Be sure to check out my conversation with former Bisons and Indians manager Eric Wedge in Sunday's Inside Baseball column. Wedge talks about his time in Cleveland, his move to a new home in East Aurora, how he's refocusing his energy on finding a job for 2011 and on a charity golf tournament he's running with his wife June 5 in Akron in honor of his late mother in law. The web site for that event, the Carol K Golf Classic, is here.
One thing that didn't make the column was some extra Wedge thoughts on the 2007 ALCS, the series the Tribe had a 3-1 lead but lost the last three games against the Red Sox. It was the first time television inserted a day off without travel and it came between Games Four and Five, after Cleveland's 7-3 win gave it a stranglehold on the series.
But the Tribe seemed to lose its momentum and the Red Sox seemed to regroup. I've always felt Cleveland wins that series if Game Five is planned the next day.
"We had young players, guys who were inexperienced in that situation and it might have played into it," Wedge said when I told him my theory. "You're rolling but now you had time to think about it, time to watch TV, read the paper, talk to family. You try to get into a zone and stay there and maybe teams that had been there before can do a better job. You can't say that was a determining factor because we had chances the whole series."
True. CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona combined to go 0-3. Joel Skinner's fateful stop sign of Kenny Lofton in Game Seven didn't help either. The Red Sox outscored Cleveland, 30-5, in the final three games.
It's the closest any team with that many Buffalo connections will ever get to the World Series. Think of all the players on the team. Then there was Wedge, pitching coach Carl Willis, former Buffalo managers Skinner and Jeff Datz. Even trainer Rick Jameyson and broadcaster Jim Rosenhaus, in his first year in the bigs. It was a great run to cover, from a Division Series-clinching party in the clubhouse at old Yankee Stadium to some thrilling ALCS games in Cleveland and Fenway. Too bad it ended a game short of the Series.
taggedALCS | Bisons/Indians | Major leagues