While there may not be much interest in this year’s World Series from Boston fans (as the Yankees aren’t there to root against and hate with a passion, and the Sox aren’t in it to win it) Red Sox fans are still baseball fans at their core and one thing every baseball fan loves is…the long-ball.
Panda Power: Well, San Francisco Giants 3B Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval offered plenty of firepower for San Fran fans and baseball fans alike with not 1, not 2, but 3 homeruns to help the Giants cruise to an 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in game one. San Fran pitcher Barry Zito went 5 and 2/3 innings allowing only 1 earned run and 6 hits.
Shocking Start to the Series: Sandoval and Zito surprisingly outperformed the likes of Triple Crown winner, Tigers 3B/1B Miguel Cabrera and last year’s Cy Young winner/MVP Tigers ace pitcher Justin Verlander (Cabrera went 1 for 3 with an RBI, Verlander gave up five earned runs in just four innings of work).
Historic Highlights: Not only did Sandoval and Zito shine but they made a mark in World Series history. “Kung Fu Panda” and his 3 towering homers added him to a prestigious list of October Sluggers. Sandoval joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols as the only players to hit 3 home runs in the World Series.
Meanwhile Zito made history with the help of Tim “The Freak” Lincecum as it marked the 2nd time in World Series history that one Cy Young award winning pitcher came in to relieve another Cy Young Award winner (Zito won it in 2002 with the Oakland A’s, Lincecum in 2008, and 2009 with the Giants). The 1st was in the 1983 World Series when Jim Palmer came in to relieve Mike Flanagan against the Philadelphia Phillies.
When 2 Watch: With the victory the San Francisco Giants lead baseballs fall classic 1-0 over Detroit. Game 2 has both teams back at AT&T Park in San Francisco tonight at 8pm on FOX .
Monster free agent signing in the MLB yesterday. Prince Fielder joined Miguel Cabrera and the reigning AL Cy Young and MVP Justin Verlander in Detroit. I thought two things when I saw this signing. First, was HOLY SHIT. This was simply due to Fielders NINE year $214 million dollar contract. I can’t believe the Tigers agreed to such a long contract with a 27 year old guy like Prince.
Second thing I thought of (and the point of this article) was that this has created one of the best 3-4 batters in a lineup in a while. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder have a chance to do something real special over in Detroit. I immediately thought of Manny-Big Papi for the Red Sox in 2004 and 2005. They were the best in business (maybe steroids had a bit to do with it) and they were a force for years. More importantly, they were consistent and incredibly clutch, clutch enough to break an 86 year old curse.
Here is the 2004 and 2005 seasons in stats for Manny and Ortiz and Feilder and Miguel Cabrera’s individual stats for last year:
Before anyone gets on my case, I understand Prince just came from a pretty good 3-4 punch on the Brewers with Ryan Braun, but Miguel has never batted around the type of talent Prince has, thus inflating his stats in future years (and no Victor Martinez, who batted behind Cabrera last year, does not count). Braun has had the protection of Prince for 5 years and I like to think this has influenced his stats a great deal. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great player, but I like Miguel Cabrera as a hitter more than steroid boy Braun.
After throwing up this comparison, in some ways I feel stupid. The numbers from Ortiz and Manny are jaw dropping. That’s all that can be said. Granted they may have had some help from a few friendly needles up their ass, but those numbers are rediculous. I think Cabrera will have an incredible year this year and Fielder might even have a better year in hitter friendly Comerica Park, but who knows if they can touch Manny and Papi’s numbers. The big factor will be whether they can win a couple World Series rings together, like the former two led the Sox to do.