Thursday, October 21, 2004

Red Sox!

Did you catch Steinbrenner's press conference at about 3 am this morning? It seems that he has already signed Johan Santana and has an agreement in principle with Carlos Beltran, who was initially quite miffed at being woken from deep slumber the night before game 7 of the NLCS, but quickly warmed up to the conversation when Steinbrenner started right in on $.

I played the emotional hedge last night, losing $50, but still found myself rooting for the Sox. About time Johnny Damon did something. You could see the Yanks parody coming otherwise - it seems that in Boston this year there were people wearing "What Would Johnny Damon Do?" t-shirts; if he continued doing nothing in the playoffs, Yank fans could have posed the same question with a list of his ALCS stats, which were abysmal until last night.

My brother Lime, who is the conservative in the family, is not in my camp on this - he hates Boston, and was rooting against them. Why? Because of the Celtics and Ted Kennedy and John Francois Kerry, etc. etc. All good reasons, but not good enough for me. If the Sox weren't good, Kerry would never have accepted an invitation to throw out the first pitch in a game earlier this year, which he bounced to the plate like a girl (but not like a Jenny Finch girl). Teresa could have thrown harder. And true to his massive ego, he blamed it on the catcher. If this guy gets elected, expect a reprisal of the Carter "malaise" speech, where we will be told the problem is not the president, it is the peasantry.

But if you cannot leave politics out of sports, than what haven do we have from it? There are old men who have rooted for the Red Sox all of their lives, some of whom will no doubt die this year, but they may yet get a chance to see a World Series win. As a Phils fan, we have only one - in 1980 - when I was 12. I remember watching Game 5 of the NLCS against the Astros with my brother Lime and my Dad. For whatever reason, our color TV was broke, and we were watching on a small black and white TV in the living room. My dad was a huge baseball fan, and back in those days prior to free agency, there wasn't a great deal of turnover in the players on any given team, so you really grew to know the players on the team in a sense. The Phils were constant contendors in the late 70s, but couldn't seem to break through. The last four games of that 5 game series went into extra innings, and when the Phils won game 5, my dad leaped, pumped his fist in the air, and nearly put it through the ceiling. When Lime and I heard how hard he had hit the ceiling, we both stopped our own celebration and looked to find our dad in pain; but what pain he might have felt was transcended by the joy of a long awaited trip to the World Series.

Somewhere in Boston there is a guy like my dad who did the same thing last night, and I don't care who he votes for. And if the opposite had occurred, with the Yanks winning, I don't think you'd be able to say that about someone in the Bronx.

As a side note, should I ever lapse from the Catholic faith, the seeds of my doubt will have been planted by Sister Joanne, my eight grade teacher, who discouraged students from leaving school to go the World Series parade. I had my dad nearly convinced to take me, but when he asked what our teacher had said, I couldn't say that she gave a ringing endorsement. I remember her leaning against her podium complaining that the parade was the for the adult fans who have waited all of their life for a World Series win. Its been nearly 25 years, and no parade for the Hatcher. What kind of God gives a calling to a woman to join the convent so that she can be in position to put the kybosh on a kid's opportunity to attend a World Series parade? I ask myself that question every year around this time.

Finally, can Tim McCarver just give it a damn rest? "The flag in left field can actually be blowing in, even as the wheather vane that is above it on the flag pole can be blowing out. This is because Yankee stadium, like Shea, is built like a horseshoe. Both were designed by the famous architect Louis Joneson, who pioneered the horseshoe stadium design to create just such an effect. I was speaking with a fluid dynamic professor from MIT prior to the game, and ...."

Or, how about - "I am not sure that what the Red Sox have accomplished here can be considered a miracle, but it sure is an extraordinary accomplishment. To qualify as a miracle, however, the Vatican sets out three different criterion that have to be satisfied, although after Vatican II there is significant contoversy over the interpretation of the different criterion. In any event, the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston could not be reached for comment on the subject before the game, saying something about being busy re-assigning certain priests and granting annulments to prominent rich Democratic politicians."

Tim - shut up already! Watch some tapes of Bill Walton announcing basketball games and learn a thing or two.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

no longer will the might Yankees (suck) be looked upon as 26 time world champion, for here until eternity they will be seen as the only team to ever lead a 3-0 and blow it big time, Just as long as Bush doesn't take credit for all the Hope and Opportunity in Boston, by the way, don't try and get any business done with anyone here today, everyone is hung over.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lime says....

GO HOUSTON! ( I hate St. Louis too - Scott Rolen, Dick Gephardt, people voting for dead people, dead people voting...) Besides, there's a few 80 year olds in Texas who have never seen a world series either. And which 80 year-olds do you think Dad would be routing for when voting history as a whole is factored in?

8:16 AM  

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