Comes Now the Void
Hail to the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox, who not only ended the Curse but, in all likelihood, gave a strong boost to the broad-based effort to remake thinking about baseball along the lines of performance analysis and (dare I say) Moneyball. Not even Dallas Green can argue with success, and Theo Epstein's club has now tasted the ultimate in that regard. Certainly, the megabucks didn't hurt either, but countless teams have proven over the last ten years that a big payroll alone is not determinative to success.
I wouldn't have minded baseball season stretching a couple days more, as now there's that much less to distract me from the election. As far as my real wish from the playoffs--Ed Wade's public humiliation by the great performances of the franchise-caliber players he pissed away--I don't think there's much doubt that Curt Schilling established himself as the greatest postseason starter of this era. But Scott Rolen's conspicuous 0-fer in the Fall Classic probably confirmed a lot of Phillies diehards in their views of his clutchness, or lack thereof. No question, Scotty came up small... but so did Mike Schmidt in the Phils' 1983 Series loss to Baltimore, in which the Hall of Famer had one hit in 20 at-bats. Rolen probably will be back in the Series; Placido Polanco probably won't even be back with the Phils next year, and likely won't even get offered arbitration. Considering the team just released Bud Smith, the lefty pitcher who was supposed to be the cornerstone of the Rolen trade, it's very likely that we'll start 2005 with absolutely nothing left from the deal that sent the team's best home-grown player since Schmidt himself out of town. Sleep well, Eddie.