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World Series Provides Appropriate Finish To Surprising Playoffs

Matthew Adamski for SBS

Many fans of the game of baseball would like to think that the Yankees and Marlins were destined to reach the World Series because they faced off against opponents that were cursed by a goat and a home run king. However, to say curses caused things to turn out the way they did is an explanation based on superstition and myth rather than fact.

I think the coaches and owners made the right moves and that had more of an impact on what happened in the playoffs rather than curses. The owners knew what direction they wanted to take for their respective franchises and followed up on their unique strategies for building a team capable of making a run at the championship. It certainly has paid off for both teams in a big way.

The Florida Marlins managers have done an outstanding job of building a championship caliber team from scratch. In 1997 the Marlins won the World Series, but the team was dismantled in the off-season that followed. Most of the players were let go and the franchise had to start over.

This year, the organization was able to obtain some impressive young talent and mix them in with key veteran contributors. As a result, they find themselves back in the World Series.

Miguel Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez, Juan Pierre, and Derek Lee are examples of young talent on their team. A few of the veteran contributors are Jeff Conine, Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Lowell, and Luis Castillo.

In addition, the Marlins have highly skilled young pitchers that are capable of shutting down the opposition when necessary. The three main pitchers in their rotation during the postseason have been Brad Penny, Carl Pavano and Josh Beckett. Dontrelle Willis has also been used sparingly as a starter and occasionally as a relief pitcher. Ugueth Urbina is a solid closer.

Not only should the Marlins be confident about their chances of winning the championship this year, they should be equally as confident about their future with all the talent and youth they currently have in their possession.

The Yankees, on the other hand, have a long standing tradition of spending a lot of money to acquire high priced players and filling the rest of the roster with lesser skilled and cheaper players that can be easily replaced from one year to the next. George Steinbrenner continued that tradition one again this year.

Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano, Bernie Williams, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada, and Hideki Matsui form the team's core group of players. All of these players have the ability to put a dent in the scoreboard and seem to come alive when it appears they're down and out as evidenced by their late inning comebacks. The Yankees have gotten the most offensive production from their core group.

Karim Garcia, Aaron Boone, Enrique Wilson, and Rueben Sierra fit under the category of fill in pieces that might not be around too much longer.

In addition the Yankees always seem to have top notch pitching and this year has been no exception with eventual Hall of Famer Roger Clemons, laser beamer Mike Mussina, strikeout happy Andy Pettite and solid David Wells. Mariano Rivera is also a shutdown closer, which isn't good news for the opposition. The bad news for the Yankees is that Clemons will retire after the series is over and Wells can't seem to stay healthy, which leaves question marks for their pitching rotation next season.

After watching the first five games, it has become quite apparent that the Marlins match up well with the Yankees. Maybe too well for the Yanks as the Marlins have won three games to take a 3 games to 2 lead. The fish from south Florida trailed 2 games to 1 prior to game four and now have won two in a row. If they win Game 6 tomorrow they will be Major League champions. It would also be the third time that they have won three games in a row to win a series. If the Yanks win Game 6, it would be the fourth series decided by a Game 7. Regardless of the result, the playoffs will end in a fashion not yet seen by anyone.

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Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:40 am MST by Lakers Tickets

Comment Hi Matt, I agree that the Marlins match up well with the Yankees, but the fact is that for the (what is it?) fifth time in eight years, the Bronx Bombers are back in the World Series. Regardless of what anyone says, that statistic alone is an alarming demonstration of baseball's commpetitive embalance. For while the Marlins will be faced with the decision of who to keep for next year, because of their salary limitations, the Yankees are without such concerns. They can both purchase and "grow" via their vast farm system. The real problem in baseball is the severly undervalued television contracts for each of the teams, with the exception of, yes, the Yankees. It's a complex problem to work out. But it must be fixed, or we will see the Yankees again, and again, and again.

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