SCOTT SIMON, host:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Coming up, becoming a first-time novelist after most of your generation is gone.
But first, tonight, Coors Field in Denver, game three of the World Series - the Boston Red Sox against the Colorado Rockies. The Red Sox lead the series, two games to nada; disappointing and disorienting many Rockies fans. The Rockies had won 21 of 22 games, including seven in a row in the playoffs before the World Series losses.
Howard Bryant is senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine and ESPN the Lunchmeat(ph). He joins us from Denver.
Good morning, Howard.
Mr. HOWARD BRYANT (Senior Writer, ESPN.com,): Good morning, Scott.
SIMON: Let's take a minute, since you're there in Denver, to talk about the Rockies because back in May, nobody was predicting they'd be in the World Series. And whatever else happens, they've had an extraordinary year. How did they get there?
Mr. BRYANT: You sound like you're writing them off already, Scott.
SIMON: No. No. No. No. No. Hardly. I know any - gee, a great team - and a good team can come back from two games down.
Mr. BRYANT: It's been a fairly remarkable year. This is not the way anybody drew it up. I know the number of times that we've spoken. No one had talked about Colorado. They'd really been a team that had once set a record for attendance in Major League Baseball when they first came into existence in 1993 with over 4 million fans.
And this season, they were a nice little story. They were a good story. They were finally over 500. It was looking like they had some nice young players that they were going to be able to build with for next season. And then, all of a sudden, on the 15th of September, they were in third place and had to overcome five teams and suddenly just barely lost another game. They just kept winning and they were the - they became the hottest team in the history of Major League Baseball to be in third place with a week and a half to go and suddenly to not only make the playoffs and win in the one-game playoff but then to win seven games in a row.
And people thought that they were a team (unintelligible). And you're right. Regardless of what happens, to do what they did there, they're hotter than any benchmark that we like to talk about, whether it's the 1914 Miracle Braves or the 1993 Atlanta Braves or even the great '78 Red - the great '78 Yankees. Because this team - no one has thought anything regarding playoffs. And so what they've done now is incredible.
SIMON: In the minute we have left, they have an eight-day layoff. Do you think that hurt the Rock's pitching?
Mr. BRYANT: I think it always hurts. I think it hurts your hitting. It hurts your pitching. When you're that hot, what you want to do is you want to keep playing. But let's not take anything away from the $143-million Red Sox who are spending more than twice what the Rockies are paying.
Mr. BRYANT: This team is - the Red Sox has more in common with the Yankees than any other team in baseball.
SIMON: Tonight, in Denver, is altitude going to have anything to do with the outcome? I mean, are the Red Sox going to find it hard to play at that altitude?
Mr. BRYANT: Well, they say that the pitching is very difficult because the altitude affects curve balls. It affects your ability to control the ball. And the Rockies played very well at home. The Red Sox were a great team at home and so were the Rockies. This is their last stand. If you don't do it here, it is wait until next year.
SIMON: Ah, time will tell. Howard, always a pleasure.
Howard Bryant, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Talk to you later.
Mr. BRYANT: Take care.
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