Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Brave New World

Well, it took five months, but we finally woke the sleeping Blue giant. And he's a little feisty, don't you think? Lots of Blue language. And I have the feeling that during Yankee games he holds his breath until he literally turns Blue. Maybe I can put him back to sleep with a couple of haikus.

The Nation is telling me I should reply point-by-point to Blue's recent Septemberfest, and it's tempting. (Having said that, I do need to clarify one point: my Kapler/Roberts comparison was referring to Kapler's ability to be a clutch pinch-runner and play late-inning D in the playoffs. I think everyone in the world knows that neither of them hit home runs.)

But rather than crossing swords, I'd really just like to reiterate three points I've been trying to make all year, apparently unsuccessfully:

1 - This is the first baseball season I have EVER enjoyed. I don't think Blue will ever understand how liberating 04 was. Pity, that. It's a feeling I'd love for all my friends to feel. If the Sox ever win another one, it will be unexpected - and thoroughly enjoyable - icing on the cake. I want to win and I love my Sox, but 04 was fulfilling enough to last my lifetime. THAT'S THE POINT! And hey, check this out... pennant races are fun!

2 - Even in the pre-championship world, I had a filter to screen out noise from Yankee fans. People who think that 26 championships in 82 years somehow makes them superior beings are not enlightened, not interesting, and not worth listening to (I'm not talking about Blue here; he is a GREAT baseball fan and, yes, very interesting!). Yankee fans think differently than all the other fans, and it will never make sense to the rest of us. What other fans EXPECT their franchise to win every year? (And yes, this time I AM talking about Blue!)

3 - The Yankees are the team to beat. Not the Red Sox, White Sox or Cardinals. The Yankees. They have the best starting pitching, the best bullpen, the best bench, and the best 9 hitters in baseball. They're healthy and they're currently in the thick of things. Forget the wildcard - in one weekend series, they can take over first place. What more can you ask for? WAKE UP CALL FOR YANKEE FANS - THIS IS WHAT A PENNANT RACE IS LIKE. (And why do I need to try to cheer you up anyway? Why doesn't having the best team cheer you up? For that matter, why don't those 26 titles cheer you up?)

There's another thing too. Because of last year, I LOVE EVERY ONE OF THESE GUYS! The place they have in Sox fans hearts is unprecedented. If I see Doug Mirabelli in Burger King in the year 2046 I'm going to buy him 17 whoppers and 32 chocolate shakes. And I'll be hugging him like it's October 28th all over again. I don't know how else to drive this point home.

I'll tell you what IS interesting. That this year the shoe is on the other foot. That this year it's the Yankee fans I hear panicking on the radio on the drive home every night, insisting that WE CANNOT LET THE RED SOX DO THIS TO US AGAIN. This year it's the Sox fans who believe! Who'd a-thunk? We're in a parallel universe. It's like beautiful music every night. Evidently, the 1 we have since 1923 is so big that it outweighs all 26 of yours. HOW COULD THAT BE, BLUE?

If it makes you feel any better, any other season would have been a very different story. For the past 35 consecutive years I have been tearing my hair out on Labor Day. I'm still not sure how I talked myself out of slashing my wrists in 78. Or 86. Or 99. Or (heaven help us) 03. And if they'd lost in 04, I really don't think I would have even blogged with you. How's THAT for honesty?

If we had been blog brothers at this point last year, I would have been absolutely freaking out - FREAKING OUT - about not being able to beat the Yankees in the big games, about losing Nomar, about the Randy Johnson rumors, about the inevitability of another Yankee year. (Again - why am I trying to cheer YOU up?)

But this is 05 baby. The post-apocalyptic era. Blue, it's a brave new world. Despite having no Pedro, no Schilling, no Foulke, there is only one team in each league with a better record. I wish I could turn back the clock for you, but I can't. It's changed forever. So deal with it - win or lose, Sox fans now have reason to keep believing.

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The 2 earlier comments are spam. It's too bad they are starting to target bloggers. You can rid yourself of them by utilizing the letter ID feature of your blogger provider. A commenter has to type in a series of letters to be posted. And you're right...this season for a Red Sox fan has a much less desperation quality to it. I'm still glowing from last year. It is still tough to realize that we need 6 plus runs to win a game. In fact, the Sox record when they score 6 runs or less is something like 19-40!!!!!

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