Like Craig, I dislike the Red Sox and despise the Yankees (both are bloated, self-important, extravagantly funded monstrosities) but last night’s game — 5-4 Sox in 14 innings — on top of the tenacious Red Sox win to sidestep elimination the night before (down 3 games to none, following a 19-8 drubbing), was among the most compelling, monumental, dramatic, even heroic games I have ever watched.
I kept trying to break away from the 5-hour 49-minute insane marathon and do other things, like go to sleep, but after the Sox tied the game in the 8th the procession of pitchers for both sides was outstanding (Keith Foulke, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Myers, Alan Embree and winner, ballsy knuckleballer Tim Wakefield for the Sox; Mariano Rivera — who blew the save on a sac fly by catcher Jason Varitek, who also couldn’t catch Wakefield’s knuckleball to save his scrotum, he had three passed balls in one inning! — Felix Heredia, and loser Esteban Loaiza for the Yanks), and until Loaiza in the 14th, indomitable.
David Ortiz, of course, won it again with a bloop single to bring home the benighted and hirsute Johnny Damon.
A strong Cleveland and L.A. partisan, I came into this series with an enormous chip on my shoulder, and when the Yankees jumped out to the 3-game lead, my contempt for their sense of entitlement and the appalling collapse of the Sox only inflated the chip. But when the Sox held on in game 4, then refused to go quietly last night, my respect for them – purely as a fan of the game, mind you – and the humanizing vulnerability of the Yankees, has drawn me in.
If Curt Schilling can come back to approximate form and win tonight (and if it isn’t rained out), then you would really have something: a game 7 for the AL title between THE two glamour teams for a second year in a row.
If it can’t be the Indians, Dodgers, or (to a lesser extent) Angels, I’ll settle for this (especially since the Yankees haven’t won the Series since 2000 – hah!!).
Okay, I’ll admit it: I admire both of these fucking teams. Basball’s “greatest rivalry” may be all Yankees when it counts, but if the Sox come back to win this series – no team has EVER come back from a 3-0 deficit – and then win the World Series, the last 90 years of frustration will taste like candy and it will be the Yanks who feel the creeping grip of failure.