September 26, 2003

Lovers, Fuggers, and Thieves. All of the Red Sox coverage on the web is worth reading, but this article by Gordon Edes has a lot of gems:

Todd Jones, champagne bottle in hand, walked across the outfield grass to the Sox bullpen and sprayed the fans. "I told 'em we were sorry. But how could I not go out there and thank them? They were with us all year. There were times they could have shot us and they didn't."

Shortly after 11:30 p.m., Kevin Millar, Todd Walker, Derek Lowe, Lou Merloni, and Gabe Kapler, their newly minted wild-card T-shirts worn over their street clothes, sprinted down Yawkey Way to the Baseball Tavern at the corner of Boylston Street. Accompanied by several bodyguards, they burst into the bar, high-fiving and embracing delighted patrons, then were gone as quickly as they came.

Manny Ramirez: "This is unbelievable. This is great. I've been in the World Series with Cleveland two times. Now we're going to win it." ...

Of course, there had to be a couple of turds in the punchbowl. According to Bruce Allen, Gerry Callahan bitched on WEEI that "the Sox celebration went too far last night. His observation from watching it all was that the Sox feel that they've accomplished their goal for the season, and should've been a bit more subdued and focused on what is ahead." And Dirt Dog singles out Manny and tells him to "sober up" and stop acting like he won the World Series.

Jesus Fugging Christ. I must have missed it -- what exactly is the mandated celebration time for making the playoffs? Did the 34,000 fans cheering insanely also need to "sober up" and face reality? Did the Red Sox really need to hunker down with thick scouting reports of the Athletics last night? ... You see examples of this all the time in the Boston media, and it is still hard to fathom. No matter how good the feeling, at least one or two idiots will feel it's their job to piss all over the picnic.

Also, I see that none of the light-skinned players needed reminding they had merely qualified for the playoffs. Nomar throwing caps and shirts into the crowd, Wakefield spraying the fans with champagne, Nixon bashing cans of beer against his head -- all proper Dirt Dog-approved wild-card-winning behavior. But that Manny, he was too happy. ... And if he had been subdued? Well, that just would have been iron-clad proof that he hates Boston and all its fans and wishes he could tear up his mega-bucks contract and go far away. ...

With apologies to Peter Gammons, this is a special Red Sox team, and the extended celebration with the fans showed that. They have driven me nuts at times this summer, but when they're rolling, there is an air of invincibility that I cannot recall seeing (and having as a fan) in a Boston team before. And while I believe that winning breeds chemistry and not the other way around, from all accounts, this team enjoys each other's company and loves playing together. Which cannot be a bad thing. In a short series, maybe that cohesion will make a difference. ... And now the Devil Rays series feels like three exhibition games. And I suppose they are. Get Pedro and various relievers a little work, give the regulars a rest, and prepare for Oakland on Wednesday.

There is a lotta blog love:

PSF: "Regarding overcelebration, which some have brought up here and in other places, it is my opinion that the celebration last night was more for the fans than for the players. To me, it seemed to be their way of saying 'Thanks'..." PSF quotes Wakefield: "This is the absolute best crowd. I've never heard them so loud as in this game, even when the Yankees were in town. I came in here, took a champagne shower, went back out twice and they're still out there."

Paul Testa: "This has truly been a memorable season; one in which I was so emotionally involved because, for the first time in my life, a Boston Red Sox team seemed to be as excited about playing as I was about watching. ... Have you ever seen a happier Red Sox team? Whatever happens over the next month, this has been the best Red Sox team I have watched in my lifetime."

House That Dewey Built: "Last night was intense. ... we stood up in the SRO section behind the Red Sox on deck circle. ... Jocelyne, my girlfriend, heard someone from the street yell, "Let's go Sox!" Thinking it was just some fan, she looked down. And saw Boston starter Derek Lowe. It was cool, there was Derek Lowe standing 3 stories below us in the player's parking lot, on a cell phone, wearing the red undershirt and two bags of ice on ... When Mendoza threw a curve that was called strike three on Brian Roberts ... I've never been happier surrounded by 34,000 people I don't know."

The Sheriff runs down some highlights: "Kevin Millar singing--live--Born in the USA and then shouting, "time to cowboy up!" ... Manny spraying the locker room media with a garden hose."

Gregg Rosenthal: "The NESN post-game show was the best TV since the Soprano’s episode where Ralphie got killed." He also notes Jane Leavy's biography of Sandy Koufax and notes it is also "a nice look at the misconceptions surrounding those like Koufax [he specifically mentions Pedro] who don't embrace the fame that comes with success."

Rob at Misery Loves Company: "[I]f this is what the Wild Card celebration looks like, there aren't enough law enforcement officials in Greater Boston to police the Hub when the Sox win the World Series."

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