Now the Colorado Rockies know exactly how it feels.
In case there was any doubt which league was the better league in baseball, the World Series cleared things up. Teams featured in the World Series were the Rox and Sox, but Boston was the only team doing the rocking and socking, by sweeping the Rockies to win their second championship in just four years.
The Rockies breezed through the NL playoffs, sweeping the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks (who swept the Cubs) with relative ease, but the Red Sox managed to sweep Colorado, and barely broke a sweat in the process. From the 13-1 laugher in game one at Fenway Park, there was very little question as to who the better team was. The only question was whether or not the Rockies had enough magic on their side, but just minutes after the clock struck midnight in Boston, it struck midnight at Coors Field.
The Rockies did have one golden opportunity to shift momentum in their favor. Despite a horrible loss in the first game of the series, if Colorado would've taken game two, they would've escaped Fenway with a split and taken home-field advantage and momentum along with them. Game two started the right way, too, but the Schilling, Okajima, and Papelbon shut down the Rockies, giving their offense a chance to battle back.
Sure, Colorado had their chances in games three and four as well, but Boston controlled the entire series for the most part, outscoring the Rockies by nineteen runs in the four games. Boston jumped on the board quickly in each of the other three games, scoring a combined eleven times in the first three innings, which really put the pressure on a younger, lesser Rockies team.
Remember, the Rockies shouldn't have even been here; even despite winning 14 of their last 15 regular season games, it took two blown saves from baseball's all-time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman, for the Rockies to win the Wild Card. Then, they rode their hot-streak to a National League pennant, but as expected, the long layoff between the NLCS and World Series cooled down the champions of the Senior Circuit.
For Cubs fans, especially those that believe in the supernatural controlling the outcome of baseball games, the result of this Series should come as a sigh of relief. Hell froze over when the Sox won in 2004 and again when the White Sox won in 2005. If the Rockies were to win in 2007, that would make the third time; surely, hell wouldn't freeze over for a fourth time.
Rodriguez tests waters: Meanwhile, the other 28 teams around baseball are focused on the next biggest news. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez has opted out of his contract and will test the market as a free agent.
Alex Rodriguez, who could've been owed as much as $33 million per year by 2010, obviously thinks that he could get something larger or comparable with a different team. That limits the number of teams that are in the running for the superstar, and when you consider the Yankees' reaction to Rodriguez's decision, the choices are further limited.
"It's clear he didn't want to be a Yankee," said Yankees' Senior VP Hank Steinbrenner. "He doesn't understand the privilege of being a Yankee on a team where the owners are willing to pay $200 million to put a winning product on the field. I don't want anybody on my team that doesn't want to be a Yankee. We're not backing down. It's goodbye."
Imagine what a Cubs lineup with Alex Rodriguez for the 2008 season would look like:
1. Alfonso Soriano, LF
2. Mark DeRosa, 2B
3. Derrek Lee, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, SS
5. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
6. Geovany Soto, C
7. Jacque Jones, CF
8. Matt Murton, RF
As impressive as that lineup would be, I can't help but think that we don't have an extra $30 million per year to bring Rodriguez into town and that if we did, if there isn't a better way to spend it. Outfielders like Mike Cameron, Andruw Jones, and Aaron Rowand are available as are closers like Mariano Rivera, Eric Gagne, and Francisco Cordero. Wouldn't an everyday outfielder, a closer, and a fifth starter be so much better?
I understand that there are plenty of options the fifth spot in the rotation already within the organization: Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher, Kevin Hart, etc, but I would much rather prefer we head into Spring Training with a solid option there. If one of the young pitchers step up and win the job in March, fine, but the package of Rivera ($12M/year), Rowand ($10M/year), and Russ Ortiz ($8/year) looks a lot more inviting than a single player.