Redbird Rants spoke to a few writers with Fansided’s Boston Red Sox site, Bosox Injection, in advance of the World Series tonight between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Red Sox.
Redbird Rants: Nobody predicted that the Red Sox or Cardinals would be in the World Series. What were your expectations for this past season?
Rick McNair: I scheduled a vacation to Texas in mid October so that sums up how I felt about the Sox chances. All I wanted to see was potential growth in player development during the season. Maybe get close to .500.
Harry Burnham: I genuinely thought we would be talking about Toronto in the World Series, obviously the Cardinals are perennial contenders, but Boston, no way. I thought maybe we could eke out a third place finish in the East, just barely beating Baltimore and New York, but a fourth or fifth place finish was way more likely. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, so I thought there would be some more jettisoning at the deadline, certainly not picking up Peavy and Thornton. I was preparing to start 2014 with a whole herd of fresh faces and maybe looking to contend in 2015 as our farm system reached its peak.
Redbird Rants: Should the Red Sox be scared of the Cardinals pitching?
Rick McNair: Moore, Price, Sanchez, Verlander, Scherezer, Sox have already seen the best and figured out a way to win. This is an experienced team. Looking at Wainwright he appears very similar to Scherzer so it may be difficult to wait him out. The kid, Wacha, appears the same. Both are very similar to Scherzer in both style and ability to pound the strike zone. What the Sox will do is pile up a mountain of K’s. What I have noticed is just when you are ready to close the book on the offense something happens. A Napoli blast or a Gomes double. They are loaded with classic mistake hitters.
Harry Burnham: In a word, yes. Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly arent really household names, and they arent exactly sure things, but both are capable of putting up HUGE games. It’s the one-two punch that is Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright that should be scaring any and all Boston fans. reading about their brilliance is one thing, but watching the way that the two of them shut down that Dodgers lineup was spectacular.
Redbird Rants: Who ends up starting at first for the games in St. Louis?
Rick McNair: Ortiz. Napoli off the bench.
Harry Burnham: David Ortiz. Frankly, its not even a question. I love Napoli, and he is generally a great hitter who has been riding a hot streak. But I don’t think John Farrell can afford to give up Papi’s production for Napoli’s streakiness, especially against the St. Louis staff.
Redbird Rants: The Red Sox and Cardinals are model franchises that appear to be going the sabermetrics style of building a team rather than old school. Do you believe that this trend will be a good thing for baseball?
Rick McNair: Always fiscally better to build within. Sox do have the ability to resign players they wish to keep or to plug holes with selected FA’s. They have great flexibility as do the Cards. I would be surprised if you see any Gonzo or Crawford type deals. Both teams have the resources (money) to consistently remain competitive.
Harry Burnham: You’re always going to have the mega-teams, the Dodgers and Yankees of the world, and these types of teams will always be good at baseball, but I certainly hope we see more of the Billy Beane and Bill James style team building. I think it makes teams better as a whole, since one or two positions aren’t clogging up 75% of the payroll. It almost has to be good for baseball, especially as more teams catch on, as it can give all 30 teams the opportunity to be competitive as payroll’s shrink and clubs look for role players instead of superstars.
Redbird Rants: Predictions?
Rick McNair: I will say Cards or Boston in 5. Since I am a Sox fan I go Boston.
Harry Burnham: This has to be one of the closest matchups in recent memory, as both top seeds have made it through to the world series. I’m taking Boston in seven games, I think St. Louis has the better staff, but Boston’s offense is the better of the two.