Ferguson: A look at potential World Series matchups

Scott Ferguson
8/12/2013 12:40:26 PM
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We're a little over two months until the start of 109th World Series, so it's as good a time as any to think about some of the match-ups we'd like to see.

For starters, how about the Red Sox and Dodgers?

This would be the perfect match-up in the wake of last year's massive nine-player deal that brought L.A. the likes of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford and saved the retooling Red Sox $250 million in salaries.

The Dodgers, after a terrible start, now lead the NL West and are the hottest team in baseball. And after dropping all that payroll, the BoSox were able to overhaul themselves in the offseason - bringing in John Farrell as manager and adding players such as Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes, Ryan Dempster and Shane Victorino.

These teams haven't met in the World Series since 1915, when the Sox beat the olf Brooklyn Dodgers.

How about Pittsburgh and Detroit? The Pirates have gone from a 20-year playoff drought to having the best record in baseball. The Tigers, meanwhile, haven't won the World series since 1984 and have dropped their last two appearances - in 2006 to St. Louis and 2012 to the Giants.

It would also be a 'full circle' World Series for Tigers skipper Jim Leyland who managed the Pirates in 1992 - the last time they made the playoffs.

Atlanta and Boston would have some great historical overtones. Before Atlanta and before Milwaukee, the Braves were based in Boston. In fact, they came within a game of meeting Boston in the 1948 World Series.

Trouble was, Cleveland knocked off the Sox in a one-game sudden death playoff for the American League title. Then Cleveland went on to beat the Boston Braves in the World Series, the last time the Indians won the "Fall Classic."

Texas against St. Louis could be special. It would be a re-match of their epic seven-game duel just two years ago. Texas was twice within a strike of winning its first World Series, only to have the red birds rally to pull it out.

The A's and the Dodgers? Why not? It's the 25th anniversary of Kirk Gibson's iconic home run off Dennis Eckersley that propelled the Dodgers to that 1988 World Series victory. A meeting this time around would also feature the two Cuban sensations, The Dodgers' Yasiel Puig and Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes.

Why not Arizona vs. Tampa Bay? It might already be too late for the D-Backs, but if nothing else you'd have the novelty of the last two expansion teams playing each other. Arizona won its only Fall Classic in 2001 over the Yankees in that emotional series in the wake of 9-11. The Rays made it to the World Series in 2008, but lost to the Phillies.

The Reds vs. the Red Sox would feature a rematch of one of the greatest World Series of all time - the 1975 classic of 38 years ago. The Reds - one of the greatest teams ever - won the series in seven, but it will forever be remembered for Carlton Fisk's home run down the left field line in Game 6.

Cleveland and Cincinnati would feature an all-Ohio matchup, while Cleveland and Pittsburgh would feature two teams on long futility streaks.

If Washington wasn't so far out, it would be great to see the Nationals play Baltimore, because the two cities are so close and their fans have such a rivalry.

At the start of the season, I predicted a Detroit-Washington World Series. Then as recently as a couple of weeks ago, I did a reset and picked the Dodgers and the Rays, But after watching L.A. take Tampa apart over the weekend, I'm hoping that doesn't happen.

So I can go back to my pick at the top of the column - the Dodgers and the Red Sox. Watching John Farrell win a World Series in his first year in Boston might be a little too tough for Blue Jays fans to take. So it must be the Dodgers to win, with skipper Don Mattingly finally getting his due after nearly getting fired earlier this year.
If you didn't catch it live or on the net, Ken Griffey Jr. gave an incredibly heart-felt speech when he was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame on Saturday Night. He spoke for 25 minutes and the entire ceremony went on for about an hour. One line in particular caught my attention.

Griffey noted how proud his was, that one man, the Mariners' late great play by play voice Dave Niehaus called his very first home run and his last. That is a team milestone that would seem unlikely ever to be touched.
Another milestone of note - the Yankees' Alfonso Soriano came up with his 2,000th hit on Sunday. It was a home run off the Tigers' Justin Verlander.

Soriano is th 274th player in history to get 2,000 hits. The man immediately ahead of him now is former Blue Jay Shawn Green at 2,003.

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