I couldn't resist a little commentary and roundup of the media as the Indians prepare to clinch this sucker. I'll be leaving for Cleveland in three hours, and I already see some storylines brewing.
Do the Indians NEED to win game five?
In a word, no. That's the advantage of being up 3-1. That's the advantage of having Fausto going in game six if we need it.
And yet, the national media (ESPN in particular) is playing up this storyline for tonight. It's as if this is a game seven. Everyone relax; it's NOT.
But Terry Pluto does sum up how a lot of Clevelanders must be feeling today. He's begging the Tribe to do it tonight, and he's nervous about going back to Boston.
Jackie MacMullan is a classic Massachusetts flip-flopper!
MacMullan yesterday: "It is also time to move Dustin Pedroia (3 for 16), a front-runner for Rookie of the Year, down in the order. Pedroia has been in a hitting funk since the postseason began."
MacMullan today: "Although Pedroia's average doesn't reflect it, he is swinging the bat well."
MacMullan yesterday: "There's no question the kid is pressing."
MacMullan today: "Pedroia has shown some signs (that he may be pressing)."
The rest of the column is about how Pedroia is a bulldog who is tired of the negativity. Wonder if he read MacMullan's piece yesterday.
Globe writer Nick Cafardo says Fox is NOT PLEASED with the potential WS matchup.
During a live chat yesterday, Cafardo was asked, "How bad are Fox executives sweating at the prospect of a Rockies/Indians series?"
He responded, "Big time. I've talked to a few of them. They could lose their shirts."
I don't get it. They could get fired for not making sure Boston or New York or Chicago gets to the Series?
ALCS MVP (if the Tribe wins?) Tom Verducci says Rafael Betancourt.
My favorite line: "Said Betancourt, who has insisted that steroids did not cause his positive test, "I'm proving to a lot of people I don't need to put that stuff in my body."
Dan Shaughnessy writes a pretty nice pre-mortem for "America's Team."
It's a nice piece. He adds some interesting stats and information, my favorite being the following:
"Perhaps the Tribe lineup should get credit for doing what no one did in 2007 - knocking out three successive Boston starters before the end of the fifth inning."
I did not know that was the case. Nice.
He has once piece of flawed logic, though. He says that if Beckett can start tonight, he should have been able to start in game four and therefore should have started in game four. He says that if Beckett was too injured to start game four, he should not pitch tonight. Huh? Pitchers aren't allowed to need a couple more days?
And about the Red Sox lineup...
The Globe reports that you'll see the same lineup you saw in game one against Sabathia. Kielty for Drew, no Ellsbury.
If you missed it, you MUST check out Jay and Scott's Esquire piece.
It's the most potent yet. They've done such outstanding work that you ought to read the blog, send links to friends, and click the sponsors. Make some noise and support them.
Tonight, CC can make us forget about his previous two outings.
Jodie Valade, the best sportswriter the PD has, has a nice piece on Sabathia.
Strangely, this quote from Sabathia worries me: "If I keep it under control, I think I'll be fine."
He's talking about his emotions. I can't think of another pitcher in baseball who has to battle this much with emotions in big games. CC is very open about it. Let's hope he conquers it tonight.
Very cool story on Shapiro's friendship with Danny Ferry.
I'm biased on this one. I know Ferry's wife -- I was a friend of her brother's growing up -- so I'm a Ferry fan. She had floor seats one night and he asked her out using a ball boy.
Local TV news sucks.
Yeah, I know, I work in local TV news. But by and large, it's hokey, irritating, and uninformative. This will give you an eye tic:
I miss Nev Chandler. But while it's off-topic, this video will make you laugh -- it's a girl I went to school with and anchored with.
No new blog posting from Garko.
We never figured we'd be in this spot -- with a chance to close it out at home -- but I would love to see it happen in person. Cheers.