Monday, October 29, 2007

Dirty Water: Sox Talk With the Thunderstick: World Series Champs Edition!

Thunderstick: Well, we counted down the magic number every time it changed from the beginning of April until we clinched the AL East and we counted down the wins for the past few weeks until the number went from 11 to 0, and we finally rolled to the World Series title. Sweet. What a game last night. And while there's no doubt that there was much less relief this time than in 2004, it was pretty f'in great none the less. You can go straight down this entire lineup and see where almost every guy on this roster had a hand in something over the past couple weeks. What a great feel good story last night to see Lester come in and go 5+ and not give up any runs.

There's a lot to go through and to rehash but for today, let's just bask in the idea that we were able to have a fun playoff run to a world title and not have to listen to the 1918 nonsense and all that stuff. As was quoted so many times during 2004, people wondered if Sox fans would be the same without having the curse attached to us and I think it's shown that we aren't the same. We're a much happier bunch that was really able to enjoy this run this year rather than in 2004 where as we've said many times, it was great, incredible, awesome, etc., but would we really call it fun? It was fun this time around.

Props to Mikey Lowell for getting the MVP. I love the guy. He's a throw in, so we eat his salary in the Beckett trade, but he comes through like this for the last two seasons. I know there are ARod rumors swirling and everything, but give me a high- character guy like Lowell who is central in the clubhouse and plays his heart out first to play third. I still think Pap should have won MVP--the story in game 2 was he and Okajima locking down that win (recall Pap came in with two guys on base and the Sox up 1 and he didn't let it get away). His part in game 3 was kind of minimalized, but he got the out that stopped the Rockies' late rally. And last night, with Delcarmen, Timlin and especially Okie looking shaky, he came in and locked things down in another one-run game. But these are arguments that are fun to have because you won. There's an offseason to talk about how well this team is set up for the long haul and what needs to be done in free agency and such, but we can spend a few days really relishing this and then we can throw ourselves into the C's opener, BC/Florida State and Pats/Colts. What a great time to be a Boston sports fan.

[Written a little while later] It is just so much better to be World Series champs than to not be World Series champs. I literally had no time to read the articles on ESPN or CNNSI or even in the Globe this morning until about lunch time and even then I read them hurriedly, but they were great to see. They are all variations on the same themes--sure the team spends money, but look at what the rooks did, how the Sox spent money wisely, how this is no longer a culture of fearing the worst and my favorite, how well the Sox are set up to make a good run at things the next several years.

Throw on that all the ARod stuff and it's a fun sports day. The ARod thing has me a bit perplexed I have to admit. All year I've always been of the mind that as much as I hate ARod, it'd be ridiculous to not sign him and I could instantly love him if he was in the Sox uniform. That said, I think if there's one thing we have learned from 2004 and 2007 is that team chemistry does count for something. It might not count for as much as a lot of people want you to believe, but I think it counts for something and it might be that little something that gets you over the hill in a 7 game series as opposed to losing in 6. And I'm wondering if it's worth signing ARod, particularly from the standpoint that we've learned that what isn't necessarily important is to have a guy that can hit dingers in the middle of your lineup--what is more important is that you have 9 guys that go deep into count and are just relentless at making pitchers pitch and I'm concerned that if you spend $30 million a year on ARod you can't get those 8 or 9 guys that batter pitchers, not to mention that even more important than all that is pitching and I'd much rather spend $12 million per year apiece on two stud pitchers than $30 million on ARod. It has been enteraining if only because everyone within the Yanks organization has bungled everything since the end of the season--from how they let Torre go, to Torre's whole "insult" thing after it was shown that he had incentives in his other contracts, to some of the statements by the younger Steinbrenner [Hank], to now this and the flak ARod is catching for making his announcement during the World Series, not to mention doing it on a day when he said previous committments kept him from coming to the game to get that award from Hank Aaron. This is more of the Yankees team that I know and love. It'll be really interesting to see how all this plays out over the next couple months.

dcat: Let's not worry about ARod or the Yankees or Boras or even the future. One of the big transitions after 2004 is that it has become too easy as a fan not just of the Sox but of Boston sports generally not to be able to appreciate what we have. We've been really lucky. And Sox fans are going to have to make a transition too: While the Sox will always be vitally important to us, to the rest of the world we are just another really successful sports team who they are coming to hate, and whose fans can make that hatred easy to cultivate. Sure, the Sox hold a vital place in the history of baseball. And the fan base is huge and loyal and devoted, far moreso than those of most teams. But the reality is that where 2004 was a great story, my guess is that most of the rest of the world is going to get really weary of the Red Sox. And I'm ok with that -- if people hate you, it means you're relevant.

I too believe Paps deserved the World Series MVP, though Lowell had a hell of a series, and in addition to his obvious numbers, he also scored a lot of runs, played great D, and made some brilliant baseruning decisions. But what I like about it is that it reminds me of 2004: When you sweep a World Series in such convincing fashion, inevitably everyone contributes. Had Dusty or Ellsbury or Paps on the MVP it also would have made sense. I felt that it should have gone to Foulke in 2004 and to paps this time, but the glory of it is that the MVP goes to someone on the winning team, and I doubt anyone on that roster cared in the end who won the MVP except to feel good for their teammate.

The Red Sox are the champions. Again. Looks like I'll happily be spending a lot of money in the next few weeks. And I slept last night with Sportscenter on a permanent loop on the tv in the background. You'll have to report to us from the victory parade. The Red Sox are just another team celebrating just another championship, something that happens every year in baseball, and many times a year in lots of sports. Isn't it glorious?


Sports History student said...

Catsam, you called this win during the maymester. Nice call.

dcat said...

I was going with my heart as much as my head, but thanks! I knew they were good. I guess now we know how good.


Anonymous said...

It's been ages since i posted here. Been sick, busy etc. There are not many games left this season. It has had it's up's and down's. Meet some new Reds i adore. Meet David Ross again. Knew of him when was a Dodger. Missed Sean Casey a lot. Reds then got rid of Austin Kerns. Seen the Reds 9 times this year at Busch Stadium. Saw the Phillies 3 times. Seen The Astros 3 times. Gonna see the Astros for my 4th time September 13th. Gonna go to games in 2 weeks to see Brian Giles.No idea who will make the playoffs.First Choice Reds. Second Choice Phillies. 3RD Astros. 4TH Choice Padres. Padres just because of Brian Giles, Geoff Blum and Trevor Hoffmann. I hope to at least attend one playoff game. But if the Cards don't make it won't go to any. Because i can't afford to travel. But if i had to choose. I'd rather the Reds win the Central and just have to watch them on tv.Seeing them on tv would be better than them not making the playoffs at all.
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