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Sox and Yankees: Pretty, um, Good Show

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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.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://eclaire.wsmcafe.com Claire Robinson

    Eric…I have to admit, you are right about the heroics. I am first and always a rangers fan, then a cubbies fan, then a yankees fan….but I have acquired a fondness for the Sox in these last days…and since I will likely never be at a world series with the Rangers in it in my lifetime…(hope I’m wrong), then I would love to see the Sox win this one…

    I really enjoyed your piece, and the phrase “(both are bloated, self-important, extravagantly funded monstrosities)” was a goodie! I may have to borrow it sometime in some other context…LOL

    Claire

  • andy marsh

    She’s just trying to spin me up!!!

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Claire, with the Astros one game away from the Series, being a Rangers fan is the greatest frustration of all – I feel for you

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Good, from-the-heart analysis, Eric. I enjoyed reading this. Glad to have you on the Sox bandwagon, however reluctantly!

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks MEM, I always am (against the Yankees)

  • Eric Olsen

    hey, has anyone heard if they are playing tonight?

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    They are indeed, according to my source in Boston!

  • andy marsh

    playing right now…on fox

  • Keith Sikora

    Impossible to root for either team. Boston killed the Indians way too many times for me to give them props on their “heroics”. Besides, I’m getting sick of this “Curse of the Bambino” crap. The Shot, The Fumble, The Drive, and The Error? I’d be willing to engage that with any willing Cubs or Boston fan. And as far as the Bankees, I’ll just revert to the gazillion dollar salary cap excuse.

  • D.I.

    “…and the Yankees are getting ready to sweep the Sox…”
    by Andy Marsh, 10-17-04, 8:25pm

  • andy marsh

    alright D.I. I put my foot in my mouth big time…you can stop reposting my comment!!!

  • Eric Olsen

    oh, I’m not “rooting” for either team, just appreciating the drama of the contest, the squirming of the Yankees and their fans, and the now very real possibility that they will be the firs team to EVER lose a postseason series after being up 3-0. Plus, I think Schilling is really cool

    I will root for whichever NL team plays whichever of these units.