It's not even noon yet, and football is in the air, but New Englanders today have locked in on the Sawx. As I drove up Route 1 North today, an electronic sign in front of a car dealer said it all, "START ELLSBURY". Shortly thereafter, pulling out of the Barnes & Nobles parking lot, the car in front of me had the license plate "SOX GAL". It's almost enough for me to start violating my superstition, no Sox garb to be worn on game day, no hats, jackets, T-shirts, or whatever. But not enough.
Much of the Nation flipped out when Manny Ramirez suggested that life could go on if the Sox lost. The old saying goes "baseball isn't a matter of life or death, it's more important than that."
Although I passed by Home Depot today, I didn't load up on tar and feathers to prepare to vilify Terry Francona or Theo Epstein. As unrealistic as I can be, baseball remains a game played by people, who struggle with stress, biorhythms and cyclicality, injury and illness, performance anxiety, and the same problems we all face. Players' Herculean pay doesn't logically allow me to criticize 'an off day' or a slump.
As a veteran (read: old) observer of the baseball condition, I wonder whether the Old Man (Schilling) can summon the wherewithal to win another big game, or whether the Young Buck (Carmona) will have youth and power on his side. Will a household name carry the day, or a relative unknown (e.g. Ellsbury) emerge from obscurity to play the leading man? Will weather play a role? Will a close call or an umpiring mistake prove crucial?
That's why we watch...Passion Saturday.