Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls Welcome to Fenway Park home of your Boston Red Sox,
(I suggest you click on the links as you reminisce)
Finally the day of the World Series and your bearded Boston Red Sox are back in the October classic. After many seasons of strange happenstance since their last victory and the rise of Red Sox Nation; they have returned. We waited just 6 years this time, instead of 86.
That number is still tough to type. The memories and nightmares from that number are still and always will be fresh in our minds. I never had live images of Dent, Buckner, or Fisk and the likes; but I saw the Boone home run, Grady Little’s last stand and the stolen base. All of them flash before my eyes as I type this for you to read.
Papi’s heroics and Foulke’s erasing pitch birthed an entire new brand of Red Sox baseball. The one that was about filling seats, sexy rosters and selling pink hats. That worked and fueled big contracts, beer guts and an ’07 title. Why change that formula? Keep buying the clubhouse beers and signing their increasingly fatter checks and be competitive.
Always there, always in it.
That should be a Red Sox motto.
Always there, more than there; then in less than an hour, out of the playoffs completely. Again the memories, mostly nightmares and flashes of the 2011 team. Up in the 9th with the lock-down jig dancing closer against the measly Orioles. *last button to the Yankees/Rays game* Yankees are up by a landslide. The September from hell is over. *last button Red Sox/Orioles* One on. Papelbon still has it in the bag. *last button* “What in the– How? The Rays came back?! Whatever A-Rod is up maybe he can do us a favor and save us.” *last button and an eternity later* “Ball in the air, Crawford under it, closing in, closing in, he doesn’t catch it. Orioles walk–” *last* “7-7 Longoria cocks the bat, he hits it, down the line and the Rays win it!” *click—*
From that moment on it was finger pointing and beer drinking and firing of managers and words shot every-which way. An offseason of disgust. Then utter confusion as Bobby Valentine was hired. You can hear the plane falling down.
The 2012 Red Sox a team full of money and talent but nothing much else. We dealt with angry Papi, who however, was hitting the ball just like he used to. Then you heard murmurs of dislike. Then Pedroia shot at Bobby V. Texts were sent and more fingers were pointed. And we were tanking down, down, down. The trade deadline passed and somehow we just were expected to like and put up with this mockery of a team.
And all of a sudden a trade went through. Sending bags of money and lifeless talent to LA. And we continued to burn into the history books as the clowns from Boston, with no end in sight. And yet the season ended and shortly thereafter Valentine was fired. John Farrell and a slew of free agents were signed to strange deals that were promised to get us back into it. Admit it we were all skeptical.
And yet hope springs eternal. These fellows were winning some games. But then our closer went down. Then another. But the team was still winning actual games. We got intrigued and the beards began to grow; some since long before and some just popping up as of now. We were intrigued during the season; merely interested because there’s no way that they can keep up the winning- they haven’t in what seemed like ages. No way could they keep this up. But they did, and gathered more than one believer on their way.
They played several Cy Young Winners and candidates and were put up against some historical pitching and beat it with something more than just beards. They pitched toe to toe with some of the best, their bats went hot, then cold and yet we came back to life. We made a few of the most feared hitters and touted prospects fan and shake their head back to the dugouts. And we found out that Koji is part reptile with ice in his veins. We found Papi still has it in him to change a postseason. We have hope and we believe again.
“I haven’t found an answer for the question; why not us?”
After a long six years could it be possible that the Cardinals can, once again, help us forget the painful past?
+If you’ve seen Fever Pitch you’ll understand the reference in the link.