October 1, 2005


Fight to the Finish in AL East (Dave Sheinin, October 1, 2005, Washington Post)

There should be red-white-and-blue bunting adorning the faded green balconies of Fenway Park. There should be dignitaries on hand, and special tickets printed up, and laser-painted logos decorating the grass near home plate. Because what this is now -- as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees stand tied for the American League East title after six months of baseball, with two head-to-head games left in the season -- is a playoff series, in all but the most literal sense of the word.

It is a best two-out-of-three series now, to be exact, following the Red Sox' 5-3 win Friday night in front of 34,832 raucous fans at the lyric bandbox on Yawkey Way. There are the two games here Saturday and Sunday. And there is, if necessary, a 163rd game on Monday at Yankee Stadium. First team to win two earns the division title.

And the loser? Well, that's not so simple. They could back their way into the wild card. They could face the Cleveland Indians in a one-game playoff for the wild card. Or they could be finished. Partly, it depends on what happens in Cleveland, where the Indians lost to the Chicago White Sox in a 13-inning thriller in the first of three games Friday night, falling a game behind Boston and New York.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 1, 2005 8:42 AM

The Indians have discovered the truth of that old baseball adage: "You can't swing a bat if your hands are around your neck."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 1, 2005 10:25 AM

It's the Chicago team that's supposed to choke. It's tradition.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 1, 2005 11:00 AM

Raoul: You reckon without the Curse of Rocky Colavito.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 1, 2005 11:25 AM

Still not rooting for that overpaid bunch of whining sack of choke artist losers. So hopefully everything is right on track.

Posted by: joe shropshire at October 1, 2005 11:40 AM

Which "overpaid bunch of whining sack of choke artist losers" are you talking about?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 1, 2005 4:19 PM

I think he means the Red Sox, but I vote for the Cubs.

Posted by: jdkelly at October 1, 2005 4:32 PM

Res Sox. Who I'm not rooting for, by the way. Not that it seems to have helped much.

Posted by: joe shropshire at October 1, 2005 4:53 PM

It's all over now.

Posted by: obc at October 1, 2005 5:24 PM

Whining about curses is for losers, so let's leave that sort of thing to that Northside team's fans (and Red Sox fans, come Monday...). Real fans of bad teams that show some success don't blame their teams' ability to choke on outside forces, but revel in that ineptitude, and look forward to the new and creative ways in which their teams can find to choke. (The White Sox did the sweep thing against the Mariners a few years ago. I'd have gone with blowing the 3-0 series lead if the Damnyankees hadn't taken care of that last year, so I look forward to what the White Sox come up with next week. (Helping the Indians by getting swept would have been a fitting touch, too...))

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 1, 2005 5:52 PM

Spoke a little too soon, eh OJ?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 2, 2005 2:36 PM

We're just toying with them now.

Posted by: oj at October 2, 2005 2:45 PM

The Yanks may have one the division, but the Red Sox got the better of the deal.

Both teams open on the road, but the Sox get to play the vastly inferior White Sox, while the Yanks get the tough Angels.

Should be two good series -- the Halo's pitching vs the two best hitting teams in the majors. I think they''ll take the Yankees, as much as it pains me to admit it, but I'm not sure they can be the Red Sox, especially if the Sox young middle relievers perform.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 2, 2005 5:46 PM