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Carl

Red Sox 2004

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What are you going to do if they win?

A lot of people have asked me that over the last few days, and my stock answer was something like, "We haven't won yet. I'll figure it out if it happens." I learned in 1986 that nothing can be taken for granted. There's no sense planning a victory celebration when your heart can be ripped out by a guy named Mookie. It's been brutal ever since, especially in the 1996-2000 era, when the hated Yankees won 4 titles. As a Sox fan, you learn to expect the worst, and for a while, I did.

There was something different about this team. They were stacked with guys who had no history of losing and didn't understand why they couldn't pull this off. Even so, it looked really bleak when Curt Schilling, after throwing for 6 months on a gimpy ankle, physically deteriorated in Game 1 against the hated Yankees. In game 2, something called a Lieber threw the game of his life and beat our other great hope, Pedro Martinez. Game 3 was a disaster, but I saw a bright side.

"They could be setting up the greatest comeback in baseball history," I told Sara. Since every action has an equal and opposite, it would also be the biggest collapse in baseball history, which the Yankees would have to live with. I didn't expect it to happen, but I did see a scenario where it could: Lowe pitches the game of his life in Game 4, Pedro throws great in game 5, Schilling makes a miraculous comeback for Game 6, then they figure out some way to win Game 7, which was the one I was really worried about.

If the Red Sox were going to win a world series, they weren't going to beat the Minnesota Twins to get there. It had to be the hated Yankees. Otherwise it would be like the 1980 US hockey team getting the gold because Lithuania knocked off the Russians. This road went through the Bronx.

Even though I convinced myself it could happen, there was still a huge problem - they were still the Red Sox, so something had to go wrong. I actually convinced myself that there was a Miguel Cairo curse. Cairo is the Yankees' second baseman. He's an adequate player, but in their lineup, he has the same stature as Poland in the coalition forces. Here's the thing: The guy's a magnet for baseballs. He's constantly getting hit with pitches, which gives him first base and inevitably leads to a Yankee rally. My theory was that if you bean Miguel Cairo, you're going to lose.

In Game 4, the Sox showed signs of life. The Yankee bats started to fail under the weight of Tim Wakefield's knuckleball and Rivera blew the save the only way he could: By walking Kevin Millar. Didn't he know that was the one thing he couldn't do? The Sox replace him in the field late in games anyway, and they acquired the fastest guy in the league to run for him, thus distracting the pitcher and leading to a run every time.

My plan was working, and all was well in Game 5 until Pedro beaned Miguel Cairo. For the first time in the series, I really thought it was over. I knew Jeter would get the big hit to give the Yankees the lead, and while I knew the Sox were still in the game, I didn't think they could overcome Cairo's curse. Even when they tied the game and sent it to extra innings, I still thought they were going to lose it and the hated Yankees would celebrate on the hallowed grounds of Fenway Park. I can't even remember how they won, but it was probably the work of David Ortiz, since he is simply the baddest MF since Shaft.

I felt good about Game 6. All year long, Schilling had a soothing effect on Red Sox fans, telling us that everything would be OK and not to be afraid of the curse. I was worried about his ankle, but I was more worried about Game 7.

To become a legend, you have to do something legendary, something that gets better with little embellishments every time the story is told. When Curt Schilling came out with his tendon stitched to his ankle, his sock dripping with blood (the stain looking suspiciously like the Virgin Mary) and pitched 6 great innings, he became a legend.

Bronson Arroyo is the kind of talented but inexperienced pitcher who was put on this earth to blow Red Sox leads through a combination of poor judgment, dumb luck and questionable umpiring. For one full minute, it happened. Things were going well. I was calm in my resolve that the Sox were going to do this, but then A-Rod hit this slow roller that Arroyo played by trying to tag him. The ball squirted out and all hell broke lose. This was, after all, the Red Sox. It was the play destined to be seen over and over on SportsCenter to symbolize the Red Sox futility in 2004 when they had the nerve to think they could actually beat the Yankees. It was the latest version of Boone's home run or Buckner's error. But the call was reversed. It was like someone telling me my dog died, then finding out Harry would be just fine. The play that was destined to torment me like all the others was actually a symbol of the Yankees desperation. Despite being a quarter-of-a-billionaire and the best player in baseball over the last 5 years, A-Rod swatted the ball because he couldn't hit it out of the infield when it mattered.

From then on it was easy. The Yankees rolled over in Game 7 after Kevin Brown imploded (I would have been surprised if he didn't) and Captain Caveman broke out of his slump by hitting a grand slam off the new pitcher; the very capable Javier Vasquez, who Damon baited into throwing a get-me-over fastball by going 0-87 in the first 6 games. The Red Sox celebrated on the field at Yankee stadium, and Yankee fans actually shut up. At one point in the game, when the Sox were in control, Cairo got hit with a pitch.

I felt good about the world series, but the Cardinals did win 105 games and I was staying up at night worrying about Ortiz at first base. Since my "It's not over yet" attitude had worked so well, I kept my mouth shut, which is why I've been silent on the subject until now. Sara helped me through it in a big way. When I found her, she thought baseball was boring, although her heritage was in Rhode Island as a Red Sox fan, which she has learned to embrace. Now, she not only knows the difference between a double and a double play, but she can probably explain the infield fly rule. She knows how much this means to me and shares my joy. She also knows that if she ever bears me a son, I want to name him Varitek.

In "Miracle," the whole movie is about beating the Russians, but if they didn't beat Finland and win the gold medal, there would be no movie. With the hated Yankees dispatched, the Sox couldn't let down against the Cardinals. Fortunately for my health, the Cardinals stunk. I still have no idea how this team was so good all year. In Game 3, which was their chance to go on a roll and make it interesting, they made 2 plays that were so bafflingly dumb the old me would have thought only the Red Sox could have made them. With Pedro struggling early, they loaded the bases and hit a very short fly ball to left. Their third base coach must have heard the legend of Manny in the field, and assumed he couldn't throw the ball 150 feet to nail a slow runner. It was almost insulting to send Larry Walker on such a shallow fly. The next inning (I think) the Cardinals' pitcher scratched out a hit and started the kind of rally that gets Pedro frustrated and leads to his downfall. With runners on second and third and no outs, the Sox tried to give the Cards a run by playing back and taking the out on the ground ball to second. The Cards pitcher, who was running at third, froze like Windows '95. The third base coach was so frustrated, he actually turned his back on him in the middle of the play. Now I believed. This stuff doesn't just happen to the Red Sox.

So how did I celebrate when it happened? On the night we finally won, the night of a lunar eclipse, I spent some quality time with some fellow baseball fans enjoying the victory and watching the post-game celebration. I called Sara and remembered why she is the love of my life. I called my uncle, who has waited 67 years for this (I'm guessing he became a baseball fan around age 6), and we talked about how my grandmother would have loved this. Maybe it's my advancing age, but I have no desire to get drunk or start a fire. I do know that tonight, I will go to bed for the first time knowing that the Red Sox are World Series champs.

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How long before they find the guy who was also alive for their last championship? And you know they will...

I'm a lifetime Orioles fan, so there's no love lost with the Sox or the Yanks. I must admit, though, this feels pretty good. The people of Boston deserve this. Like I said, I'm an Orioles fan, but I'm also a lifetime baseball fan, as well.

Plus, any time you can thumb your nose at a Yankees fan, that's bonus points.

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GO RED SOX!!!! WORLD SERIES CHAMPS!!!! SUCK ON IT YANKEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

I've been a Red Sox fan for about two years... And I wanted the curse to end last year in New York when Brett Boone knock one out over the Monster at FenWay I almost cried that nite!! now this year they win it all, it is satisfying to know that the dreaded curse is over, and the Sox can win more championships!! this game will for ever be remembered and I can say with Pride i watched that AMAZING run!! Boston set 2 records in this post-season.

1- First team to ever come back and win a series being down 3-0

2- Winning 8 straight games in the post season.

and there was an individual record tied when Manny Ramirez hit a single extending his post season hit streak to 17 games tieing Derek Jeter and another guy I forget.

By Far they wouldn't be there without the brillance of Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Derek Lowe. they were the head runners, but you also have EVERY player in the Boston line-up to play in a game at some point or another. Which was great to see they have so much depth

I hope they consider bringing Pedro Martinez back, because he is probably the best pitcher!!!

GO RED SOX!!!!!

GO RED SOX!!!!!

GO RED SOX!!!!!

GO RED SOX!!!!!

GO RED SOX!!!!!

GO RED SOX!!!!!

GO RED SOX!!!!!GO RED SOX!!!!!

GO RED SOX!!!!!

GO RED SOX!!!!!GO RED SOX!!!!!GO RED SOX!!!!

:happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana:

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Great post Carl.

Here's a link I found to a thread on a Red Sox message board. It was mentioned in an espn.com article. The postings are about who each person wants the Red Sox to win it for. The thread was started prior to Game 7 of the ALCS. It's now up to 54 pages. Thought you might enjoy it.

Red Sox Board

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The Year Was - 1918

President: Woodrow Wilson

Vice President: Thomas R. Marshall

Population: 103,208,000

New York's worst subway accident kills 92 and injures 100 after a train jumps a track in Brooklyn at 30 mph (five times the speed limit) (Nov. 2).

Soviets sign Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Central Powers.

Germans launch major offensives in France.

German Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates and later flees to Holland.

First World War end at 11th hour of 11th day of 11th Month.

Influenza pandemic ("Spanish Flu"), 1918-1919, kills 20-40 million worldwide. In U.S. alone, 500,000 perish.

World Series

Boston Red Sox d. Chicago Cubs (4-2)

Daylight Saving Time goes into effect (March).

No NBA and no NFL yet.

Born:

11/04/1918 Art Carney, Mount Vernon NY, actor (Ed Norton-Honeymooners)

11/07/1918 Billy Graham, Charlotte NC, Bapist evangelist (Crusades)

04/25/1918 Ella Fitzgerald, jazz singer (Is it live or is it Memorex)

03/21/1918 Howard Cosell, Winston-Salem NC, sportscaster (Monday Night Football)

02/03/1918 Joey Bishop, [Gottlieb], Bronx, talk show host (Joey Bishop Show)

01/29/1918 John Forsythe, NJ, actor (Bachelor Father, Charlie's Angels, Dynasty)

12/09/1918 Kirk Douglas, [issur Demsky], actor (Gunfight at OK Corral)

05/09/1918 Mike Wallace, Brookline Mass, newscaster (Biography, 60 Minutes)

07/18/1918 Nelson Mandela, Qunu South Africa, political prisoner (ANC)

09/13/1918 Ray Charles, Chicago, orch leader (Perry Como)

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Sorry, Windy, but...

YEEEEEAAAHHHH!!!

OH MY F***ING GOD. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT. THEY FINALLY WON IT ALL. I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ALL MY LIFE. CARL, WHAT YOU WROTE IS EXACTLY WHAT MY FAMILY AND I DID AND EXACTLY HOW WE FELT.

I'VE BEEN CELEBRATING SINCE THE LAST OUT. I EVEN MISSED WORK YESTERDAY. THIS IS THE COOLEST THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN. I KNEW THEY HAD A BETTER TEAM THAN THE YANKEES, BUT WHEN THEY GOT DOWN 0-3, I NEVER THOUGHT THEY'D PULL IT OFF. I DID SAY, THOUGH, THAT IF ANYBODY HAD THE PITCHING STAFF TO DO IT, IT WAS THE SOX. AND THEN WHEN THEY WERE DOWN 3-2, I TOLD MY BROTHERS (ALSO RED SOX JUNKIES), 'WELL, THEY HAD JUST ABOUT A .500 RECORD ON THE ROAD THIS YEAR, AND THEY ALREADY LOST TWO IN YANKEE STADIUM, ALL THEY HAVE TO DO NOW IS WIN THE LAST TWO AND KEEP IT AT .500'. THEY DID. AFTER THEY WON GAME 6, I SAID, 'WHEN YOU'VE GOT SOMEBODY BY THE NUTS, YOU HAVE TO CLAMP DOWN TIGHT AND TWIST AS HARD AS YOU CAN! SCORE EARLY AND SCORE OFTEN.' THEY DID. THEN, THERE WAS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT THAT TEAM WOULD WIN IT ALL - I SAID IN 5 GAMES, BUT THEY DID ME ONE BETTER. IT WAS MOST TRIUMPHANT!!! DURING GAME SIX AND THROUGH THE SERIES, WHEN THE SOX WOULD GET A COUPLE GUYS ON BASE, I WOULD LOOK AT MY BROTHERS, I WOULD PUT MY OPEN HAND FACE UP AND THEN SQUEEZE HARD AND TWIST....IT WAS LIKE OUR BATTLE CRY, AND IT WORKED. IT WAS COOL!

Just a couple more things before I go celebrate some more.

Congratulations to Carl, cpride, Psychocatholic, Spenca, marko, and everybody else in Red Sox Nation.

Carl, it was David Ortiz that won Game 5, with a run-scoring single in the Bottom of the 14th. And, yes, he is the baddest mofo since Shaft...great metaphor.

I may get to the parade on Saturday, but I'd have to leave awfully early from Pennsylvania.

YANKEES SUCK!

JOHNNY DAMON RULES!

THEO EPSTEIN IS GOD!

and...JUST WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!! ONE IS GREAT, BUT I WANT A THREE-PEAT!! NOW, LET'S GET GREEDY!!

:afro: :afro: :afro: :afro: :afro:

:rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

:coolio: :coolio: :coolio: :coolio: :coolio:

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Anybody want a little icing on their cake? The Red Sox will recieve their rings next year on opening day in Fenway. they'll be playing.....the Yankees....

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Congratualtions to the SOX fans. I've been eating crow since wed nite. I was at the game tues, and was so embarresed to see Suppan, the pitcher, get on base and then ruin it with little league base running. Wed they just rubbed our facs in it. The Cards were totally outplayed. Defense was ok, but you can't win a ballgame on 1 run. PITCHING! Where was it? Some friends and I have a theory going. The Cards were paid off. To play so out of character was just unbelievable. At home! Anyway no one deserved it more than the SOX, we've won our share, and there's always next year. CONGRATULATIONS RED SOX FANS!!!! (ESPECIALLY SAMMY)

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Carl and I got up at 4am this morning and drove to Boston. We're exhausted, but it was a great experience! We were able to see the parade twice by watching near the start and then cutting across town to the river and catching it again towards the end of the route. Here's a few of the pics: Red Sox Parade

:happybanana:

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Sara, thanks for sharing the pictures...you can feel the excitement just by looking at them. Isn't it funny how something like a sports event can bring people together? I remember in '91 when the Atlanta Braves came from nowhere to get to the World Series. You could go anywhere and that's all anyone could talk about. People who normally wouldn't talk to one another were somehow connected. I wish that happened more often...

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Awesome pictures, Sara. The Beaver with the Daubach shirt is way cool! Damnit, I couldn't make it up for the parade. You guys that did are way too cool. But I am planning on getting tickets to Opening Day at Fenway. It should be a major blast!!!

SOX RULE!!! REPEAT IN '05!!!

and, oh yeah....YANKEES SUCK!!!

:afro: :afro: :afro: :rockon:

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