Thursday, October 28, 2004

I am Happy

The Red Sox won the world series. That does not happen very often. I am euphoric. I just spent an hour or so on the phone with one of my friends, my softball coach. In 1986, I watched most of game 6 alone - I rememebr standing in the living room, in the last inning, 2 outs, with a beer in my hand, waiting to open it, waiting, not wanting to jinx them by celebrating too soon - but ready... And they put people on. My buddy, the osftball buddy, showed up in the middle of the inning - he was already worked up, he'd been listening in the car. We watched - hits were hit, runs scored, and then the grounder went between Buckner's legs. My friend jumped up and down int he middle of the floor screaming "Fuck fuck fuck!" I crawled under a desk. We continued in that vein for some time, and then another pal showed up, a New Yorker, gloating. I hated him.

We had some fun with him last week. He got as taste of what it's like to be us. And tonight - I ended up watching the game alone (we'd been planning to watch the game together, but he had to work) - and I was thinking, in the ninth, this is exactly what happened in 1986. I watched it alone, just like this - so alike, but so completely different. The way it felt. In 86, with a couple outs, when the Mets got people on board, I was terrified - the Sox were so capable of losing. And I remember distinctly saying to myself (and anyone who might have wondered by), just let them hit a pop up; no grounders, no fly balls, a pop up, someone can catch that. Those who would defend Buckner - or rather, MacNamara (I don't blame Buckner - the man was in worse shape than Curt Schilling this year!) - should take note. Everyone saw that disaster coming. I saw it coming. I knew Buckner was not capable of fielding his opsition - in truth, of course, I didn't trrust any of the other infielders, or the outfielders either. But this year? With Cabrera and Reese and Mientkevitch (there's no chance that's spelled right, but hey) out there - with Damon and Kapler int he outfield - they could hit it almost anywhere and someone was going to catch it. Hit it where you want,, I thought, just keep it in the yard - this game is over.

It's a magnificent thing. Baseball is an integral part of my life, as much as religion is for some people. It is all that. What can I say? The Red Sox have won the world series. May they do it again, and again and again.

And they did it fast - I can get some sleep! eventually. They did what I hoped - they marched through the opposition like a bunch of batting practice pitchers - well, the Cards anyway. Or more to the point - stifled them, the way Pedro Martinez or whoever will mow down the Boston College squad in early spring training. They made everyone they faced look overmatched. Looking at it now - the gutsy team playing over their heads looks like the Yankees - keeping in a series they had no business being in... Just doing it all at the beginning of the series. Exciting stuff.

One last thing - for now. As has happened through the whole post-season - whenever someone has a bad stretch, they broke out of it at a key moment. Tonight (and yesterday, a little bit) it was Trot Nixon - a huge double - a couple other hits. Just like Bellhorn and Damon at the end of the Yankee series, or Lowe, or Manny after not getting any RBI in the Yankee series, all along - everyone on the team had a huge game or two in the last week. It's wonderful. Indeed it is.

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