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Sox up big, but not overconfident10/27/2004 1:21 AM ET
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Yes, they're up three games to none in the World Series. Yes, it would take a colossal collapse to mess up this one. But Red Sox Nation, for this one, follow your players' lead -- don't take this one for granted. The Yankees, of course, learned that the hard way last week, when they watched a 3-0 lead in the ALCS slip away. Every odd imaginable thing was against the Red Sox at that time. They were in an 0-3 hole to one of the best teams in baseball. They've had absolutely no history of postseason success in 86 years, in terms of winning it all. And somehow the Red Sox accomplished the unthinkable and beat the Yankees in four straight, beginning a postseason winning streak that increased to seven games when they beat the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium, 4-1. But forgive the Red Sox if they weren't overly hyped after their Game 3 World Series win. It's not that they lack confidence. It's not that they don't savor every win. It's just that they know better than to rock the boat, just in case those pesky baseball gods may be watching.
In other words, the Red Sox may be cursed, but they're sure as heck not going to be jinxed. After all, if it can happen to the Yankees, it can happen to them."It is big," Manny Ramirez said of their sizeable Series lead. "But we learned our lesson against the Yankees. We lost the first three games, and especially against the Cardinals, they've got such a great team that anything can happen out there." But you can't ignore the facts. It's not easy to silence Cardinals fans at Busch Stadium, especially when more than 50,000 pack the house, fully confident the 0-2 deficit to the Red Sox was a mere coincidence and that the Cardinals would fix that little problem with three straight wins in a ballpark they haven't lost in all postseason. The mighty Red Sox, however, have no knowledge of how difficult it is to win at Busch Stadium when you're not the Cardinals. It's safe to say they paid very little attention to the Cardinals at all this year, considering the teams are in different leagues and have not met in Interleague Play since 2003. So maybe it's better to be clueless than good. In the Sox's case, they just may be both, and it may be enough to win Game 4 at Busch on Wednesday. But let's not talk about that now. "[Being up] 3-0 means we are in a good position, but we're not done yet," Johnny Damon said. "We need one more win and we definitely are going to shoot for it [Wednesday] night. We had the biggest comeback in the history of sports last week and we definitely don't want to see that repeated."
Doug Mientkiewicz insisted the team is not "giddy" by any stretch of the imagination.
"We won't get ahead of ourself that much," Francona said. "In Game 1 we wanted to win Game 1. Once that's over, you move on to Game 2. Once I get done talking about this game, this game is in the past. We'll show up and play tomorrow with different pitchers, different set of circumstances and try to win again. Our only goal is to try to win tomorrow."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.