View Full Version : How To Win a World Series

01-20-2003, 11:08 PM
Read Madden's article that was posted here yesterday, you know where he talked about winning championships by being "strong up the middle" something he said the Sox were not, and I wondered how DO you win a World Series?

What Madden wrote about strength up the middle being a prerequisite to a championship might have been true when a team had to win their league to get to the World Series, but it became less true when the divisional format started in '69 and is downright false IMO today with four teams in each league make the playoffs.

It's obvious, but the first step is to win enough games to qualify for the post-season. There are many ways to do this. The 2000 Sox did it by hitting the hell out of the ball. The Braves have done it by relying on the depth of their starting pitching.

To win in the post-season I'd want my team constructed this way:

1) A bullpen capable of shutting the opposition down from the 7th inning on using no more than three pitchers.
2) Two quality starters in each of the series.
3) Patient offense.

The Angels showed what a deep bullpen could accomplish in the post-season. During the Yankees run they had guys like Wetteland, Stanton, Nelson, Loyd, Mendoza and of course Rivera.

Johnson & Schilling singlehandedly won a WS for Arizona. Brown and Hernandez were big for the Marlins in '97 and Brown and Hamilton/Ashby were huge reasons the Padres reached the WS in'98.

The Angels last year weren't very patient offensively, but they really didn't face great starting pitching throughout the post-season. I think it's important to be patient to get the pitch counts of the starters up forcing the opposing manager to go to the bullpen earlier than he wants. The Yankees were notorious for this even if they didn't score a lot of runs the opposing starter threw a lot of pitches. This has been the Braves downfall in many post-seasons IMO. Too many outs too early in counts.

So what about this year's Sox? There's no doubt in my mind that they are the clear favorite to win the central. There are only two positions that I'd trade our starter for theirs and they are catcher and centerfield.

As far as the pitching goes, Buehrle and Colon are the two best starters in the division and I think our #'s 3-5 can hold their own with the Twins. Edge to the Sox here. The Sox get the edge in the pen too with Gordon and Marte setting up Koch. Depending on how Munoz and Sanders develop this might be the strongest area of the team.

Once in the playoffs I think they are constructed to do well. Buehrle and Colon give them a chance in every series they'll play in and Gordon, Marte, and Koch comprise a pen that could shut teams down from the 7th on in a short series.

The one area of improvement I'd like to see is a more patient offense. I'd like to see Manuel impress upon Crede the importance of going deep into counts like he did to Lee.

To summarize, I like the way we're set-up despite not being "strong up the middle" :)