Photo credit: @KMPHFOX26
By: Amaury Pi-González
It’s a glamorous dream match-up drama made for television. The Boston Red Sox, the franchise of the legends Babe Ruth and Ted Williams against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the franchise of the legends of Jackie Robinson and Sandy Koufax. It will be New England Clam Chowder vs. Los Angeles Tacos, Cape Cod vs. Hollywood, Fenway Park vs. Dodger Stadium, the colors Red vs. Blue. Two of the oldest major league parks in the country,but two of the most iconic. It all begins this Tuesday, October 23 at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles for Game 1. It this reads like a television drama since it could be just that.
A huge story for Latin America is Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who is the first manager born in Caguas, Puerto Rico to take his team to a World Series. He is 43 years old. His team gave him the best birthday present ever on the day of his birthday, October 18, as they won the American League pennant, eliminating the 2017 World Series champions Houston Astros. In 2011, Edwin Rodríguez, also from Puerto Rico, briefly managed the Florida Marlins. There has only been one manager born in Latin America that has won a World Series. Venezuelan Ozzie Guillén in 2005 when the Chicago White Sox swept the Houston Astros. The first Latin American-born manager in MLB history was Miguel Angel González (Mike González) born in Cuba, and in 1938, replaced Frankie Frisch as the St. Louis Cardinals’ skipper.
This is the first meeting between the two teams in a World Series since the 1916 World Series,when the Dodgers were known as the Brooklyn Robins. In 1916, Broadway theater owner and producer Harry Frazee and Hugh Ward bought the Red Sox for $700,000.
In 1916, the Chicago Cubs played their first game at Weegham Park (modern-day Wrigley Field) and they defeated the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings. That same year the New York Giants traded Christy Mathewson to the Reds. Woodrow Wilson (Democrat) was the President of the United States. The U.S. Marines occupied the Dominican Republic. In Seattle, Mr.William Boeing renamed his young airplane company BOEING. DW Criffith’s film Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Through the Ages was released while massive flooding by two hurricanes devastated North Carolina. Unfortunately, hurricanes have been with us for centuries.
Who is the better team? The Red Sox led the world in offense, the Dodgers where número uno in home runs in the National League, so it seems the Dodgers win most of the time with the long ball. But that is today’s game in baseball. It is all about “launch angle” and guys hitting .235 with 35 home runs. This season, there were more strikeouts than hits in MLB–the first time that has ever happened. The Red Sox have more selective hitters like AL batting champion Mookie Betts .346 and probably the MVP in the league and J.D. Martínez, who has become the hitting guru today. He fell short of winning the Triple Crown. The last player to lead the Majors in all three categories in the same season was Mickey Mantle, who batted .353 with 52 homers and 130 RBI for the Yankees in 1956. The Mick was the last man to win the Triple Crown. Is that easy to do? The last time was 62 years ago.
Both teams have good starting pitching and bullpens. Both closers Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel are not automatic when they come out late in the game, as the booth can elevate the blood pressure of their respective managers very quickly with a simple walk in a close game. However, the way it has been going, closers come in the seventh inning and sometimes starters pitch in the ninth and secure the victory. So, only God knows how pitchers will be used.
Without going into pedantic analysis, these are two very good deep teams. Dodgers have basically two squads,with tremendous depth maybe even more than the Red Sox. It is tough to pick a winner. I know here in the Bay Area, specially on the west side of the bay, I would make more enemies than friends if I picked the Dodgers, and I am inclined to do that this time. They are on a mission and manager Dave Roberts had his team since Spring Training very focused on repeating as NL champions and making it again to the October Classic. The Dodgers have accomplished that. This should be a long series. The old cliché, “It is not the best team that wins, but the team that plays the best”. Best testimony of that statement was the 1988 Dodgers vs Athletics World Series, the A’s were a better team in all aspects of the game, yet the Dodgers won. Hurts me to remember that, since I was there with the A’s. 1988 is also the last time the Dodgers won the whole Enchilada.
One thing is for sure and this will be fun. if there is a Game 7, it will be played at Fenway Park on Halloween! Trick or Treat?