10/09/07 2:28 AM ET
Indians make believers out of Yanks
Bronx Bombers think Tribe will give Boston all it can handle
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Meanwhile, the Red Sox have three top-flight starters to go against the Indians: Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Curt Schilling, who were all instrumental in helping the Sox sweep the Angels in the first round.In the din of their champagne celebration on Monday night, the Indians maintained that there would be time during the next few days to begin reassessing their opponent. The Indians have a three-day break before the start of the ALCS. "Well, I haven't really even thought about it," said Indians manager Eric Wedge. "Everybody who knows me knows I really don't work too much past today or the particular series we're in. We've got some time to prepare. The Red Sox have had a great season. I feel like we've had a great season. You're going to have two very good teams competing in the ALCS. I've got to do some more work there. We'll have to wait to see how that plays out. But we'll have a few days here to work all that through." This is the Red Sox's eighth trip to the ALCS, and they're 3-4 -- they defeated the A's in 1975 before losing to the Reds in that World Series; they beat the Angels in '86 prior to losing to the Mets in the World Series; and, in 2004, the Sox beat the Yankees before winning their first World Series in 86 years over the Cardinals. Their losses came in 1988 and '90 to the A's, and '99 and '03 to the Yankees. It's also worth noting that in their 2004 victory, the Red Sox became the first team in MLB history to come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a seven-game series. This will be the Indians' fourth trip to the ALCS. They defeated the Mariners in 1995 before losing the World Series to the Braves. They beat the Orioles in 1997 before losing to the Marlins, and they dropped the 1998 series to the Yankees. With the Yankees only barely vanquished on Monday night, even Indians Game 4 starter and winner Paul Byrd wasn't ready to think about the Red Sox. "I don't know that much about them right now," he said. "I think I'm just trying to celebrate and enjoy the moment, and we'll study Boston and figure all that out later. But nothing's tougher than coming into Yankee Stadium and pulling this off."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.