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The crimson flower of battle
2004-10-23 12:53
by Mike Carminati

Weave no more silks, ye Lyons looms,

To deck our girls for gay delights!

The crimson flower of battle blooms,

And solemn marches fill the nights.

óJulia Ward "Don't Call Me Art" Howe on the American Civil War

With the Cardinals and Red Sox both narrowly surviving the League Championship Series round, we have an all-red world series. Given that this sort of novelty, a playoff between two teams of color, is such a trivial novelty, I will pause now to review all of the previous ones before making a prediction for the series.

Here are the previous "Color Wars":

1885Temple CupChicago White StockingsNL3St. Louis BrownsAA31
1886Temple CupSt. Louis BrownsAA4Chicago White StockingsNL20
1919World SeriesCincinnati RedsNL5Chicago White SoxAL30
1944World SeriesSt. Louis CardinalsNL4St. Louis BrownsAL20
1946World SeriesSt. Louis CardinalsNL4Boston Red SoxAL30
1967World SeriesSt. Louis CardinalsNL4Boston Red SoxAL30
1975World SeriesCincinnati RedsNL4Boston Red SoxAL30
1985ALCSKansas City RoyalsAL4Toronto Blue JaysAL30
1985World SeriesKansas City RoyalsAL4St. Louis CardinalsNL30
1993ALCSToronto Blue JaysAL4Chicago White SoxAL20

OK, that's enough of that. Given that neither of my predictions in the last round (Yankees and Astros) bore fruit, I have to start from square one for the World Series. So here goes, throwing caution to the wind I will risk my history as a negative barometer and predict the Cardinals in six.

I think St. Louis has the best lineup in the NL and by adding, say, John Mabry as DH, compare favorably even to a high-powered AL offense like the Red Sox's. The Astros had three holes at the bottom of their lineup with Ausmus, Vizcaino, and the pitcher.

Meanwhile, by using Pedro Martinez in a "Daddy" cameo in game 7 of the ALCS Terry Froncona must turn to Tim Wakefield in game one. Schilling, whose physical state depends on his daily standing with god, goes game 2. And Pedro Martinez will finally start game 3. Then game seven star Derek Lowe will start game 4, and one has to wonder what kind of pitcher will he be, the one he was in game 7 or the one he was the rest of the year that causedhim to get dropped from the postseason rotation.

Meanwhile, the Cards have Woody Williams tonight, but then turn to Jason Marquis, who owns a 7.36 era in the postseason, Matt Morris, who looks nowhere near the ace he once was, and Jeff Suppan, whose been great in the postseason, but whose old ways may return against his 2003 teammates.

The Cards bullpen has been inconsistent at best while the Sox have the superior closer in Keith Foulke.

I expect some high scoring games, which of course will lead to more five-hour epics. That's good for Fox and their sponsors, but not so good for those of us still in need of sleep from the last round.

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