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Pitching should power Red Sox

Oct 9, 2007 4:02 AM

Let’s begin with a brief analysis of the baseball playoffs. The two teams that will play for the National League Championship are distinct underdogs, who can’t believe themselves that they’ve gotten this far. They both have some great talent. Arizona figures to be a slight favorite, as they have a strong pitching staff and timely hitting players. They play the Colorado Rockies, who are sizzling and have a lineup almost as good as the Philadelphia Phillies, but no real pitching.

As much as I’d like to back the Rockies, good judgment says if Arizona can sweep the Phillies, they’ve got to be the winners here, especially when sinker-baller Webb pitches.

As for the American League, I’ve said all along that the Red Sox pitching is overpowering, and their hitting is above average, so they’ll be there when the final bell rings.

In college football, Hawaii will be fun to watch on Friday. They can score as many as they want, and with a national audience they just might. Louisville, a highly touted offensive juggernaut, has been giving up as much as they are scoring, and visiting Cincinnati, a real good team, will give them as much as they can handle. Go Bearcats!

As advertised, the best show on "blue turf" didn’t disappoint the few who could tear themselves away from the Packer/Bear game on Sunday night. LSU deserves the number one ranking, if for no other reason the coach went for a touchdown in the last minutes of his game, when he had a fourth and one, when an automatic field goal would have tied up the game. This guy has more guts than you can imagine.

In the NFL the feature game this week will be the Pats at Dallas. I can’t pick a winner, but I’ll be sure to bet the game over, as both teams seem to be scoring at will. T.O. and Romo versus Brady and Moss. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Take a flier on the Rams plus 10. I know they stink, but the Ravens don’t score enough to warrant being a 10 point favorite over anybody. They’ll need three or four turnovers to cover that spread. Miami plus five seems like a fair number, especially if it goes up prior to game time. Caution: play it only if Q.B. Green starts. They’re playing better and the Browns are pretty beat up.

Last Friday the Pittsburgh Pirates fired Manager Jim Tracy. Poor Jim. He’s got three players of respectable Major League caliber and he’s expected to compete with teams that have 15 or 20 good players. I know they are what is called a "small market franchise" but I’m certain they’re making money on their initial investment. It’s impossible to win in any competition if you don’t have the horses. That in fact is the real problem with baseball, as they aspire to have a salary cap on each team, and if the cap is exceeded they are compelled to pay an additional sum of money that theoretically is distributed to the other teams in the league.

Well, in principal this seems acceptable, but the offenders don’t care as their team’s attendance etc. far exceeds the amount over the cap they have to reimburse the league with.

With the exception of expansion teams in the NBA, all other teams at least have a shot at the title. Even the NFL has almost all teams each year as possibilities to get there.

These leagues at least give hope for all teams, unlike the poorly run baseball leagues, where money talks and free agents walk.

The most absurd act I can think of to prove my point is the Red Sox paying $50 million dollars last year just to talk to "Dice K," a young untested pitcher from Japan. After they signed him they probably spent more than the entire payroll of the Pirates, Royals and Devil Rays combined on one guy. I rest my case, counselor! A lyric of a great song explains how I feel about baseball: "With all your faults I love you still" or as the King sings "I can’t stop loving you."

Have a great week!