10/23/2004 5:31 PM ET
World Series Game 1 Hot Sheet
Ten things to consider before Saturday's game
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
|Reggie Sanders has one home run against Game 1 starter Tim Wakefield. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
BOSTON -- The St. Louis Cardinals visit the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series at 8 p.m. ET Saturday at Fenway Park. Here is what people around the Series are talking about:
1. Giddy about the games
Here is what columnist Bernie Miklasz wrote on the front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Friday: "The precious World Series of the past, the exhilaration of the present, and the giddy anticipation of a new World Series that commences Saturday night at timeless Fenway Park in Boston. Cardinals vs. Red Sox. Classic franchises will reunite for another grand World Series, inspiring retrospectives of 1946 and 1967. The two best baseball towns in America will put their rich, old-school heritage on display for an envious nation."
2. A chilly welcome
Game-time temperature Saturday is expected to be in the low 40s, with partial clouds and 79 percent humidity. Rain does not look like a significant threat. What does it mean for a knuckleball pitcher like Boston starter Tim Wakefield? "As long as it's not raining too bad, it should be OK," he said after Friday's workout. "It's tough holding on to a ball with your fingertips when it could be cold and maybe a little bit dryer than it is right now. I think the humidity may help a little bit, but I think it's going to be tough conditions for both pitchers."
3. Pondering the DH
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa confirmed on Saturday that Reggie Sanders would be the designated hitter for the Cardinals in Game 1. Sanders is 2-for-9 (.222), with one home run and three RBIs, lifetime against Wakefield.
4. Dream until your dream comes true
With the song "Dream On" being played so often following the Red Sox's spine-tingling comeback in the ALCS, it is probably only fitting that Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler will sing the national anthem on Saturday night. "God Bless America" will be performed by "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson.
5. Seventh heaven
For everyone now making their predictions, history says that anything less than a seven-game series would be surprising. Each of the last seven times that St. Louis has been to the World Series, it has gone a full seven games. The Cardinals beat the Red Sox in 1946 and 1967, the Yankees in 1964, and the Brewers in 1982; they lost to the Tigers in 1968, the Royals in 1985, and the Twins in 1987. The Cardinals last participated in a series that failed to go the distance with a six-game victory over the Browns in 1944. Boston has been involved in four consecutive seven-game Series -- losing to the Cardinals in 1946 and 1967, to the Reds in 1975 and to the Mets in 1986. The Red Sox defeated the Cubs in six games in 1918.
6. Rocket boosting Boston
Clemens has had a big impact on this Series, even though he will not be part of it. His first-inning meltdown in the All-Star Game effectively gave Boston the home-field advantage in this Fall Classic, because the American League won that game and the winning league gets the home edge in the World Series. Asked which team he is backing, Clemens told Dan Patrick on ESPN Radio that he wants his former Red Sox club to win. "Although if those fans finally win a World Series," he said, "I don't know what those fans are going to do with themselves."
7. Hometown headlines
The giant headline on top of Friday's Post-Dispatch read: "PAINT IT RED!" And it was the largest headline in recent memory for that newspaper. The front of the Boston Globe, meanwhile, was dominated by news about the Emerson College student who was killed by a police projectile during the aftermath of the Red Sox's pennant celebration. There is obviously much discussion now about what might happen if the Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918 and end the "Curse of the Bambino." Sox manager Terry Francona said Friday: "I hope we give them a lot of reason to celebrate over the next week, but I also hope they use some common sense."
8. Best baseball town, Part I
ESPN's Tim Kurkjian said he gives St. Louis a slight nod over Boston in the discussion of "best baseball town." Kurkjian said: "They take it a little less personally when they lose, they don't worry about curses ... but Boston is a very close second." Patrick seconded that and added of St. Louis fans: "They don't boo their players ... I remember Tino Martinez when he was struggling there and they cheered him. I said, 'Tino, would that have happened in New York?' He said, 'Probably not.' Maybe it's that Midwest upbringing."
9. Best baseball town, Part II
Asked what stands out about the Boston baseball experience in his first year there, Sox closer Keith Foulke said: "You know, I guess one of the things that surprised me is ... the number of [fans] that are everywhere. You don't go down the street a city block without seeing someone in some type of Red Sox attire. They are in every road city. They show out in numbers. They are vocal. You know, the thing is, it's just a passion that they have for this team and this organization that is rivaled by nobody."
10. Looking out for roadkill
The Cardinals have some important history of their own to overcome in this World Series. They have lost their last six World Series road games, dropping Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 at the Metrodome in 1987 and Games 6 and 7 in Kansas City in 1985. It marks the second longest current Series road losing streak as the Washington/Minnesota franchise has lost 14 consecutive away games since the Senators won Game 1 at Pittsburgh in 1925. The Cardinals' last road victory in the World Series came in Game 2 in 1985 in Kansas City. Since capturing Games 3 and 4 in 1968 at Tiger Stadium, the Cardinals are 3-9 in Series away games.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.