Sox teams that copped two World Series Championships under their guidance. Cheering for the two of them – Tito and Theo – would be just like cheering for the home team. Well, almost. And if Epstein’s Cubs take the World Series, he’d become a virtual shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a hometown boy make it to Cooperstown?
South Boston Online is rooting for the Cubs to go all the way. Yes, yes, we know that’s the National League, but the Cubs deserve it, after a .640 regular season and 103 wins. And more than a century of waiting.