I like the Rochester area. It’s close to Canada, which has a relaxed policy on drinking and gambling, but that’s not exactly the reason why I like Rochester. I will tell you that Rochester does appeal to me in terms of its location.Both Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium lie equidistant from the city of Rochester – OK, maybe I’m embellishing this statement, but hey, I’m a sportswriter and sportswriters love to write about coincidences.That being said, I can’t lie about this rematch between the Red Sox and Yankees as they compete for the league pennant – again.Granted, this is a series that both teams and fans fantasized about for a year – particularly those from Beantown. After the Yankees lost the World Series – hey, I’m not the least bit surprised it happened – George and John felt it necessary to put a few more bullets into their respective teams’ guns. The Yankees stocked up on pitching with Kevin Brown and Javier Vazquez while also upgrading – this is putting it mildly – their third baseman and right fielder. Red Sox realized the closer-by-committee couldn’t sustain the team for another year, even though the bullpen was impressive during the postseason. So Boston went out and got itself a closer. They even added another arm to their rotation, one that could help Pedro carry the team into the postseason. And not just any arm, but an arm with an impressive resume against the New York Yankees in postseason play – save for Tuesday’s game. The 2004 regular season was pretty much the same as the 2003 regular season in which both teams were well endowed. The Sox this year have the best offense in baseball and an impressive rotation. The Yankees have a good starting rotation and an All-Star offensive lineup, I count seven players who have made several appearances. So why is this year different? Maybe it’s because the Red Sox beat the Yankees 11-8 out of the 19 regular season games. Maybe it’s because the Red Sox have two starters with over 15 wins whereas the Yankees don’t. Last year, the Yankees won the regular season series against the Red Sox 10-9 and in the postseason, they edged past the Sox in game seven. And now that I’ve just seen Rivera end the first game of the American League Championship Series with the double-play ball, I can also say that the Red Sox won game one of the American League Championship Series last year and went on to lose.Now the question becomes even more pertinent – do the Yankees resemble the 2003 Red Sox? In 2003, the Red Sox had the most potent offense. This season, with the amount of money spent, the Yankees have a powerful lineup, although they certainly had one in 2003!I, being a sportswriter, am gaming on the Red Sox winning to help keep with this article’s theme because last year the Yankees won game two of the ALCS. I don’t want to give the rest of it away, but I’m seeing David Ortiz hitting the game-winning homerun in Yankee stadium off postseason hero Mariano Rivera who, quite frankly, hasn’t been so sharp this season, even though he did lead the majors with 53 saves. For the remainder of the playoffs, he will need to be particularly impressive, especially against the Red Sox. Regardless of what happens, I’m glad to see both teams vying for a spot at the World Series. They’ve shown a lot of heart and dedication. More importantly, both have helped fans realize the fun and enjoyment inherent in baseball. I won’t lie. I’m a diehard Red Sox fan hoping the Red Sox can end this long losing streak. And while a World Series ring would be sweet, revenge against the Yankees would be even sweeter. Serafini can be reached at jserafini@campustimes.org.



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