Monday, October 22, 2007
Boston fans awake to a World Series berth, a 7-0 professional football team, the number two ranked team in the BCS (Boston College) and at least hope with the Celtics with the second generation of the Green Trio. Pinch me?
Sports provide a vicarious means for ordinary Joes to feel important, as though we have become part of something bigger. Our issues like job security, paying the mortgage, filling the tank with three dollar gas become tolerable. Our heroes performance lends gentle amnesia to our pained consciousness.
I couldn't have been more wrong about Dustin Pedroia, the raging mite with the oversized swing. Manager Terry Francona agreed that it was the microcosm of the regular season, with adjustments creating success.
"And a child shall lead them." Rookies Pedroia and Ellsbury came up big, and MLB rookies but Japanese League vets Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima carried their weight as well.
The much-maligned Theo Epstein got a chance to get champagne soaked, and Terry Francona, the permanent butt of Red Sox doubters' wrath, got the last laugh, excepting a 20,000 lost bet to Larry Lucchino over chewing tobacco cessation.
Downers? Well, you hope that John Madden's warning about not doing anything great if you can't handle the celebration counts, and scuba goggles after the game evoked that warning. Sox fans' calls for a sweep after Game One might infuse a little humility...Jonathan's Papelbon's Riverdancing scares me just a little bit. And most of all, are the Sox ready for the Rocktober surprise, Destiny's Child, the biggest momentum in the sports universe excepting errant asteroids?
Yes, Boston might like her heroes bald and sweaty (Kevin Youkilis) but the chief architects last night were a 'despondent' emigre' who had met the big stage before and an undersized infielder swinging from his heels.
Baseball's ultimate contests will almost certainly see snow at some point, with a possible November conclusion, global warming notwithstanding. Yes, Manny was right, it wasn't the end of the world, but it might feel like it with at least some baseball headed for subfreezing temperatures.