I wonder if my brother is nervous about the upcoming game tonight. Then again, he probably has little to be worried about, considering that he follows a team that's won 2 championships in 4 years - which, by the way, is not what I define as a dynasty.
I think that the Red Sox fans have reminded us of just how right the Yankees have been all this time. Sure, as the rest of us whine about the Yankees competing every year, winning all the time, making it "unfair" for the other teams, what we're secretly hoping is to become the Yankees. One championship isn't enough. It becomes an issue of wanting more more more more!!
However, I think the biggest compliment I could possibly pay to the Red Sox is this: I'm not at all convinced that the Rays have it locked up. We saw it with the Red Sox last year, we saw it with them in '04, and we saw what happened to the Cubs in 2003 - momentum is a fickle thing in the playoffs, and it can go away very quickly. Very, very quickly.
Maybe it's a good thing that I don't bet on sports, because I really have zero confidence that I'd get it right regardless of the team I pick. I do know that this MLB betting sportsbook has the Rays at +1.5 for tonight's game, but that's about all I know.
And by the way, in case you're curious, said same sportsbook has a number of options in terms of following and putting money down on sports, but I don't yet see anything about the off season or next season for the Cubs. After witnessing the surprise play in baseball of teams like the Rays, Marlins, and probably a shockingly large number of others, I can actually see how it would make sense to place small bets every year on dark-horses. Hell, even in the NFL right now, the Bills look playoff bound, at the very least. How many people really expected that a few months ago?
Before they won their first title in a long, long, loooooong time, the Boston Red Sox had six consecutive 2nd place finishes behind the Yankees. They also reached the playoffs 4 times in 10 years before overcoming unbelievable odds in 2004. The Red Sox spent hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars, they went through five managers, and they won an awful lot of games.
The Cubs have finished better than .500 5 times this decade. This will have been their 4th post season trip since 1998. They've gone through 5 managers this decade, although 2 of those 5 were basically interim skippers once Don Baylor got the well-deserving axe.
In terms of the little successes that come before the big one, I think the Cubs haven't come as close as often as the Red Sox did before they won it all. But that doesn't matter. World Championships aren't built on the backs of last year's team. They're built on the strength of this one and this one only, and while there are some parallels, it doesn't ultimately matter. But essentially I'm only pointing out the comparison between the two for a simple reason - to keep us grounded and reminded that anything can happen, including a bunch of years of coming close.