Sunday, October 21, 2018

2018 World Series notes and oddities

By Rick Morris

NOTE: 6-4 record in the playoffs so far.

^ The only time that these franchises ever met in the World Series was in 1916,  when the Dodgers weren’t in LA and weren’t even called the Dodgers (Brooklyn Robins).  Call them what you want, the Dodgers are still looking for their first World Series win in a game against Boston.

^ These franchises have had many near-misses in terms of potential World Series matchups.  They’ve often been very good at the same point in history.  These are the times that they’ve come within one or two years of World Series appearances: 1946 (Red Sox) – 1947 (Dodgers), 1966 (Dodgers) – 1967 (Red Sox), 1974 (Dodgers) – 1975 (Red Sox), 1986 (Red Sox) – 1988 (Dodgers).  Additionally, the Dodgers won the NL pennant in 1978 while Boston lost the play-in game to the Yankees after collapsing down the stretch.  And in 1988 and exactly a quarter-century later in 2013, both teams were in the League Championship Series, but the first time the Dodgers won and the second time the Red Sox won.

^ These cities have seen more than a few near-misses in terms of Stanley Cup Finals collisions this decade.  The Kings made it to the Final in 2012 and 2014, while Boston sandwiched them in 2011 and 2013.

^ Obviously, the signature rivalry between these cities occurred on the hardwood, with the first Celtics-Lakers Finals clash actually coming in 1959, when the latter franchise was still based out of Minneapolis.  They lost those Finals and, after moving to LA, lost a whopping six times in the Finals against Boston in the 1960s and again in 1984 before breaking through with wins in 1985 and 1987.  The teams also split the 2008 and 2010 Finals.

^ 2004, the year that Boston infamously broke their World Series drought, looms large in this series as the respective managers, Alex Cora and Dave Roberts were playing for the teams that they are now managing against.  Memorably, Roberts had one of the biggest steals in Red Sox history in Game 4 of the ALCS.

^ One or more of the greatest players of this generation will win their first World Series here.  Clayton Kershaw is on his second try, as is Kenley Jansen.  Their teammate Manny Machado wasn’t here last year, so he’ll be trying to enter free agency on what would easily be his career highlight.  Chris Sale, David Price, Craig Kimbrel, Mookie Betts and JD Martinez are trying to break through for the BoSox.

^ In the Divisional Series era, the AL East is 2-1 against the NL West, winning 20 years ago with the Yankees over the Padres and in 2007 with these Red Sox over the Rockies.  The sole win for the NL West came with the Diamondbacks over the Yankees in 2001.

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