I never thought I'd be cheering for Matt Garza, not after what he did to the Blue Jays this season. Last night, I was Garza's biggest fan, and he didn't disappoint. What can I say? When I hop aboard a bandwagon, I go all out.
October 20, 2008
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Tampa Bay Rays. They are American League champions. They are off to the World Series, and the Boston Red Sox are not. At the end of the day, that's what's most important, my friends.
The Red Sox - much to the chagrin of this Masshole and much to the delight of, well, everyone else - will not repeat as World Series champions. As a die-hard Blue Jays fan born in 1982, the fact that Toronto won back-to-back titles is all I've got left on "Red Sox Nation." Do it two times in a row Massholes, then talk to me.
The city of Boston is in mourning today, and I'm pleased to say that David Ortiz and Jason Varitek are a big reason why. Ortiz hit only .154 over the course of the ALCS, managing just four hits, one home run, and four RsBI. He struck out nine times.
As for Varitek, his ALCS numbers are downright laughable. He managed one (1!) hit in 20 at-bats for a whopping .050 batting average, and struck out eight times in six games. Attaboy, Tek. Way to lead the troops. If there was any doubt that Varitek's not done as an everyday catcher in the majors, there should be no more, because it's painfully obvious that he's finished. I think Tek might have struck out for the last time in a Boston uniform.
No Masshole can argue that the better team lost. The Rays were better on the mound, and much better at the plate. B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria combined for 19 RsBI in the series, equalling the output of Ortiz, Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and J.D. Drew combined. Guys like Willy Aybar stepped up for Tampa, while Red Sox youngsters Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie didnt answer the bell.
How about that pitching performance last night by Matt Garza? Seven innings, two hits, one earned run off a solo home run, and nine strikeouts. The Red Sox were "Garzafied" twice in the series, and Garza was well-deserving of the MVP award.
And don't forget about David Price's four-out save. With the fate of the Tampa Bay organization, and Red Sox haters everywhere, resting on his young shoulders, Price struck out J.D. Drew with the based loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning. He took the mound again in the ninth and struck out two more, including Varitek (sweet), before getting Jed Lowrie to ground out to end the game. Talk about picking up your first career save in style, eh? Price, only 23 years young, and fresh out of the 2007 draft, has got to be on top of the world today.
As J.P. Ricciardi is always preaching, pitching is what gets the job done in the AL East. Scott Kazmir was the only Tampa Bay ALCS starter to register an ERA higher than 4.00. For the Red Sox, none of their starting pitchers were able to crack the 4.00 ERA mark. Josh Beckett, who has got to be injured, finished with a nasty 9.64 ALCS ERA.
The Rays and Phillies World Series will get started on Wednesday. I'm not sure it's safe to hop off a moving Tampa Bay bandwagon, but I sure as hell wouldn't mind seeing Matt Stairs win a ring. It's a win-win situation, really. The Fall Classic will be Red Sox free, after all.
Somewhere, someplace, Manny Ramirez is smiling. That makes two of us.