Friday, October 29, 2004
There is a huge sign on my door that says 1918-2004, World Champions. It's got the entire Red Sox lineup named on it, and a bad drawing of Johnny Damon. I think I did it last night, but I don't really have any memory of this. People are writing 'Congratulations Boston, and congratulations *insert real name here*!' As though it's as much my victory as it is the team's. Thanks to everyone who left me a note, cornered me in the halls, high-fived me in the street and hugged me in class. I know that most of you have viewed my reactions this season with a certain degree of, ah, amusement (or, as my CFC professor said to me just this afternoon: 'Get a life!'), but you've mostly been very good about this all, and I sincerely appreciate it.
Oh man. "Just bring me back, gimme less work, gimme more money, and we'll be good." That's Jason Taylor of the Miami Dolphins, dressed up and acting like Ricky Williams for Halloween. Wow. No way Ricky Williams is ever playing in Miami again. Jason Taylor, you are absolutely amazing. And ESPN is amazing for showing us that. Thank you, Sportscenter.
Hmph. However, don't think I'm letting you off the hook for not taking Gameday to Michigan for the Michigan/Michigan State football game this weekend. Sure, foist Cold Pizza off on us. I don't care if there's some kind of showdown in Oklahoma, you people should be in Ann Arbor. This is just lame. Right. Turning off the TV now, there's only so many times you can watch the same ads without starting to go mad.
This is my desktop image right now. Hoo yes.
I think this World Series starting to sink in. A little bit. Only a little bit. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it. We won. We won. The team of perpetual bad luck, perpetual bad managing, perpetual losses, has finally won. Red Sox Nation is in a state of elated shock, so far as I can tell from my somewhat distant outpost, and so they should be. To those of you out there who are saying that Sox fans secretly harbor masochistic yearnings to support a losing team, and that RSN will lose all of its character and everything that makes it great because we've finally won, I have one thing to say: You People are Morons.
We're going to like the team less because they won? Don't be ridiculous. If anything, the fanbase will expand, because all sorts of casual fans and bandwagon fans will be leaping aboard. Whether or not this is necessarily a good thing remains to be seen (Bill Simmons, as usual, sums this up perfectly: 'Fox shows Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore wearing Red Sox sweatshirts and clapping excitedly. I wish I was actually driving the Red Sox Bandwagon right now, just so I could screech to a halt, whirl around, point to them and scream, "Get off! RIGHT NOW! I mean it! Get off! Move it! Gather your things and GET OFF!"'), but to say that hanging a World Series banner up at Fenway will somehow lessen the fans is just a ridiculous statement. I feel like I'm overusing the word 'ridiculous', but I'm too tired to go hunting through a thesaurus right now.
The team will not be the same next year. It will not be the same group of lovable idiots that we all discussed and watched and downloaded pictures of all season. The contracts are up for Pedro, Lowe, Varitek, and Cabrera. Feel free to inform me if I'm missing someone there. Will we keep at least one of them? Probably. I can't imagine us getting rid of Varitek if it's at all possible to keep him... he's our captain, for cats' sake, and in many ways he was the heart of the team. Cabby... there's apparently some kid in the minors who we're expecting to pan out in a couple of years, so if Cabrera asks for too long a contract he might be gone, but I have to believe that they'll try to keep him otherwise. As for Pedro and Lowe, I have no idea. It all depends on how much they ask. If Pedro is capable of valuing himself properly, we might keep him, but I have my doubts about this. Lowe is completely up in the air. He won the three clinching games in these three postseason series, which is simply amazing. But he was also less-than-sterling in the regular season. How does one even approach resigning a guy like that? Again, I think it'll depend on what he's asking for. If he asks for too much he'll probably find another team to take him on.
However, a lot of the team will be back. They'll still be the same guys, the same free-and-easy kind of club that we all loved to watch the Yankees hate this year. If anyone thinks that people won't follow them with the same passion because they finally gave us what we've been collectively yearning for for 86 years, they're out of their minds. Essentially this entire rant says, "Jim Rome (and all others who subscribe this this same philosophy), your ideas are charmingly flawed and simply show that you are not a member of Red Sox Nation. We'll thank you to take your weird vocal emphasises and your ill-conceived opinions elsewhere."
Oh, and for those who haven't heard, we play the Yankees in our home season opener come April. That's right. The New York Yankees get to sit in Fenway and watch while we raise the 2004 World Series banner. If the thought of that doesn't warm your heart but good, you haven't got a heart. Or you're a Yankees fan, which is much the same thing.
Curt Schilling... man. I mean, you know I love you for what you did for us. I love the way you handle the media and the fans. I'd defend you to the death against those sad people who call you an attention-mongerer. It makes me steam, the way that some people are trying to ruin one of the best and most courageous performances in baseball history by insinuating that your ankle wasn't really as hurt as it was, even going so far as to claim that the blood on your sock was fake (I'd put in a couple of links to the articles, but I really don't want anything to do with them, even linking).
The whole uber-Christian thing freaked me out a little, but I was perfectly willing to overlook it, because you're Curt Schilling! You came to this team and gave it your all, mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you want to lay it all on God, that's fine, it's your choice. [A side note-- if Schilling is that religious, what on earth does he think of the whole Johnny-Damon-as-Jesus thing? How has this not been addressed before?]
But Curt. Come on. This sort of thing? I don't know what to say. How disappointing. You're a great ballplayer, and you did great things for us this year, but it's going to take me a while to get over that (probably by trying to forget that it ever happened).
Tomorrow I have to wake up early to do laundry, since I seem to have left it a bit long. I have a grand total of zero clean pairs of pants left. I think that's a pretty good sign that I need to do laundry. After bio Pam is picking me up and we're going to go check out a few houses for possibly accomodations for next year. Then it will be work all Friday night (what excitement!), the Michigan/Michigan State game on Saturday (actual, non-sarcastic excitement!), and football TV watching on Sunday (Lions/Cowboys at 1, Pats/Steelers at 4:15, if it's on). Oh, and Halloween, which could mean anything from sedate caramel apple-making in the dorm with Carla to roaming State Street in the wee hours. We'll see.
As usual, if you want actual good writing about the Sox, you're going to have to go to Bill Simmons. If you want a blog that's actually on top of this, you're going to have to go to Surviving Grady, Cursed to First, or someone else listed over on the side. Good times all around.
We close with Manny Ramirez's quote from last night, when asked if he believes in curses:
"I don't believe in curse, I believe you make your own destination."
Thank you, Manny. Thank you.