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A Rousing Sox-cess

So the Boston Red Sox are on top of the world again, and there’s nothing fluky about it. Their four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies was an exhibition of dominance that won’t soon be forgotten, and despite the denial of Rockies owner Charles Monfort, this likely would’ve been the result even without Colorado’s eight-day layoff.

What stands out about this championship is that there’s nothing lovable about it. It was easy to get caught up in Boston’s title in 2004, because it was just so stunning to see a sight that many of us thought we’d never see. This time, Boston was so superior that their march to a crown was barely compelling. Look, this team might as well call itself “Yankees East,” because of its financial advantage over most competitors. Don’t slight the Red Sox, however, because there are few things in sports as impressive as a team that is built to win the title and doing so in such “No doubt,” fashion. By blasting all comers _ and face it, save for one three-game slump in the American League Championship Series, Boston did just that _ the Red Sox became special champions.

Of course, I was greeted with an e-mail from one particularly obnoxious member of Red Sox nation, a guy who’s been on my case from Day 1 this season, and that’s fine. At the beginning of the playoffs, I picked Cleveland to emerge from the American League, but judging by how the Indians played after going up two games on Boston in the AL Championship Series, they weren’t ready. In fact, no other team in the majors was in Boston’s league come October, and the Red Sox proved that beyond a doubt.

So mark them down as one of the most impressive one-season champs of all time. Don’t mention them as a dynasty, yet, though, because it takes at least two in a row to get that distinction. Gives the Red Sox a very reasonable goal to shoot for in 2008, however.

As for Colorado, they go down as one of the most memorable playoff teams ever, just for the way they got there. Ten years from now, nobody will remember how the autumn of 2007 ended for them, just as nobody remembers that the Mariners failed to reach the World Series during their magical summer of 1995. What people will remember is that this Rockies team made winning baseball in Denver a viable entity, while reinforcing that in sports, truly anything can happen. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along came Colorado to show us that, no, you really haven’t. That’s not as sweet as taking home the trophy, but it’s the next best thing.

Now comes the offseason, and the hot stove figures to be hotter than ever. Alex Rodriguez won’t be a Yankee anymore, and the sweepstakes for his services will be far more interesting than this latest postseason was. That last part is an issue the suits at MLB should address, because this is three straight years that the playoffs have lacked drama and four straight years that the World Series hasn’t lasted more than five games. Not good.

rhurd