WELCOME TO THE SHOW: Cast of unknowns from Colorado face off with more familiar names in Boston. By Ronald Blum THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BOSTON – Jeff Francis looked at Fenway Park and sounded like the wide-eyed World Series rookie he is. “We will not apologize for winning quickly,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said to a roomful of laughter. Last year, of course, the Tigers fumbled and flopped after a six-day layoff and lost to the St.Louis Cardinals in five games – with a Detroit pitcher making an error every night. Teams took notice – a day ahead of today’s opener, Red Sox manager Terry Francona was at the cage running pitchers’ fielding practice. In some ways, the Red Sox have become the Yankees, an October fixture attracting national attention. Manny and his do-rag, Big Papi and Dice-K are TV staples. The Rockies? They haven’t been on a FOX Saturday broadcast since July 2004 and haven’t appeared on an ESPN Sunday night telecast since June 2002. “We’ve been called favorites since Day 1, and look at us,” David Ortiz said, “here we are dancing and just taking it easy. We just have the edge, the attitude to become champions.” Boston overcame a 3-1 deficit in the AL Championship Series to beat Cleveland. That was nothing compared to what the Red Sox did in 2004, when they became the first baseball team to bounce back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-7 postseason series, upending the Yankees. Then they swept the Cardinals for their first World Series title in 86 years, setting off a year of celebrations throughout New England. Now that the curse has lifted, there might be less pressure. But that’s not the Red Sox notion. “1918, I wasn’t even thinking about coming to life. I never paid attention to any of that,” Ortiz said with a smile. Boston took over the AL East lead for good on April 18 and ended New York’s run of nine straight division titles. The Rockies were fourth in the NL West at just 76-72 when their spurt began Sept.18. If not for two blown saves by San Diego’s Trevor Hoffman, they wouldn’t even have won the wild card and made their first postseason appearance since 1995. “We feel anonymous everywhere,” third baseman Garrett Atkins said. “They’re household names over there, and we’re just not.” Rockies names might not be known in most homes, but they are scrawled inside The Wall. Colorado came to Fenway in June, winning two of three and outscoring the Red Sox, 20-5, and some Rockies players partook in the ritual of affixing their names on the inside of baseball’s most famous fence. Boston was 51-30 at home during the regular season and 5-1 during the playoffs, benefiting from its accumulated knowledge of Fenway’s idiosyncrasies and ricochet patterns. “A lot of special things happen here,” Francis said. “It’s a special baseball place: the fans, the players, the team and the city.” Since its last win on Oct. 15, Colorado had workouts and simulated games. That only went so far. “The postseason, the World Series, you can’t simulate that,” right fielder Brad Hawpe said. “There’s nothing like that.” So enough of the talking. Time to play. Colorado already has been thinking ahead, perhaps obsessing. “There’s no getting away from it,” Hawpe said. “This is what you think about when you wake up in the morning; it’s the last thing you think about before you go to bed.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“I’m sure the Red Sox are used to this every day,” he said Tuesday, with more than a bit of awe, “but we’ve never seen anything like this, the bus pulling up into the parking lot, and the trailers and the satellite dishes.” Welcome to the show, Colorado Rockies, a black-and-purple clad club of Tulowitzkis and Torrealbas unknown to many fans even now, after their amazing run of 21 wins in 22 games. A team that didn’t even exist until 1993 navigated through the cracked corridors and cramped clubhouse of Fenway, then played catch in front of the 37-foot-high Green Monster in left and Pesky’s Pole in right. Infielder Clint Barmes plopped into a red seat in row CC to take it all in. Josh Beckett was set to start tonight’s opener for Boston, and Francis was slated to pitch for the Rockies. Much has been made of possible snow when the Series moves to Coors Field this weekend, but there was a 30 percent chance of rain for Game 1. With Colorado coming off a record eight-day layoff since sweeping Arizona in the NL Championship Series, there’s been a lot of debate about rust vs. rest – and what better place to discuss rust than quirky old Fenway Park, which opened in 1912 and is filled with nearly a century of baseball sounds and smells.
The Legend of Zorrodir Martin Campbellout nowIn 1998, The Mask of Zorro, alsodirected by Martin Cambell,was released to general acclaim.A rousing, swashbuckling adventurewith a healthy dose of humour,it made a sequel entirely predictable.Sadly, predictable is certainlythe watchword for this latest offeringfrom the conveyor-belt that isHollywood. The film, essentially aninferior photocopy of the original,is not terrible, but it is terribly mediocre.The sultry spark of the first filmhas vanished, replaced by lazy actingand an even lazier script. Thestory, little more than a series of frequentlyillogical plot devices, opensin 1850 as California votes on joiningthe Union. Zorro is enduringsomewhat less than marital bliss,with his devotion to work resultingin estrangement from his beautifulwife. This potentially emotional storylineis instead played for laughs,as Zorro strives to win Elena backfrom a villain so bland I’ve alreadyforgotten his name. Naturally, healso has to save America.The Legend of Zorro is sporadicallyfunny, but the broad slapstickmerely contributes to its uneventone, as it tries (and fails) to find abalance between grit and sanitisedfamily fare. The introduction of aZorro Junior to the forefront of theaction was always going to be intenselyirritating. One also wonderswhy the skilful swordsman Zorronever actually kills anyone with hissword.Nevertheless, the blockbusterdoes have its moments, and it occasionallyfeels like a better story islurking just out of reach. A mealtimescene proves surprisingly macabreand the rousing fighting ofthe climax is undeniably exciting.On a different front, real emotionis felt when Zorro’s identity is revealed,yet the chief effect of this isto highlight the sterility of the restof the affair.It is a depressing thought that sausagefactory of Hollywood cannotmuster the courage to experimentwith fresh material. Recycling is agood thing when it comes to litter,but not when cinema is concerned.The word ‘sequel’ may arouse producersin Bel-Air, but for me it hasall the excitement of toast.There are exceptions, of course,that prove this rule. This film,as you may have guessed, is notone of them. No amount of scenery,swords, special effects or even(gasp) Antonio Banderas can hidethe unerring feeling that The Legendof Zorro has nothing new tosay. Far from being a legend, thisfilm proved difficult to rememberlong enough to write a review.ARCHIVE: 3rd week MT 2005