Thursday, October 9

October Experience

The 2008 Tampa Bay (don't call them Devil) Rays are one of the best stories in baseball. I am required by law to say that, but lets talk about what could be the x factor in this American League Championship Series, experience.

The Red Sox have been in 4 of the last 6 ALCS's, Tampa just got on the big stage. True they never blinked all year when everyone was predicting they would crumble under the pressure, or because of their September schedule, but now there are 4 teams left, soon to be 2.

Last year the Sox were down 3-1 against the Indians in the ALCS, and I can't remember one person saying the Red Sox weren't going to the World Series. Beckett pitched and won game 5 in Cleveland and then it was really over, because the Tribe was not winning in Fenway. That was part of the post 2004 feeling they say every Red Sox fan has. Yeah maybe, it's also called the experience factor.

In 2004 the Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees and exercise all their demons from the previous 86 years. Big deal right that was 2004? Wrong. You can't teach experience. The Rays are young, fast, full of energy, and underdog which are all good things, but they've never been here before.

Experience doesn't win ball games, I'm not saying that, but it can certainly go a long way in helping. I'm interested to see how the Rays react if they are down 2-0 and Jon Lester is pitching game 3 at home on Monday. I'm looking forward to see how the Rays recover from a 6-4-3 rally killing double play in the bottom of the 8th inning and go on to lose games 1 or 2 at home. I want to see how Joe Madden manages his bullpen, and if he pushes guys, and when he takes his starters out. I want to see how their starters bounce back if the Red Sox jump out to an early lead. Maybe they handle everything perfectly and Tampa goes to it's first World Series in team history, that would truly be an amazing story.

The Sox will still have to make the right pitches and hit at the right times to win the series, but if they are down 3-1 in the series going into game 5, I'm not writing them off, because the Sox have the experience card.

As stated, Sox in 7, play ball!


DVicino said...

this has nothing to do with your post....but an article in the St. Pete paper today gave the managerial advantage to Joe Maddon. much homerism can you have. Maddon is a great manager, should get manager of the year and has done amazing things with this young team....but given the situation, how can anyone give him the edge over Tito? People,(not ITM) gave Mikey Soc. the advantage in the ALDS...and he got schooled in coaching. When will they start giving Tito the proper respect?

Also...Maddon isn't even his full last's really Madonini...but he doesn't go by that...which automatically pisses me off. Game on.

Anonymous said...

I think Maddon got the edge because of the dramatic turn-around that his managerial term has brought to the Rays. Is he really "better" than Francona? Debatable. Probably not. But he's had to most dramatic improvement over the past two years. (I know this is his third year, but the improvement has been over the past two).
Also, you're incorrect about Maddonini being his "real" last name. His grandfather's last name was Maddonini, but he changed it when he immigrated to America from Italy. For the past two generations, the surname has officially and legally been "Maddon".
Just spreadin' the knowledge! Looking forward to some great games this weekend. Leaving to head over to the Trop in about an hour and a half, and the butterflies have already started.

DVicino said...


I continue to appreicate the info from St. Pete, but no matter how hard I try to take the Boston bias out of the equation, I just can't see anyone would give the edge to Maddon, especially given the situation. This is taking nothing away from Maddon though, he has truly done some special things with this Rays team.

In regards to the last name thing, I've read that same thing and was jokingly "zinging" Joe for no real reason. That said, I hear he has a name plate on his desk with his "original" name.

All that said, it all comes down to on...should be a great series.

Anonymous said...

Dice-K is insanely frustrating...god...only through one inning and I'm thinking it'll be a really late night.

Thank god he got out of it, but three walks!

Tim Murphy said...

sox up 1-0, have joe maddon talk to me when he has two world series rings and a record of 8-0 on the big stage. thank you and good night.

DVicino said...

Props to Tim for calling the 8th inning, 6-4-3 double play...truly amazing my friend.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim
Series Tied. Can we Talk Yet?
By the way Have you Managed any of the Bosox wins?
I think Joe can talk to you anytime. He earned it even if you're toobiased to give him the props he's due He actually does something beside write on a second rate blog.

Tim Murphy said...

Harold from St Pete, since your ripping on me via the internet I'll assume your 14 years old or you're 30 and still live in your moms basement.

Yes the series is tied, I think I picked the sox in 7, so that would require the Sox to lose 3 games. I haven't managed the Sox to any wins yet, however I don't believe I've claimed too, just stating my opinion.

I'm not saying Joe Maddon doesn't deserve credit for what he's done in Tampa, but giving him the edge over Tito in the playoffs is stupid based on Tito's track record. I don't think you're reading the entire post, give it a second run through.

Lastly, if you think this is a second rate blog, why are you visiting it and posting on it? Whatever you're reason we here at ITM thank you.

Anonymous said...

Tim I am ripping on you on the internet because I dont live in Boston where i could rip on you in person. No I am not 14 and I dont live in my moms basement. You are a second rate blog because Amanda and I make up an easy 50 percent of the posts on your blog, The other 50 percent being made up by you and d vicino. I dont see many Sox fans posting. I see more Bosox fans posting on The Heater than on your blog. The other reason that you make the grade as a second rate blog is that you resort to comment like "since your ripping on me via the internet I'll assume your 14 years old or you're 30 and still live in your moms basement."
You were ripping on people via the internet. If its true for one it must be true for the other. The main problem with the internet is that subtle things like intonation and tone of voice are lost. My post was meant to be a playful joist back at you. But you play it anyway you want. Here goes 25 percent of your posts

Anonymous said...

sorry to interrupt the two of you and your little back and forth....

I think this whole thing is pretty pathetic...Harold in St. Pete, I read your post and I didn't find it playful at all...but i do agree there is too much open for objectivity on the internet.

As for this being a second rate blog...I don't know these guys and don't live in boston either...but i'm assuming they don't do this as a full time job. There are hundreds of red sox blogs out there (and some pretty bad ones) compared to the handful of Rays blogs. I don't always agree with them either, but i've seen some terrible blogs, this isn't one of them....although if the senseless bickering continues it could get annoying real fast.

keep it to baseball....Go Sox.

Tim Murphy said...

Well, if you want to take our blog that personally we thank you for checking it out and goodbye.

Also, more then 2 people check out our blog but don't post comments, we have the numbers to back that up. You're looking at the work of 3 Red Sox fans who love baseball, we do not have 24 hours/day to devote to this.

Soxin08, thank you for the kind comments. Here's to a good ALCS and hopefully the Sox come out on top.

Anonymous said...

1. I "know" Harold (not personally, I'm just really familiar with his blogging), and that was playful for him. He can be brutal, so to him that post was light-hearted.

2. I have to disagree with him on one thing, though. I think this is a great blog. Better than 90% of the other Red Sox blogs. Team pride without being total closed-minded homers.

BTW, I think I have to give the Sox the edge in today's game (game 3). Lester v. Garza, day game, Rocco starting in RF... I love Rocco, bless his heart, but he's not back to 100% yet. I don't expect a blow-out, but I do think you have a slight edge.

DVicino said...


Thanks for your comments. I have been biting my tongue on this thread for a while and will not weigh in too much. We try hard to stay as "balanced" as possible on ITM, I feel that we have given the Rays a lot more honesty and respect than a lot of others.

That said I agree with you in regards to today's game re: Lester. He has been amazing...not that Garza is bad by any means, he has good stuff and has benefited by leaving Minn.

I personally think the Sox need to win this game as game 4 seems to favor the Rays on paper. Regardless, if Beckett continues to be "not himself" the Sox will have a hard time winning this series.

Anonymous said...

What the hell's going on with Lester? Something wrong, or just one of "those" days? This isn't the Lester I know and, respect.

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