Red Sox World Champions of Baseball
Well, today, the Red Sox fans are standing straighter, their pessimistic October lips are finally curled upward, and now they can finally feel good about themselves, their team, and the city of Boston. For better or worse, the Red Sox 86-year World Series losing stream did have some positive effects. For one, it drew the Boston fans closer - in times of trouble Americans or indeed any group of people tend to bond together in solidarity. The Red Sox are the prime example of that. As a lifetime Yankee fan, I cannot pretend to understand that seemingly masochistic bond that they share, the grief that they suffered at the hands of Buckner, Bucky, Boone, and of course the Babe --- but as an outside observer looking in, I can say I admire the Red Sox fans for not giving up on their beloved Red Sox.
Who would have thought down 0-3 to the Yankees and just 2 outs from being swept by the Yankees with the best reliever in the history of baseball, Mariano Rivera, on the mound? It was 2003 and Aaron Boone all over again - the grief, the same ole' Red Sox misery. No, scratch that, Game 4 of the ALCS must have felt to the Red Sox fan as though the weight of every bad thing that has happened to the Red Sox in the past 86 years was once again crushing their hopes. The Red Sox fans don't just feel that moment in time - they feel the entire history of their team when something bad is happening - especially when it's against the Yankees. Well, we know what happened in Game 4 -the Red Sox came back to win. And then they did it to the Yankees again in Game 5 with the Yankees leading again in the late innings.
We all know how the story goes from there. The Red Sox completed one of the greatest comebacks in sports history against their bitter rival - the New York Yankees. It couldn't have been scripted any better if you tried! If you believe in a supreme being, if you're a Yankees fan, you're praying "Why oh why did we have to lose to the Red Sox like this? 2 outs away from the World Series, up 3 games to zero and then lose in 7? God, seriously, that wasn't funny." If you're a Red Sox fan, you're saying, "Thank you God for answering our prayers to defeat our nemesis in such a historic fashion. But seriously God, where were you the past 86 years? Were you not listening to our prayers or are the rumors true - you really a Yankees fan and you just thew us a 'bone' this year?"
Everything seemed to align for the Red Sox this year. They got Curt Schilling to complement Pedro. They got Foulke as their closer. Even the moon aligned and conspired with the Red Sox as it turned red from the refraction caused by the sun's rays curving around the earth in the World Series clinching game. The first lunar eclipse ever in a World Series game, that must mean something. Maybe the "big man" upstairs is saying "Ok, ok, Red Sox fans. I get it. I have 200,000 people on my list that refuse to die until the Red Sox win one. I've broken the curse, I've sent you a sign from the moon, I had you beat my beloved Yankees in a miraculous way, now stop your whining and leave me alone."
Congratulations Red Sox fans. You deserved this championship.
I was getting tired of the 1918 chant anyway. Chanting "1918" to Red Sox fans was like stomping on a guy that tripped, fell down the stairs, rolled onto the street, got ran over by a car, and got his wallet pick-pocketed - I was honestly starting to feel sorry for the Red Sox fans. This is great news for George Steinbrenner by the way. Think of all the new merchandise the Yankees have to create now since they have to remove 1918 from all the T-shirts and other Yankee paraphrenalia. George Steinbrenner will be able to sell millions of newly designed T-Shirts, refill his coffers, and then restock and reload the Yankees to take back the World Championship. So I guess we have the Red Sox to thank for that.
Also, the rivalry as heated as it was, was pretty one-sided - the Yankees always won. So the Red Sox winning is great for baseball and great for the rivalry. The cocky bandwagon Yankee fans that just assumed the Yankees would win every year will be gone, and the true blue Yankee fans will be left next year to cheer them on.
The true Yankee fans will want revenge next year, as will the Yankee players, so 2005 should be an interesting year in baseball. Also, unlike the Red Sox's Pedro Martinez who throws a 95mph head-shot from time-to-time, the Yankees haven't had an intimidating thrower like that since the Rocket, Roger Clemens. I expect a few dugout clearing brawls next year as the Yankees will be much hungrier than they have been and perhaps even some head-shots thrown by both sides - not that I condone that.
The Yankee fans and Boston fans will no doubt be creative in their mocking chants next year. I can see the Red Sox chanting "Chokers" or "two thousand fooour...two thousand fooour" (in the same rhythm as the "1918" chant). And now with the Red Sox with 1 World Championship since 1918 and I believe 2 overall, (Yankees have 26 total championships) the Yankee fans will probably chant "two to twenty-six...two to twenty-six..."
Rumor has it Pedro may come to the NYY, but I certainly hope not. I'd rather see him stay in Boston where we can continue to chant "Who's your daddy?". After all, we no longer have 1918 to chant anymore.