Unbelievable!

Mlb_g_drew4_412

I was waiting on a dinner partner last night, taking the few moments alone to think about the Red Sox and their probable Thursday night demise.

The season was all but over, and I was making my peace with that. It’s the same thought process I went through last year when the Sox went down, three games to one. You have to do that — put things in perspective, remember that reaching baseball’s equivalent of the Final Four is nothing if not a successful end to the year.

They’d had a great season, and even though the Sox fell behind early, I pledged that if it was to be the last game of 2008 for the Red Sox, I would watch every pitch. I owed them that much.

Turns out they weren’t quite done.

The team that had looked too old, too injured and too shaky in three straight games (plus six and one-half innings) against the young upstarts of Tampa suddenly sparked to life. We know the rest.

I don’t know if this builds momentum, if the Rays will collapse like a Jenga tower while the Red Sox romp their way to the World Series, a la 2004 and 2007. I certainly hope so, but I don’t really care either. Because what had been most frustrating about the series was how a team that had looked so poised, so confident as they raced toward the postseason during the final two months could look so feeble just two weeks later.

At least the Sox showed us something. They pushed the series back to Tampa, and they gave us perhaps the most thrilling nine-inning playoff game Fenway Park has ever seen — certainly the most amazing game I’ve ever witnessed. Anything more than that now is gravy.

Through the first six innings, I was composing this post in my head: A thank you to a team that gave us another thrilling ride and successful season. That was a bit premature, and yet it wasn’t.

Thank you, Boston Red Sox, for another great ride — and, no matter what happens next, another fantastic season.

36 comments… add one
  • A favorite word on SoSH is “gutless”, as in “what a gutless performance by Wake two nights ago”. I hate the word. One thing I rely on is that these guys are, as a collective and especially in the playoffs, trying their hardest. Wake didn’t fail because he wasn’t interested in winning, he failed because he isn’t a great pitcher and pitched less than his best. Same with Dice yesterday – simply put, he was bested by a team taking advantage of his mistakes. Conversely, the Sox didn’t, all of a sudden, stop being “gutless”, they just started performing, finally took advantage of some poorly timed bad pitching, had a little more luck on balls falling in instead of having liners hit right at someone. Last year I posted about how resilient these guys are; their lows are not as low as ours, their highs just as high or higher but mostly only at the proper moments.
    A related aside: those fans who booed Papi in the sixth should never be let back in Fenway. How dare they.

    SF October 17, 2008, 6:59 am
  • congrats sox fans….it’s cliche, but what a roller coaster…the best thing about this win is that you guys are back…you fans, i mean, here…these last 2 early morning posts by you are evidence of that, and the fact that there were 180-something comments on the game thread…that don’t happen when the sox lose, badly….i have to agree with paul…what effect will this have on the collective psyche of the rays?…will they, to borrow a phrase, fall like a house of cards?…getting them ready emotionally for the next game may be maddon’s biggest test yet…it may help that the rays get to go home to play it…

    dc October 17, 2008, 7:11 am
  • John Kruk on Sportscenter saying down 7-0 in the seventh “you just KNEW the big dog was going to bite back”. Yeah, right. Sure. You just KNEW they were going to make the biggest postseason comeback in 80 years, the biggest comeback ever in an elimination game. Puh-leeze.
    I wonder how many non-SFs were sitting around when the bottom of the seventh started going “you never know, I see a comeback” and how many were sitting around anticipating a bit of schadenfreude when the Rays celebrated in Fenway. I venture we are in million-to-one territory, just like the game itself.

    SF October 17, 2008, 7:45 am
  • You know what what was interesting about this victory?
    Reading the comments of YFs on blogs like LoHud or Replacement Level Yanks.
    They really captured the ebb and flow of the game, as Sox were first down and then began their epic comeback. Celebration turned to angst, shock, and anger.

    SoxFan October 17, 2008, 7:46 am
  • To be honest, there may have only been a few thousand Sox fans worldwide, if that, who gave our team a chance at that point. Not a big percentage.

    SF October 17, 2008, 8:03 am
  • “…I wonder how many non-SFs were sitting around when the bottom of the seventh started going “you never know, I see a comeback” …”
    well, i was half there sf…i can’t say i saw a comeback…i did get a bad feeling when i saw wheeler come in…don’t know what it was, just wierd…i think i feared a comeback…i wasn’t all that surprised…
    “…and how many were sitting around anticipating a bit of schadenfreude when the Rays celebrated in Fenway….”
    definitely me…like i said, i am not rooting for the sox so seeing the rays dance around the fenway infield in their underwear, with a sad-faced pap forced to keep his pants on, would have been funny, but i do like good baseball too…would’ve preferred a rays win, but when it got closer it was more fun to watch…

    dc October 17, 2008, 8:10 am
  • Amazing game. I must admit that I was preemptively drowning my sorrows up until the 7th, and was planning on going to bed if the heart of our lineup couldn’t score at least a few runs. They did, I stuck around, and the rest is history.
    Also, I attribute our comeback to me playing Immigrant Song (from http://www.VikingKittens.com) on repeat for about an hour straight. For what it’s worth.

    Atheose October 17, 2008, 8:19 am
  • Ath, I’m going with my timely playing of some vintage Santana.
    Oh, that game thread. We were nuts last night, and I was completely sober. Gotta be the weirdest game thread ever.
    Hey, Tampa. Ned Martin, our beloved former radio voice, in troubled times, would say, “Oh, Gertrude.” A Shakespearean reference. From Hamlet, Act IV, scene V. The full line is, “O Gertrude, Gertrude!
    When sorrows come, they come not single spies, But in battalions.”
    Oh, Gertrude, indeed.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 17, 2008, 8:31 am
  • “… and there’s pandemonium on the field!”

    I'mBillMcNeal October 17, 2008, 8:33 am
  • Watching the replays, after Drew’s homer made it 7-6 the Sox dugout was almost completely silent. No cheering, no jumping up and down and high-fiving each other. They just had that look of determination.
    I must admit the best shots from last night are of the Rays dugout after the Red Sox came back and tied it. Since the first damn inning they were smiling and giggling and playing grab-ass as if they were going to the damn World Series, so it was nice to see them silent.

    Atheose October 17, 2008, 8:54 am
  • Watching the replays, after Drew’s homer made it 7-6 the Sox dugout was almost completely silent. No cheering, no jumping up and down and high-fiving each other. They just had that look of determination.
    I must admit the best shots from last night are of the Rays dugout after the Red Sox came back and tied it. Since the first damn inning they were smiling and giggling and playing grab-ass as if they were going to the damn World Series, so it was nice to see them silent.

    Atheose October 17, 2008, 8:57 am
  • According to Fangraphs, the Rays had a 99.4 percent chance of winning the game in the top of the seventh, and even after Papi’s home run, the Sox had less than a 20 percent chance of pulling it out. Anyone who says they saw it coming is lying or a blind optimist to the point of delusion.
    I’ve been extremely disappointed with reports of booing Varitek and Ortiz. Granted, I felt like booing my TV screen after Tek’s atrocious start to Game 4, but I’ve long made it a policy not to boo players who contributed to the only two World Series rings the Sox have won since the Great Depression (the comparison of choice these days). There’s just no call for that. None whatsoever.
    The one thing I wonder though: Were these boos, or were they calls for Youk, who was coming up next? I was watching in a sports bar with live music in the background, so I never heard any part of the game.

    Paul SF October 17, 2008, 9:03 am
  • >>> I wonder how many non-SFs were sitting around when the bottom of the seventh started going “you never know, I see a comeback” and how many were sitting around anticipating a bit of schadenfreude when the Rays celebrated in Fenway. <<< The premature gloating began much earlier than that. I started the evening at a local tavern in Upstate New York whose owner is a hybrid Mets/Sox fan, but whose bartenders and patrons are overwhelmingly YFs (note: with a smattering of newly-minted Dodger fans). The YFs in the bar began hooting that Boston was finished and the game was over... when Upton hit his 2-run homer in the FIRST. How sweet it is.

    Hudson October 17, 2008, 9:28 am
  • I was at the game, jesus, I’m still floating.
    Started in the right field grandstands, neck wrenching nosebleed town, moved up to two rows behind the Red Sox dugout at the start of the 7th when all the rich pink hat assholes had already left the game.
    That’s what made this so sweet for me, knowing that the people that really shouldn’t have been at the game in the first place, missed it.
    Tampa Bay made a big mistake letting us get back in this, big mistake.
    Checking flights to Tampa…
    (yes, they booed Papi and Tek, and a lot of other guys, made me furious)

    LocklandSF October 17, 2008, 9:55 am
  • “I’ve been extremely disappointed with reports of booing Varitek and Ortiz.”
    When Papi got booed on the ground out last night, I couldn’t believe it, this guy, the one that has carried the team on his shoulders many a game, playoff, and season, getting booed in Fenway? I say they take those tickets away from those fans and give them to fans that deserve them.
    Granted I questioned the approach, swinging at the first pitch of the at bat, trying to get all the runs back on one swing, the fact that Tek’s bat has slowed considerably, Drew’s lack of emotion, (I think the picture on this post is the most emotion I’ve seen out of him in his tenure in Boston), etc. I would never boo any player on the Sox, no matter who they are or what they’ve done for the team or the fans. Even when Manny was “being Manny” on the bad side I wouldn’t have booed. Questioned yes, booed never.

    BillsBurgSF October 17, 2008, 9:59 am
  • “That’s what made this so sweet for me, knowing that the people that really shouldn’t have been at the game in the first place, missed it.”
    Lockland, my wife said the same thing. She was more pissed than I was when Papi got booed, and she’s not the extreme fan that I am. After they mentioned and showed on TV fans leaving after Upton doubled in the two runs off Paps in the 7th, and the comeback started in the bottom 7th, she said “good all the people that left are missing out”.
    How many people were left in the bottom of the ninth?

    BillsBurgSF October 17, 2008, 10:04 am
  • I haven’t been around here lately for obvious reasons but I had to come back to say how impressive the Sox are. I don’t watch the games, I saw the highlights on sportscenter and I have to say that the heart that the Sox showed was unreal. You guys have a hell of a team no matter the outcome of the series. They are the anti-arod’s! congrats SF’s…
    Go Yankees in 2009! (had to get that in there to make myself feel better)

    krueg October 17, 2008, 10:18 am
  • I found it interesting that a large number of the people who were here at the big moment last night seemed (from various comments made) to be SFs dating from the early/mid-70s.
    I’d like to say that it’s loyalty or heart, but it’s a borderline sickness, really. We can’t yank our eyes away even when it’s looking like a trainwreck. That our addiction has been rewarded so many times in the past four years is amazing, but it doesn’t actually mean that those who lived through ’75 and ’78 and ’86 are more optimistic or gritty than other fans. We just can’t help it.

    Hudson October 17, 2008, 10:41 am
  • “That’s what made this so sweet for me, knowing that the people that really shouldn’t have been at the game in the first place, missed it.”
    That’s a terrific perspective.
    And the more I think about it, the more angry I am about booing the guys who are most responsible for ending what we had to endure for most of our lives.
    Who are these arrogant, entitled f*ckers who think they have a right to boo David Ortiz because he has the temerity to struggle while playing with a wrist that needs surgery? Or Jason Varitek because he keeps trying even though his body is betraying him? They’re not Red Sox fans. They’re wearing the hats, and they’ve got enough money to attend the games in October — something I will probably never have — but they’re not Red Sox fans. At least, not any kind I want to associate myself with.

    Paul SF October 17, 2008, 10:44 am
  • “To be honest, there may have only been a few thousand Sox fans worldwide, if that, who gave our team a chance at that point. Not a big percentage”
    I will confess, I didn’t see much hope after being down 5-0 and Pap giving up the double (comon Delcarmen!). But when they got up in the bottom of the seventh, and started getting on base, I though, if they can cut it to three they have a chance, they did, I started believing, then couldn’t get to sleep for a while after the game!

    dw (sf) October 17, 2008, 11:23 am
  • What pissed me off most about the booing was the fact that, at the time, it looked like it was Varitek’s last at-bat in a Red Sox uniform. For a player that has been Captain during the greatest Red Sox decade since the 1910-1920, to be booed in his final at bat, makes me sick to my stomach.

    Atheose October 17, 2008, 11:32 am
  • I was in a bar in northern NJ wearing a Sox sweatshirt and the resident YFs were really giving it to. I had to go home around the 5th inning and turned off my cell when I got home. This morning when I powered up there were 4 texts from friends who are Yfs rubbing salt in the wounds. Think they got calls at 6am as I was on my way into work? ;)

    ponch October 17, 2008, 1:58 pm
  • When YFs in bars etc. have been gloating about the Rays dominance of the Sox, I’ve been saying:
    “Yeah, you know, I’ve been trying hard to find tickets to a Yankees playoff games, but no one seems to have any left… not even the scalpers. Weird!”
    (Then cue the inevitable ring-counting response…)

    Hudson October 17, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • Im glad that the thread about one of the sox’s greatest comebacks in post-season history has become about sermonizing about wrong it was for YFs and other unenlightened non-SF fans to be happy to see the sox down. I know that over the years when the yankees lost in the post-season, no SFs especially the ones who have posted here, found no joy or happiness in these events. Not to mention the fact that many sox fans gave up on the team last night and assumed they were gonna lose too.
    Get over it and enjoy the win for what it was. This wasnt about YFs, it was about your own team.

    Sam-YF October 17, 2008, 6:30 pm
  • In case anyone is interested, MLB.com is rebroadcasting game 5 in its entirety. You can watch it for free on the MLB.com website.

    SoxFan October 17, 2008, 7:07 pm
  • “This wasnt about YFs, it was about your own team.”
    Sam, you’re mostly right.
    But I think in the context of this site, the role of the YFs is always relevant.
    In the bigger picture, however, you’re absolutely correct.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 17, 2008, 8:10 pm
  • sam is absolutely dead-on…sf’s should stop obsessing about yf’s once and for all, especially their reaction to the sox being down and/or coming back in last night’s game…seriously, do you really give a shi* what we think?…of course no self-respecting yf is going to pass up a chance to remind the sox that they are mortal [or are they]…you begin to wonder, and it’s really making me rethink my opinion about whether there is such a think as “luck”, when you consider the 2 heroes were “walking wounded”…they looked pretty healthy last night from where i was sitting…makes you wonder what surprises beckett has in store for the rays…did you guys fire your trainer and hire a faith-healer?…
    “…Anyone who says they saw it coming is lying…”
    yes, paul, i did in essence, “call/fear” the comeback…i even talked you in off the ledge a few days ago…go back and read the comments from the past few days…maybe you weren’t talking about me though, so i’ll let it go at that…
    and please, enough indignance about the booing already…i’m sure the players being booed would be the first ones to say that they deserved it…and they did…like it’s beneath average sox fans like you to do so…you guys know nothing about sox history if you believe that…booing the home team at fenway has been going on for years, long before the casual fan and pink hats were invented…by your own actions and comments, essentially giving up on your team, you were giving the symbolic “boo”…

    dc October 17, 2008, 10:59 pm
  • dc with the symbolic bitchslap.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 18, 2008, 12:48 am
  • I haven’t posted here in a while, but I troll, because I gather some intelligent insight here. I haven’t been feeling well all week, probably a germ I picked up visiting my gram in the hospital last weekend. But even though I was exhausted and not feeling well last night, I had to stay up last night because I knew there was still a chance that the sox would pull it off. They have done it before, although not to the same degree for sure. But still its called believing. Believing that this franchise has something special. I’m noy sure where it comes from, but its evident. This belief is not the same as knowing they would do it. This is belief is based upon a protocal that has been demonstrated by this franchise that it does does not bend over, even when it has no business not doing so. As a fan, I would not bend over either, so I sucked it up and stayed up to watch them not bend over. If I am being redudant, I apologize. But I’m still excited from last night and I still don’t feel well. I bet Beckett and Lester are excited too and I can’t wait… This is far from over. You have to believe. If you don’t, you may miss out. Like some of you did last night.

    BirdmanofVT October 18, 2008, 1:18 am
  • and please, enough indignance about the booing already…
    Always enjoyable when a Yankee fan decides he knows more about Red Sox history than a Red Sox fan — and decides to lecture pretentiously about it, to boot.
    I’m not saying fans shouldn’t boo. I’m not saying booing a player performing badly is a new phenomenon. Once again, dc, you take my points and jump about five miles beyond where they were intending to go. Because Sox fans have always booed players, that makes booing David Ortiz appropriate? Not even close.
    Booing players who had key roles in winning the first World Series titles for the franchise in 86 years is ridiculous, and I can’t fathom a fan who remembers what it was like before the last five years — who lived and died with the team like I and thousands of others did, only to be disappointed year after year — ever booing a player who helped bring those days to an end while that player was still a member of the Red Sox. It’s absolutely disgusting, and I’ll be as indignant as I damn well please. It makes the fans look like they feel entitled, and that even though Ortiz carried the Sox on his back in 2004, that’s just not quite good enough anymore. Screw them.
    As for this “symbolic booing” crap: Booing is one way of expressing displeasure. It’s the most vocal way to express displeasure directly to a player (short of running into him on the street and screaming at him). In other words, it’s the most directly, publicly offensive way you can express your opinion about a player.
    I express displeasure in other ways. And while I’ve expressed a lot of displeasure over Jason Varitek and some over David Ortiz and their performances, I would never take out that displeasure on the players themselves. Not after all they did for us as fans in ’04 and ’07. I may give up on them or think they’re too far out of it, and I may say so, but to equate that with the verbal “f*ck you” that is booing is simply not in any way accurate. And I find it offensive (cue dc’s “Paul, like all Sox fans who have ever existed, is way too sensitive”) that you would tie my semirational expressions of angst with the completely irrational hatred that booing implies — practically declares.
    And just for the record, am I to assume, DC, that you thought it was cool when some Yankee fans were booing Derek Jeter earlier this season? Because he deserved it, regardless of what he did for the Yanks in the past?

    Paul SF October 18, 2008, 2:32 am
  • DC and Sam…
    I know we have had our differences in the past, especially DC and I, lord knows. But I want to point something out that doesn’t get noticed here enough when we argue.
    As a fan base, both fan bases, we are not obsessed with each other, it’s a subplot, a subplot that we all obviously enjoy or we wouldn’t be here.
    That is the context of this website, a website that we all enjoy.
    Is there a subset of the Red Sox fan base that’s obsessed with the Yankees? Yes.
    Is there a subset of the Yankee fan base that spends a lot of time thinking about the Red Sox? Yes.
    That’s not obsession, it’s mutual interest based on our emotional proximity. We all love baseball and we happen to support two baseball teams with an old and intertwined history that we love.
    “Not to mention the fact that many sox fans gave up on the team last night”
    Good and bad fans give up from time to time, that’s part of being a fan. I cast no stones.
    p.s. I’m a little drunk

    LocklandSF October 18, 2008, 2:43 am
  • I 100% agree with Paul’s position on booing and I have even gotten in to physical altercations at Red Sox v. Yankees games with Red Sox fans that boo Damon.
    You do not boo one of The 25. Ever.

    LocklandSF October 18, 2008, 2:49 am
  • “That’s not obsession, it’s mutual interest based on our emotional proximity.”
    That description sounds almost like a romantic crush–or some weird co-dependent relationship.
    YFs *heart* SFs.
    SFs *heart* YFs.

    SoxFan October 18, 2008, 3:02 am
  • paul, once again you accuse me of misinterpreting your comments, then you go and do the same darn thing…i don’t pretend to be an expert on sox history, nor did i ever make that claim…i merely suggested that you’ve missed that part of sox history regarding the complex dynamics of the relationship between fans and players, and why they might want/need to boo the home team, or you are are conveniently ignoring it…the indignance i refer to goes back to when yankee fans booed arod at every opportunity…not quite yet a yankee hero, certainly no ortiz or varitek, many on this site expressed their disdain for the rude treatment of arod…i realize that some of you are far more genteel than the “average” fan i referred to, so my annoyance isn’t with how you choose to participate as fans, rather, it’s with your self-righteous indignation for those who choose to participate differently…if it helps to further my point, we can very unscientifically classify the various types of fans who attend a game [my perception]:
    ‘indifferents’: [cell phone users, sleeping children, guys/gals using the game as a singles bar, folks that don’t really like baseball but got free tickets, etc.]
    ‘obnoxious’: [harmlessly rude, little to much beer, sits in your seat pretending to be confused about his ticket, spills beer, trashes the surrounding area, etc.]
    ‘criminals’: [haters, starts fights, throws things on the field, uses profanity and/or racial insults, etc.]
    ‘disappointeds’: [wears emotions on sleeve when things aren’t going well, reminds himself about how much he’s paid for tickets, parking, a program, beer and hotdogs for the privilege of watching his heroes, who make millions thanks to this fan’s expenditures, mail in in (in his opinion), boos heros and perhaps feels a bit guilty afterward, etc.]
    ‘overly enthusiastics’: [similar to obnoxious, but in a less negative manner, these fans are too loud, assume you want to high 5 and hug for every time the home team does something good, stand up and dance when the situation on the field doesn’t call for that kind of exuberance, etc.]
    there’s other types of course, but my intent isn’t to get too carried away to make the point…while all categories have folks who might participate in booing the home team, the 2 most likely groups to boo are the ‘criminals’, and the ‘disappointeds’…i’ll leave the criminals to security, since they don’t even belong at a public event…the group i was defending are the ‘disappointeds’…they’re not booing out of hatred as you suggest so pretentiously, rather, they’re voicing their displeasure in the only socially acceptable way they can…and yes, i did think it was ok to boo jeter, even he did…i think he said at the time: “…i’d boo me too…” …don’t worry about his feelings being hurt, they’ll heal when he gets his plaque and they retire his number…i predict plenty of cheers and no boos on that day [unless a sox fan sneaks in ;) ] …i’m fairly certain that this new classier sox ownership will make sure that ortiz and varitek will be similarly celebrated when the time is right, and all fans will have the opportunity to show their love and appreciation…a boo or 2 in between shouldn’t hurt too much….

    dc October 18, 2008, 10:21 am
  • “Always enjoyable when a Yankee fan decides he knows more about Red Sox history than a Red Sox fan — and decides to lecture pretentiously about it, to boot.”
    Paul, while I dont disagree with most of your post this line can easily be applied to Sox fans as well. There have been many posts here with people calling out the booing of A-Rod etc (esp during his MVP season). This goes both ways as usual…

    Sam-YF October 18, 2008, 11:41 am
  • Lockland
    In response to your post I couldnt agree more. I was pointing out that posts here turned to how yankee fans were basically asses (im paraphrasing here) for being happy in the 5th inning of the game since the Rays were up big. My point was that schadenfreude is a common and when the rolls were reversed we saw the exact same thing occurring from the other side.
    Finally, good and bad fans do indeed give up on their teams. My intention was not to cast a stone but to point out it wasnt unreasonable for a non-SF to feel pretty good about the chances of the Sox losing that game.
    Im just sick of people popping in here when the sox win and making it about how stupid YFs are with an air of moral superiority. As we’ve gone over many times here, there are a wide range of fans that comprise both fanbases.

    Sam-YF October 18, 2008, 11:50 am

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