Friday, July 10, 2009

ON SPORTS ~ Boone - Part I...


Boone - Part I:

where previously the Sox missing the playoffs was a good thing

After waiting through another cold New England winter in 2003 for Spring Training I was sure that Manager Grady Little and the Sox would deliver us a Championship that year for sure! Then April came, and with it, the regular season. The Sox have always seemed to start out fast and furious and falter in the fall. That year they faltered early, so I thought perhaps it was a good sign for success later in the season.

The Sox battled hard but continued to fall short of their goal to win the AL East. That honor went once again to the dreaded Yankees. But the Sox did get the Wild Card and so the post-season began.

The Sox drew the Oakland A’s in the first round of the playoffs. That meant facing one of the best pitching staffs of the year – Zito, Lilly, Hudson. Yikes. But the Sox were bashers and although the adage says defense & pitching beats offense, the Sox were pretty confident they could go against the grain. They did have Pedro after all. And Wakefield, Burkett & Lowe.

But that pesky adage held true to start the series and the Sox found themselves in dire straights. The best of 5 series was 2-0 in favor of the A’s. Oakland's Eric Byrnes with his blond curls helped the Sox along early in Game 3 by charging into catcher Jason Varitek at the plate without actually touching the plate and then chose to use his energy shouting at the Ump about it while Varitek calmly tagged him out. Those pesky Sox fought back thanks to a Trot Nixon home run to right field to win the game in extra innings and keep the series alive. I was at a Patriots NFL game for Game 4, desperately waiting for word of a Sox victory which happily came via the Jumbotron. Thank God I would be able to watch the defining Game 5 with full focus!

My defining memory of Game #5 is Derek Lowe throwing the last pitch, an hellacious sinker, for a called strike to end the game and propel the Sox into the American League Champonship Series – come from behind victors! They knocked the A's right out of the playoffs on their home field by winning three straight before Oakland could even muster one more.

This was the most triumphant victory in grand fashion the Sox had experienced in my fandom since their similar come from behind Playoff victory over the Indians in 1999. I was elated!!!! Who doesn’t love a come from behind victory after all? (except A’s fans that year) The Sox had conquered – that’s what it truly felt like –a CONQUER.

But the Sox’ next foe was none other than those damn Yankees.

next week, BOONE - PART II, which Molly may type with her eyes closed, it is so horrifying...


Sandy Nawrot said...

Haha! I love "Come From Behind" teams, even if they aren't ones I normally follow. I am an underdog kinda girl.

colleen said...

My son who lives in Asheville has recruited half the town to root for the Red Sox. I don't much but it is in my DNA.

I thought about that travel blog when I was writing about Martha's Vineyard. She never emailed me back.