2004 NEWS

2004 News > 10/27/04

GLAVINE: SOX A WIN AWAY FROM GLORY

By Tom Glavine, MLB.com
Original Article HERE.

Mets ace Tom Glavine has some knowledge about pitching in the World Series. He also has some experience with the Curse of the Bambino and what it's like to root for the Red Sox come autumn. The former Cy Young winner posted a 4-3 mark with a 2.16 ERA in eight World Series starts for Atlanta, winning a pair of games in 1995 as the Braves won it all.

The veteran southpaw also grew up in Billerica, Mass., some 25 minutes from the Green Monster. He's not old enough to remember the '67 Series and what Bob Gibson did to the Sox, but he was coming into his own when the Big Red Machine extended Boston's run of postseason bad luck in '75. He was a professional ballplayer by the time the ball went through Bill Buckner's legs in '86, and still has some love for the team of his youth. As he did in the National League Division Series, Glavine will offer his thoughts and insights on the World Series to MLB.com.


It looks like the curse may be over, but after watching what Boston did to New York in the ALCS, you have to be somewhat guarded against getting too far ahead. They certainly have done what they've needed to do and put themselves in a good position to see how they can handle it from here.

I don't think Boston will let up, but it can afford to lose a game. The Red Sox are in a position where they want to put it away as fast as they can because they understand what happened in the last series and with every game they win, they get more and more momentum. They certainly don't want to do anything to give the Cardinals life or hope. They'll come to the park and play hard and try to get it over with. But if they slip up and have a bad game, they can afford it. If they lose [Game 4] it wouldn't be from a standpoint that they let down. It will be because the Cards beat them or they didn't play well.

I think what the Sox have going for them is that they don't have to look past the last series to see what can happen. It will guard them against not getting cocky or getting too far ahead of themselves and what it's going to be like if they win. They have to maintain focus and if they win, they can think about the other stuff. If the Cardinals go out tonight and get a well-pitched game and then another in the next game, they're right back in this. That's what the Sox have to guard against. Boston has to keep doing all the things its been doing and not simply back off because they have a cushion.

If they do win, they might lose some of that lovable loser tag they have. There is a cross-section of their fan base that's enamored with the Red Sox and the Cubs because of their inability to win [a championship]. How much of that is their actual fan base? I don't know. People born and raised in the New England area have a history of who they are and it entails rooting for the local teams.

The Sox are a team that people are most enamored with because they haven't won [a World Series since 1918]. The Celtics have won and the Bruins have had some success and the Patriots have been successful lately. Whether the Red Sox's winning knocks them from the perch of being the team everyone likes most, well that's going to be an interesting question. Sox fans would finally see them win in their lifetime.

But they still have to win another game to make that happen. If they win, I think they will still be the lovable Sox and people in new England will still think as much of them as always.

As for last night, Pedro Martinez looked good. I don't think it's fair to say he can't pitch in a big game, because he's shown in his career that he can do that. If people want to question whether he's the same Pedro, then that's a legitimate argument. But to take it a step further and say he can't pitch in a big game is an unfair criticism.

He's been so good for the last five or six years that it's impossible to maintain that level of excellence. He was 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA this year. There are a lot of guys in the league who would want to pitch that poorly. It's all relative to what you've done, and he's created huge expectations.

But it's unfair to think that he's going to maintain that level of excellence. He's probably a little in decline, in terms of his stuff not having the overpowering fastball. But he still gets the ball up there pretty good, and he showed last night that he still has enough weapons to be a successful pitcher.