|October 10, 2003
Copyright © 2003 PUERTO RICO HERALD. All Rights Reserved.
Whos On First? -- Wholl Be First?
Its Down to four!
In just 17 days, well know.
Then, the World Series pennant will wear Yankee pinstripes, or display the saber nose of a Marlin, or shroud a snuggly bear Cub from Chicago or sport red socks for a trip to Boston.
After that, only memories of an eventful 2003 baseball season will remain for fans.
Sanjuaneros will recall the thrill of hosting Major League Baseball in their town, as the vagabond Expos touched down to provide occasional glimpses of big league action. The Expos had a winning season. The current contending Chicago Cubs won just five more games than did the orphan Expos, although the former Canadians finished next to last in the murderous East Division of the National League.
In the National League, the two powerhouses - the Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants - each with 100 victories or more, were both eliminated in the quarterfinals of the playoffs, leaving the Cubs and Marlins in a tussle for the League pennant. As of this writing, they are tied at a victory apiece, with a game scheduled tonight in Florida.
In the American League, the number one and two finishers in the East Division, New York and Boston, are now locked in a struggle for possession of the top spot. The Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins, leaders of the West and Central Divisions respectively, are now cleaning out their lockers after being eliminated in close quarter final playoffs. The Yankees and Red Sox are tied at one game apiece with a third game scheduled for Bostons Fenway Park tomorrow night.
Of note is the impressive number of Latinos in uniform on the four teams, reflective of Latin domination of professional baseball. Puerto Ricans Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez, the Marlins starting catcher, and Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, center fielder Bernie Williams and pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra comprise four of the twenty-one Latinos in uniform on the four teams.
The Dominican Republic is best represented with ten players, the most electric of whom is Sammy Sosa of the Cubs, who already has connected for two home runs in the two games of his teams best-of-seven series with the Marlins. Venezuela sports five players, the hottest of whom is fielder Manny Ramirez of the Red Sox, who went four-for-five in the teams opener with the Yankees. Two pitchers represent Cuba, Michael Tejera of the Marlins and Jose Contreras of the Yankees. Mexico and Panama can also claim representatives on the Yankees, outfielder Karim Garcia and pitcher Mariano Rivera.
So who will prevail at the end?
Will the New York Yankees, the "winningist" team in baseball, top off their 100th anniversary as an American League team with yet another World Series prize?
Will the Boston Red Sox shed the "best man" joke and this year win the girl, to go to the World Series altar as the "bridegroom"?
Will the Florida Marlins return to the euphoria of 1997, when it became the first expansion team to win the World Series, but then be decimated by player trades and releases?
Will the Chicago Cubs return to the glory of a century ago, when it won back-to-back World Series in 1907 and 1908, never since winning the grand prize?
Who is your choice to win the World Series?
Please vote above!