Prof: We interrupt our usual He Said, She Said to discuss the upcoming 2018 World Series. Returning NL Champion Los Angeles Dodgers will meet up on Tuesday with young whippersnappers Boston Red Sox. Game one is at venerable Fenway Park, with Chris Sale and an undetermined Dodger pitcher starting.
So, let’s talk about the what abouts and the possibilities.
First, we can celebrate history being made on either side, as Dave Roberts and Alex Cora can become either the second African American manager or the second Latino manager to win a World Series. For Roberts, he would be the first since Cito Gaston nearly forty years ago, and for Cora, he would be the first since Ozzie Guillen in 2005.
Clayton Kershaw, who is universally considered one of the finest pitchers in the history of the sport, would cement his status as an all time great with his first World Series title. While not having a championship under his belt does not hurt his Cooperstown chances, having that ring puts him in fine company.
In Boston, we can have the closer version of the Kershaw narrative in Craig Kimbrel, a man who was among the very best at his position but has been struggling as of late. A dominating performance in the playoffs would put Kimbrel back into the hushed tones of the masters, and redeem himself in the eyes of a certain subsection of fans who think he has lost his touch. (Also, it would give him a chance to finally pitch against the Dodgers in a high stakes atmosphere, robbed from him by Fredi Gonzalez so many years ago.)
Both teams feature young, phenomenal players; both teams have wily veterans who inspire those same young bucks to bigger and greater things. For Boston, there’s the injured Dustin Pedroia, who is still in the hearts of the Sawx players and the voice of reason for a group of actual kids (the second longest tenured Boston player is Xander Bogaerts, who is only 26). In LA, there’s Chase Utley, whose been there before with the 2008 Phillies. He is the unofficial dad of many of the younger players, including Enrique Hernandez.
These two teams have not met up against each other in the World Series in over 100 years, so no matter what, we’re looking at a history making series that is sure to have some fiery performances and outrageous defense from guys like Yasiel Puig, Jackie Bradley Jr., Cody Bellinger, and Mookie Betts.