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Clock is about to strike 12 for the Rockies

BOSTON -- So the most celebrated glass slipper in recent baseball history comes clacking to the World Series.

Good. The Boston Red Sox can use it to drink their champagne.

So baseball’s best finishers in 72 years will bring their celebrated heat into the World Series.

Perfect. The Boston Red Sox can use it to light their victory cigars.

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Memo to a sports nation dabbing its eyes and pounding its hands over the Colorado Rockies and their 21 wins in 22 games:

They will be lucky to win one of the next five.

They might have swept their way into the World Series, but they will be lucky to avoid being swept out of it.

I feel bad about this, like I’m leaving hamburger wrappers on Pikes Peak or messing up John Elway’s hair.

I know I sound exceedingly defiant about this, like I’m stepping on John Denver glasses or washing my car in Coors brew.

But with everyone treating the Rockies like lovable stuffed animals who are going to bounce into Boston tonight and charm their Sox off, I need to be as brutally honest as Manny Ramirez is brutally baggy.

The Red Sox are a much better team from a far superior league.

The Rockies are the Seattle Mariners with galoshes.

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The Red Sox pounded the second- and third-best teams in baseball in surviving the difficult American League playoffs.

The Rockies would not have even qualified for the American League playoffs, and only advanced to the National League playoffs because they were seven for seven in the final weeks against the -- gasp -- Dodgers.

The Red Sox have the best postseason pitcher of our era, one of the best postseason pitchers in history, and baseball’s best one-two slugging duo in their lineup.

The Rockies have only three position players and one starting pitcher who would be Red Sox regulars.

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With their energy and muscle, the Rockies act like a bunch of football players, which makes a favorite saying of former coaching great Bill Parcells work nicely here.

You are what you are.

Why does everybody think the last 22 games have turned the Rockies into a vastly different team than in their previous 148 games?

During the regular season, their starters were ranked 17th in baseball and their bullpen was last in blown saves.

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The Red Sox starters ranked fourth and their bullpen tied for the fewest blown saves.

You say the Rockies’ momentum is enough to make up for the gap in talent?

I say, the eight days off between the championship series and the start of tonight’s World Series will turn them back into the Rockies.

Worse, it could turn them into last year’s Detroit Tigers, last season’s darlings who lost their teeth during a six-day layoff, a great hitting and disciplined team that batted .199 in the Series with eight dumb errors.

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You say the Rockies, despite only four combined games of World Series experience, have played enough elimination games in the last month that the classic won’t bother them?

I say the Red Sox not only have 12 times as many Series games under their collective belts, but their core group has made historic comebacks to win a postseason series twice.

I also say that about three weeks ago, Matt Holliday was out at the plate, and maybe we shouldn’t even be here.

You say Jeff Francis, I say Josh Beckett.

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You say Holliday and Brad Hawpe, I say David Ortiz and Ramirez.

You say Manny Corpas and I say, c’mon, he’s a 24-year-old kid who didn’t start saving games until after July 4.

The Red Sox are filled with guys who have spent the last few years saving not only games, but seasons, surviving the most intense series in the most baseball-intense city in the major leagues.

For the Rockies, the World Series will be the biggest games of their lives.

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For the Red Sox, it will be their easiest games in a month.

Yes, the Rockies defeated the Red Sox two out of three games in Boston in the middle of the season, beating Beckett and Curt Schilling. But history shows the two Red Sox aces will be different pitchers this week.

The Red Sox’s real problem is that they have too many good players. When they go to Colorado and can’t use the designated hitter, Ortiz will move to first base, so where do you put hot-hitting Kevin Youkilis?

The Rockies, meanwhile, are forced to survive with a couple of rookie starting pitchers named Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales, a bullpen that has known more failure than success, and a big-swinging offense that can easily fall into huge slumps, witness its .222 average in the NLCS against Arizona.

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The only Rockies advantage is their scooping and sliding defense. But the Red Sox hit balls that can’t be caught. They throw pitches that can’t be hit. They have an aura that can’t be matched.

The Rockies are the flavor of the week. The Red Sox are baseball’s enduring presence of the last five years.

Look closely this week when Ortiz, as he always does when at the plate, spits into his batting gloves and loudly claps. Look for pieces of pumpkin. Look for bits of slipper. Maybe even a hint of broom.

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Bill Plaschke can be reached at bill.plaschke@latimes.com. To read previous columns by Plaschke, go to latimes.com/plaschke.


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