Red Sox in Colorado for Bizarre Two-Game Set
With the 2013 regular season winding down the American League East Champion Boston Red Sox wrap up the season on the road this week against the Colorado Rockies and Baltimore Orioles. Yes, you read that correctly the Red Sox are heading West for a two game set against the Rockies. All Sox fans can agree that watching the Sox play in Colorado brings fond memories of the 2007 team, which swept the Rockies to win the 2007 World Series. That was in October 2007 and in today’s baseball world of 2013 the Sox head to Colorado at the end of September and nobody can clearly explain why.
With the lowly Houston Astros moving to the American League this season both the American and National leagues were left with an odd number (15) of teams, meaning there would be at least one interleague game everyday for the first time in MLB history. The baseball fan in me enjoys interleague play because you get the opportunity to watch teams that don’t normally get the chance to visit your local ballpark.
Thankfully, the Sox are not in a pennant race and are in prime position to grab the best record in the AL. On the other end of the spectrum unfortunately the risk of injuries tend to be higher is always more of a possibility when you have an AL team play at a NL ballpark with NL rules. You place designated hitters out of their comfort zone and onto the playing field; managers have to suffer through their worst nightmare, having pitchers run the basses. Expect Manager John Farrell to pray that none of his pitchers are silly enough to attempt to get on base all while keeping Clay Buchholz from picking up a bat even for fun.
The Sox are of the rare variety one of a few AL teams that can play an NL style of baseball. With Mike Napoli at first the Sox can afford to sit down Ortiz for one or two games. The Sox have a deep roster, bench players have back ups. NL baseball is a strategic game, more so than the AL and the Sox have the tools to succeed in NL ballparks, though that doesn’t mean anything unless the Sox make it to the World Series.
Overall having teams travel cross-country at this point of the season is extremely difficult. Why not just keep it in the division? Make it easier for all parties involved; the Sox already played the Rockies back in June at Fenway. If you are forced to play an interleague game at this stage of the season a more intriguing match up and a way to rack up less airfare mileage would be to go up against an NL East team instead. I guess the baseball Gods must have known the Sox would have the AL East wrapped up by now. In theory making this trek out to the Rocky Mountains this late in the season is virtually pointless.
Okay maybe not entirely pointless of course every win counts as the Sox continue to fend off the Oakland A’s for the best record in the AL. Taking on the cellar dweller of the NL West will help their cause. The Rockies don’t have much going on ending a disappointing season while sending off team icon and future Hall of Famer first baseman Todd Helton who is retiring at seasons end.
As Sox fans anticipate postseason play for the first time in four years, let’s hope for a healthy finish to the regular season because this has truly been a magical season.
And looking way ahead to April 2014 the Sox home opener will be against none other than the Milwaukee Brewers, another National League team. Welcome back Ryan Braun.