Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Reflection

As I am sitting in my apartment, having just watched Wakefield mow down the Jays and am hoping that it will be more of the same when Schilling takes the ball tonight, I've realized something:

The Red Sox will be okay. Today was potentially going to be the most important day of the season, as Wednesday could have seen the Sox up a game in the division or two back. Now that the 2-back scenario is off the table, and a divisional lead is still on it, I'm feeling a lot better. Regardless, even if they don't make the playoffs (and even if it is a crushing fashion in Fenway at the hands of those who must not be named), I think I will have a positive outlook on the team when all is said and done. That this year's Sox are a flawed team makes last year's victory that much more special. If the Sox were the best team that money could buy and just steamrolled through the season, it might have cast last year's victory as inevitable.

Yet here they stand, with 7 games left, tied for the division lead, fighting for their playoff lives, as a flawed team. Sure, the faces from last year are a bit different, and they've struggled through some pretty ugly stretches of baseball, but their struggles and their weaknesses make last year's run that much more beautiful. As the 2004 team fades into memory, and the scars from that success weakened this team by claiming Schilling and Foulke's seasons, it becomes that much more poignant that the magic of that season was truly a coalescence of miracles and fortune into the beautiful symphony that is baseball. The run was possible only by the greatest comeback in baseball history, the creation of a new medical procedure, and possibly at the expense of two pitcher's careers. Everything came together in a few short days to put together 11 wins for a team that may not have been the best one on the field, for a team that looks like it may not be even given a chance to replicate that, much less actually do it.

Which isn't to say that the Sox can't do it again. I look forward to them slamming Toronto and New York and steamrolling through the playoffs on the strength of Ortiz and Manny, Wakefield and Papelbon, Varitek and Nixon, Mueller and Damon. But if they don't, and the offseason continues to shape the team away from the aging bodies of 2004 into a new, lithe team that is a product of our farm system, I know I will still have enjoyed 2005 more than any other sports season I have ever followed. Whether we win the world series or fail to make the playoffs, the end is near, and we are witnessing both the beauty and the humanity that is the last days of the Boston Red Sox: 2004 Defending World Champions.

7 Comments:

At 11:20 AM, September 28, 2005, Blogger Lindsey said...

so i am sure this is horrible of me but i am not a sox fan, i like the (yikes!) yankees and of course the rockies ( i know all they do is lose even when they are at home in a stadium where even i could hit a home run but i grew up in colorado and so i love them no matter how bad they are) but i am quite amused by the way you write, the pathos your words evoked for a team i really want to lose was amazing. i think its sweet how much you care

 
At 12:51 PM, September 28, 2005, Anonymous Fletcher McGuffin said...

Thanks. I'm a huge fan of backhanded compliments.

 
At 8:47 AM, September 29, 2005, Anonymous Me said...

I don't know what pathos means, but I do know that all Yankee fans are nincompoops.

So there.

 
At 8:52 AM, September 29, 2005, Anonymous Dario said...

Lets go Mets

 
At 11:35 AM, September 30, 2005, Blogger Lindsey said...

lol i really do like the way you wrote, it was intended to be a sincere compliment, i just don't like your baseball team. i like the patriots a lot if that helps but i would rather argue with someone about how the sox don't have a chance in hell than i would get along and let you trash the yankees because even though people like them when they win they are historically like the greatest team ever and you have to at least give them that, for the record i like them even when they lose

 
At 12:17 PM, September 30, 2005, Anonymous Fletcher's evil twin said...

I'll only forgive you if you give me a blumpkin.

 
At 2:02 PM, October 01, 2005, Blogger Lindsey said...

what exactly is a blumpkin? and would your woman have a problem with me giving you one?

 

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