10/23/2004 4:49 PM ET
Celebs, writers weigh in on Series
Phil Jackson supports Cards; Affleck sticks with Sox
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
|Boston native Ben Affleck predicts the Red Sox will win their first World Series since 1918. (Lisa Poole/AP)
Cardinals or Red Sox? Here are just some of the predictions as the World Series starts with Game 1 on Saturday at Fenway Park:
Phil Jackson: The former Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls coach said on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Friday night that he is going with the Cardinals.
Tom Verducci: Sports Illustrated's baseball writer picked Boston in seven. "St. Louis doesn't have enough premium pitching to withstand the Boston offense in what will be an entertaining series," Verducci wrote. "The Curse ends on Halloween Night."
Ben Affleck: One of the most famous Red Sox fans naturally said he thinks the alleged curse will be broken, without specifying number of games.
Bernie Misklasz: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist picked St. Louis in seven. "You have to go back to 1981, Dodgers vs. Yankees, to find a World Series matchup that rivals the rich, baseball genealogy represented here by the Cardinals and Red Sox," he wrote Saturday. "This should be a fantastic series."
Boston Globe: Might as well lump them all in here, because all five Globe staffers who made their picks went with the Sox. Here are the prognosticators and the number of expected games in parenthesis: Bob Ryan (6), Dan Shaughnessy (6), Bob Hohler (7), Gordon Edes (7) and Jackie MacMullan (6). Wrote Edes: "Only question left is whom Sox will visit in the White House."
T.R. Sullivan: National baseball writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote, "Cardinals in 7. Great balance, and their defense is as good as it gets."
Mark Hale: The New York Post writer picked Red Sox in six. "Even facing mighty Sox lineup, Cards have offensive edge here. But Boston is huge on the mound and will have home-field advantage in sure-to-be-delirious Fenway. Besides, after miracle comeback against Yanks, Sox are believing. So are we -- this is Boston's time and the Sox's year."
Roger Clemens: The Rocket told ESPN's Dan Patrick on Friday that he is going with his former Boston bunch. Clemens has impacted this series in two notable ways: He was the losing pitcher in the All-Star Game, in which the AL won home-field advantage, and serving up Scott Rolen's two-run homer that sent the Cardinals into the Fall Classic.
Mike Downey: The Chicago Tribune columnist wrote: "I'll pick the Cards in six. No disrespect to the Red Sox, but in a fight between the National and American leagues' highest-scoring teams, I will go with the guys with the better defense."
Chris De Luca: The Chicago Sun-Times writer picked the Red Sox in seven. Of particular note, he was one of the few who seem to be giving Boston's Terry Francona the "edge" over Tony La Russa in matchups. "[Francona] has handled his bullpen well and kept his team believing during his first postseason as a manager," De Luca wrote. "October-tested managers don't make it look as easy as Francona did against the Yankees."
Robert Dvorchak: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer picked the Cardinals, with distance unspecified. He wrote: "There may be some lopsided margins each way, but the Cardinals win their 10th title."
Jon Heyman: Newsday columnist likes the Sox. He wrote: "Everything's breaking Boston's way, including the interference call on noted slap hitter Alex Rodriguez."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.