Best trade-deadline pick-up debate is over: It's
Beltran, who hit 2 HR in LDS-clinching G5 last night,
giving him 4 for the series (hit .455, too).
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Pedro Martinez's li'l pal (and
unofficial Red Sox cheerleader) Nelson de la Rosa
symbolizes the differences between the teams in the
Series To End All Series.
The Red Sox are Freaks: A diverse carnival of
frat-house antics and self-proclaimed "Idiots." The
team mantra has gone from "Cowboy Up!" to "One of
us ... one of us ..."
The Yankees are Geeks: Buttoned-up and
all-business to the point of Listerine
professionalism, they remain baseball's Stepford
(The irony is that the Freaks are guided by a geeky
Bill James-inspired front office; the Geeks perpetuate
the freaky "Jeter intangibles" myth.)
Here's the thing: So far, there's been no
evidence that Boston's easygoing, "Why Not Us?" thing
beats New York's clinical, "We're Why It's Not You"
focus on winning. In a series this taut, loosey and
goosey gives up a slight edge to discipline and
Translation: Francona's blunders will be the
difference: In yet another RSN heartbreaker, Yankees
Via private jet, expected to be in NY
for G1 tonight. Can already see how this plays out: If
he pitches poorly, the trip gets the blame; if he
pitches well, it's a mystique-builder.
Bulletin-board material: "I'm not sure
I can think of any scenario more enjoyable than making
55,000 people from New York shut up." It's not that it
won't happen; it's that it can't
Astros Win LDS
One of the more remarkable streaks in
MLB history is over: The Astros won their first
postseason series ever, in their eighth try. They did it decisively
(and on the road, no less). Manager Phil Garner is off
the hook, at least. Because coming next ...
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Brian Griese: Will get another start for Bucs (Simms out)|
Dave Miley: Reds manager gets extension through 2006
Titans RB Chris Brown: Re-tracks with 148 yards and 2 TDs
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Parcells and Gibbs: Both are frustrated with their teams|
Braves: Overachieved in '04, but playoff slump continues
Tim Carter: Giants top deep-play WR likely out for season
... Houston has no chance. Go ahead and
talk about the Astros' season-ending series sweep of
St. Louis. The 'Stros got what they desperately needed -- out of a
playoff round. Now, with a pitching rotation in
tatters, they'll be lucky to take this series to six
Pick: StL in 5.
MNF: Pack Stinks
Lamb-asted: Titans' 48 the most points
ever scored by a visitor at Lambeau. But that's not
nearly as bad as GB's 1-4 start, which only 8 teams in
NFL history have recovered from to make the playoffs.
you us who picked the Pack
to the NFC title game, please 'fess up.)
Usually when a RB goes down, everyone
goes scurrying to the fantasy waiver wire to pick up
his replacement. How bad is it for the Panthers that
they are so far down the RB depth chart that FFL GMs
can't even find Carolina's 4th/5th-string
Meanwhile: Breathe a sigh of relief, because
the most exciting player in the league, Lions WR Roy
Williams, is day-to-day, not (yet) tainted by
Detroit's annoying habit of losing its best
skill-position players for the season.
Latest: Williams' lawyer said he thinks
Ricky will be back in the NFL "as soon as possible" --
even claiming he can return without a suspension. How
does he possibly make that go away? Does his attorney
work for the firm of Copperfield, Henning and
Does this offend you?
Hey, Red Sox: Who's Your Daddy?
Apparently, unless RSN fans are making their own
"spirit shirts" (usually incorporating the words
"Yankees" and "suck"), they can't take it.
Were they offended by the sentiment -- or that MLB
itself produced the shirts? So MLB pulled the shirts
(Hey, Red Sox: Don't Be Maddy?)
Why wouldn't Boston fans embrace the insult and
turn it into a rallying cry? The same
hyper-sensitivity keeps them from handling the
pressure of beating the Yankees. "Why Not Us?"
Both Miami QBs will sit for "Someone's Gotta Win" game
vs. equally winless Buffalo, leaving starting to ... Sage Rosenfels, who EVERYONE is rooting for.
|Today on ESPN.com|
|P2: Don Zimmer previews the ALCS|
|He's an ALCS newbie|
|Unknown scares RSN|
|Series won/lost in Boston|
|As much as you may hate ...|
More ALCS Projections:|
Project (if not *guarantee*) some NY entrepreneur has
bootleg "Who's Your ..." T-shirts on the street outside
of the Stadium this afternoon ...
Of each team's major offseason upgrade, project A-Rod
to have an even bigger series than Schilling, who
could go 2-0 and end up a loser ...
Of both teams' weak links in the starting rotation,
project Bos No. 4 Wakefield to have the toughest time
(NY No. 2 Lieber, too) ...
If the Yankees lose this series, project an
unprecedented spending binge this offseason (Hello:
Pedro! Oh, and Goodbye: Cashman!) ...
If the Red Sox lose this series, project the biggest
question as: Where can they possibly go from
Happy retirement to Robin Ventura: I was at Shea for
his '99 NLCS Game 5 walk-off whatever-it-was. 18
career slams (3rd-most ever)? The guy was clutch ...