10/23/07 10:45 AM ET
Chosen one veiled for the moment
Upon which individual will the baseball gods smile this year?
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
The only sensible answer is none at all. Seriously, who can foresee such things? That's the whole point.What you can do is study personalities and characteristics, evaluate numbers, process the data -- and take a wild stab. From Colorado, our picks to click are Torrealba, Taveras and Matt Herges. Overshadowed by the formidable quintent of Matt Holliday, Todd Helton, Tulowitzki, Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe during the Rockies' astonishing 21-1 run, Torrealba has driven home seven runs in seven postseason games, with three extra-base hits and a .320 average. Torrealba just has that look of a guy who loves the pressure. And it's shared by Taveras. He wasn't the everyday presence he wanted to be after coming to Denver from Houston, but the center fielder raised cain when he was physically able. He had a .372 on-base percentage leading off and hit .308 when faced with 0-2 counts. Another cool customer not to be overlooked in manager Clint Hurdle's loaded lineup, Kazuo Matsui is a smart hitter who also has responded brilliantly to October's demands. Herges, a 37-year-old journeyman, was part of a deep bullpen that went above and beyond the call for Hurdle. In his last 12 2/3 innings, Herges has not allowed a run while yielding just three hits. The man is on a roll. Like the Rox, the Sox come to the big show firing on all cylinders after roaring back from that 3-1 ALCS deficit to rock the Indians. Pedroia looks like he studied at the same baseball academy as Eckstein; they could be cousins, such are the similarities in styles and attitudes. They're too small, too fragile, too limited, too ... much. Ellsbury is a revelation, Lenny Dykstra before the muscles. This kid can fly, and he knows how to get to all the right places. Those instincts are pure. You can't teach what Jacoby understands. Familiar with Coors Field from his days with the Astros and Dodgers, shortstop Julio Lugo could make unexpectedly good things happen. On the mound, you know what you have, Red Sox Nation, with Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling. Now welcome Dice-K, who cleared a major emotional hurdle with his superb work in Game 7 on Sunday night at Fenway Park. If anyone can slow down the Rockies Express, you have to like Boston's chances with Beckett, Schilling and Matsuzaka rolling out the bazookas. Backing up Dice-K, Japan's heartthrob, countryman Hideki Okajima also showed all the right stuff in Game 7 before electric, eccentric Jonathan Papelbon slammed the door on the Indians' great season. Everything is in order for manager Terry Francona at the right moment. The Rockies aren't the only Mile High outfit in this Fall Classic. After exhaustive deliberation, the choice here is Pedroia, a beaming champion amid another Fenway Park Game 7 celebration. He'll make some magic, and somewhere, David Eckstein will be smiling.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.