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Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Sean's Red Sox-Angels preview »
October 2, 2007
LULL BEFORE THE STORM: On a generally quiet day yesterday -- save for Rally Monday (above, AP Photo), decried by Frank from Gloucester but enjoyed by pretty much everyone else who was there (AP via projo.com) -- pieces began falling into place for the Red Sox-Angels series. For one thing, the starting times were finally announced. (Projo Sox Blog) So was the Red Sox' starting rotation (projo.com), with the news -- first put forth by Sean McAdam on Monday -- that Daisuke Matsuzaka, and not Curt Schilling, would start Game Two. But for the most part, it was just a day when the players had a light workout, awards were handed out and people slowly began to look forward to the series opener on Wednesday.
BUT FIRST, A LOOK BACK: We said yesterday we'd been remiss in not pointing to the excellent photography provided by the Projo staff over the course of the year. Remiss no more; take a look at Bob Breidenbach's slideshow of the season. Steven Krasner went over the schedule and came up compilation of exhilarating and memorable games and moments, as well as a few lowlights along the way. Here, with the help of assistant sports editor Mike McDermott, is Kraz' breakdown of the important moments, complete with that day's photo gallery. Take a look; it's very interesting.
SNAPSHOTS OF A SEASON: Krasner also did some quick hits on various elements of the year, such as how Jonathan Paplebon's decision to return to the bullpen cleaned up a muddly relief situation; Tim Wakefield recording a decision in his first 26 starts; the delightful surprise that was Hideki Okajima; Kevin Youkilis' 23-game hitting streak, and the one-inning woes of Daisuke Matsuzaka.
AND NOW, A LOOK FORWARD: McAdam lists the the 10 keys for the Red Sox against the Angels. (projo.com)
MANNY BEING MANNY: When he has a bat in his hands, that's a good thing for the Sox. (projo.com)
A DIFFERENT MATCHUP: You'll see plenty of side-by-side comparisons of the Angels and Red Sox today and tomorrow (including here). But Seth Mnookin analyzes how the 2007 Sox rate against the 2004 World Series champions.
AN EARLY LOOK: ESPN.com's Jonah Keri examines the thinking fan's approach vs. the non-thinking fan's approach to the series. Keri, a thinking fan, picks Sox in five.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES: The Angels are covered by one of our sister publications, the Riverside Press-Enterprise, and we'll be sharing stories throughout the series. Their Angels' beat reporter, Matt Hurst, says today that the team -- or at least the outfield -- is hurting heading into the playoffs. You can also keep up with the latest Angels' news on pe.com's Angels Blog. I know I will.
Today will be a busy day at Fenway, with both teams working out. Check back here throughout the morning and afternoon for constant updates.
WHAT AN ENDING: Does it get more dramatic than this? The Rockies' 13-inning victory over the Padres in the NL wild-card play-in game (Denver Post) -- in which they rallied against closer-for-the-ages Trevor Hoffman after San Diego scored twice in the top of the 13th -- has to rank as one of the greatest games in playoff history, and gets the 2007 postseason off to a rousing start. And one of the most controversial, since it doesn't appear Matt Holliday (above, AP Photo) ever touched home plate when he scored the winning run. (Denver Post) They made believers out of Woody Paige and everyone else in Colorado (Denver Post), but FoxSports.com's Tracy Ringolsby says plenty of people believed in -- and feared -- the Rockies. We'd love to know how the Padres feel about this, but the San Diego Union-Tribune only has Associated Press stories on its site. We have the AP feed ourselves, so here's the AP postgame account from the San Diego locker room.
AND FUTHERMORE . . . Holliday's performance last night enabled him to beat out Chipper Jones for the N.L. batting title.
UPDATE THE RECORD BOOK: Writing for SI.com, Baseball Prospectus' Nate Silver adds the 2007 Mets and 2007 Padres to the list of the 13 worst collapses in baseball history. The Red Sox are all over this list, both bad (1978, 2003, 1986 World Series) and good (2004, 1986 ALCS).
ONLY ONE WINNER: Dustin Pedroia is the lone member of the Red Sox collecting postseason hardware in ESPN.com's Jayson Stark's list of awards.
FUNDAMENTAL DISCONNECT: The New York Daily News' Lisa Olson says the clinical, emotionless Mets' brass is completely out of touch with its devastated, heartbroken fan base.
I THOUGHT THIS WAS NEXT YEAR: FoxSports.com's Mark Kriegel expresses what many Mets followers felt.
LET ME COUNT THE WAYS: ESPN.com's Page 2 lists 44 reasons why the Mets collapsed.
PLAYOFF BITS: Jason Marquis may be the odd man out in the Cubs' rotation (Chicago Sun-Times) . . . The Yankees are counting -- tentatively -- on Roger Clemens to start Game Three. (New York Post)
TO-DO LIST: FoxSports.com's Dayn Perry puts one together for teams that didn't make the playoffs.
OURS IS PRETTY SMALL: The Blue Jays believe their 2007 season was torpedoed by injuries and not fundamental team weaknesses, so they plan to fine-tune rather than rebuild this winter. (tsn.ca)
QUICKLY: The Brewers may be open to trading Bill Hall (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) . . . The Marlins are mulling moving Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez, who may comprise the worst defensive left side of an infield in baseball, to different positions next year (Miami Herald) . . . Jim Tracy's status is still up in the air in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) . . . Jim Leyland met with the Tigers' brass about a contract extension (Detroit Free Press) . . . It looks as if Tom Glavine and the Mets will be parting company (Newsday). . . But not Willie Randolph; sources tell Newsday he'll be back . . . The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mark Bradley thinks bringing Glavine back to the Braves is a terrible idea . . . Mets reliever Scott Schoeneweis denies a report that he received six shipments of steroids from the pharmacy that is at the center of an ongoing investigation into illegal prescription drug sales (New York Daily News) . . . Sean Casey is through in Detroit. (MLB.com)
-- ART MARTONE
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