So we live in a world where the Red Sox have won two of the last four World Series. Meanwhile, the White Sox, a club that had not won the Series since 1917, took the one of those titles during the Red Sox current "dynasty." What's next? Will the Cubs finally win a World Series? Let's not get ahead of ourselves... Anyway, two out of the last four counts for a pretty good dynasty these days. Though Major League Baseball does not have parity like the anti-American NFL, generally any team can win the World Series if they follow the Sox and Yankees' formula. Since the institution of the Division Series in 1995, three teams have won the World Series more than once (the Yankees; the Marlins; and the Red Sox). That means any team can do it at least once... or at least get there. Only four teams (all of them expansion) haven't won a pennant: the Mariners, Devil Rays, Rangers and the Nationals. Of that four, one team clearly is not interested in winning. The Red Sox second World Series title since 2004 makes one wonder what the hell they were doing for the 86 seasons between 1918 and 2004. No, there was no curse and people who believe in curses and jinxes in sports should put on their pink hat, untuck their jersey, sit down quietly in the club box seat, ask the waitress for another "Lite" beer and wait for the wave to come around again. The real reason it took the Red Sox 86 seasons to win the World Series? They were stupid. What's the Phillies' excuse? It approaching three decades since the Phillies' last (and only) title, which would be worrisome if the Pirates had won since 1979, the Giants since 1954, the Indians since 1948, and, of course, the Cubs since '08. Ty Cobb was in his second full big-league season when the Cubs last won the World Series. So how can the Phillies do what the Red Sox have done? Do they have to clean house of all the old-time thinking and get some new, fresh ideas like the Red Sox did? Do have to continue to build the team around their offense and the uber-cozy confines of their home ballpark? Hey, if the Rockies can win with good pitching at Coors Field, why can't the Phillies do the same thing at Coors East? Or do they need a manager like that Terry Francona who seems to always push the right buttons for the Red Sox over the last four seasons? Why can't the Phillies ever get a guy like that? *** As the World Series entered the late innings last night, whipper-snapper sideline dude, Ken Rosenthal, announced that Alex Rodriguez had opted out of his contract with the Yankees and will become a free agent. No surprise there. Some say the Phillies could take a big step at building a World Series contender by signing Alex Rodriguez as the team's new third baseman. In theory, this is a nice idea, but for one season of A-Rod, the Phillies would likely have to pay him 30 times what they paid Ryan Howard in 2007. Besides, if I had to bet, A-Rod will not be playing third base in 2008... he'll be playing shortstop for the Red Sox. The Red Sox third baseman will likely remain Mike Lowell, who priced himself out of the Phillies' budget last night by being named MVP of the World Series. If I had to guess, the Red Sox other free agent on the Phillies' radar, Curt Schilling, will likely return to Boston for one more run, too. Schilling and Lowell would (could?) fit in nicely with the Phillies, but maybe Joe Crede could fit in nicely at third base as well? As far as starting pitchers go, free agents Livan Hernandez, Bartolo Colon and Carlos Silva will cost more than $10 million per season. Is that out of the Phillies' budget? If it is, perhaps Randy Wolf would be a bargain at $8 million or so? Better yet, maybe the Phillies can work on a trade. Next: The Trials are four days away, which means we will have all sorts of running stuff coming this week. This past weekend I watched the Centennial Conference cross-country championships, which (damn-near literally) took place in my back yard. If there were such a thing as a cross country video game, the designers should have pixelized Baker Field. That's because the rain on Friday and Saturday morning turned the course into the quintessential mess, featuring standing water, slippery mounds and mud so deep in spots that when I ran the course on Saturday afternoon, my foot was buried up to my calf. Though the World Series is over and the baseball season has come to an end until the middle of February, we will continue to write about baseball here. I'd write about sports outside of my realm (baseball, running, cycling, etc.), but I'm not so interested and I'm not good at faking it.