Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hope Springs Autumnal

It's not over yet. Friday night I saw my first Red Sox World Series Championship ring in person, and just being around that unnecessarily large and glittering chunk of diamond and chutzpah gave me a boost of optimism.

But things are not well in the clubhouse, my friends. The boys are banged up, teammates are turning on one other, and the Sox are half a game back of both the Yankees and the Indians. (Of course, they are also at this moment playing game one of a doubleheader against Toronto, and are 2-0 in the third. So the numbers are fluid.)

Who is trying to bring down Curt Schilling?? The man who charged through the playoffs with a bloody sock, Bush-lover or no, does not deserve to have one of his own teammates turn Brutus on him. My money for the traitor is on Keith Foulke, who is done for the season and has been carping about how tough it is to play baseball in Boston for a while now. Oh, and also how he doesn't care about crowd reaction at Fenway--what "Johnny from Burger King" thinks of his pitching. Way to endear yourself to the fans, chuck. 2-0, top of the fourth.

Things are getting cranky around the edges. I blame the higher expectations after last year's amazing win and most of all, the utterly unfamiliar feeling of being defending champs. It's not that the Sox haven't appreciated the thrillride, but it's always been so easy to be the underdogs. At a point like this any other season, we are ecstatic about being in the thick of the chase. A half game! away from making the playoffs one way or another. Maybe we can catch the Yankees! And through it all, everyone would have expected the team to push us to the limit and then let us down. EVERYONE expected that. This collective unbelief always nourished a secret and persistent spark of hope, at least in me. You had to believe in your team despite prevailing wisdom, despite the yammering idiots on WEEI, and despite decades and decades of terrible Sox luck. That was exciting, in that secret, childlike-faith way. Now? If we don't make the playoffs, we're a pathetic bunch of underachieving losers. Sox quickly retired in the fourth, top of the fifth same score.

But this post is about optimism. I still feel like the chemistry is off, and physically this team is pretty beaten up. But it's still a good team, with a lot of amazing elements (Big Papi, the ManChild when he decides to play, a couple of young and promising pitchers) and they could get the job done. (On the other hand, Toronto just scored on a Mirabelli passed ball. They could also not get it done.) But seeing the hunk of gem and metal these guys get as their reward made me think: why not? Why couldn't they do it again? They just have to get to the playoffs first. And despite the naysaying, and sportsradio, and traitors in the clubhouse and Renteria at short, I, not so secretly, have decided to believe that they will.


At 3:54 PM, Blogger benji said...

go yankees! hahahahaha

At 5:16 PM, Blogger scs said...

You're evil, benj. And not even from nyc!! What's your excuse??

At 6:43 PM, Blogger benji said...

not sure. i guess i'm pissed that i'll never be able to go to Yankee Stadium when the SOX come to town and scream "19..18..19...18". that was fun. "twenty zero four" doesn't have the same ring to it.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger scs said...

Yep. Evil.

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is the guy with the ring?
Yankees SUCK!

At 1:04 PM, Blogger scs said...

The guy with the ring is the Red Sox Director of Ticket Sales. In other words, the man you want to know. I tried to strike up a deep and lasting friendship with him on Friday night, the better to get tickets to any game I could ever want, but his wife gave me the evil eye so I had to back down.

At 1:57 PM, Blogger benji said...

you back down?! over a chance to get Sox tickets whenever possible?! i think i just threw up a little in my mouth!

At 1:38 PM, Blogger scs said...

I went to the game last night (Wednesday) against Toronto and saw the Red Sox fold right in front of my eyes, 7-2. This isn't going to be easy.


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