October 8, 2005

ALDS 3: White Sox 5, Red Sox 3

The baseball season ended today, on a day of "rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets." There are a few more games left on the schedule, a couple of weeks to tie up some loose ends, but they are of lesser importance.

When Edgar Renteria ended the second consecutive Red Sox season with a infield grounder, I went out to walk my dogs, and I was somewhat surprised at how I felt. ... I didn't mind all that much. Sure, winning is better than losing. I'd rather be anxious and pacing, waiting for Game 4 to start. But it seems that within my baseball heart, the glow of 2004 has failed to dim.

Dropping the first two games in Chicago certainly helped cushion the final blow. Being unable to score the tying run with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth sent a final signal -- a few innings early, so it was hard to initially grasp its message -- that Boston would not be repeating as World Series champions. (Despite the best intentions of Manny Ramirez.)

The short series was frustrating --- the White Sox outplayed our boys in every facet of the game: pitching, hitting, fielding, baserunning -- but there was no real angst over the final result, certainly no weight of history on the shoulders. Later on in the evening, I actually said: "Hey, you can't win them all."

Which is pretty funny, coming from a lifelong Red Sox fan. And yet: Do you know how good it feels to say that? The Red Sox will be one of 28 other teams that will be watching the World Series later this month. I don't like that, I wish it wasn't so, but deep down, I'm content.

I think about that and I think about what happened to bring me to this place, and I have to smile. Soon, some other group of fans will be celebrating, but ... I'll be damned. The ripple effects of 2004 -- and the promise of 2006, now a mere dot of light on the horizon, but soon to come into clearer view -- will keep me quite warm through another winter.

I love baseball.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel pretty much the same as you do, we had the greatest team in 2004 and this year has been very exciting but diffferent throughout the entire 2005 season, I,am dissapointed that we couldn,t pull off back to back world series wins, but nothing can take the memerioes of 2004 away. I love the Red Sox, My only concern at the moment is who we might lose before next season especially Manny,and Johnny, and Billy,thats it. from a lonley red sox girl in portland,oregon

Anonymous said...

i love it too :)


i'm dissapointed, but it really fell apart for me in the beginning of sept: when the red sox fell flat and the yankees got hot. because all i wanted to do was win the division (which DOES matter). i honestly did not care about anything else. when we lost that day, it was so (soo) different getting the wild card this year, than from last year. the entire energy has just been different this year. we are suddenly a championship team--a new thing for almost all of us. i think that changes things. i don't care what all the sports writers and guys on the radio say.


anyway. bring on march, 2006 :)

Anonymous said...

Red sox had a great season, went a step farther than the Tribe. be glad you won it all in 04. white sox are a lot better than people give credit for, great pitching. they will win it all. sorry boston couldn't do it this year too.

tribe fan

DanM said...

Mid February 0f 2006 the pitchers and rookies will report to Fort Myers and we will be off for another fun filled year of BoSox Baseball. Last night slipped away and it was peaceful in my at home stadium. I will miss Remy and Orsillo and the rest of NESN baseball crew. But, the winter meetings are coming and hope springs eternal - now it is time to screech ...

Wait until next year!!


OK. Before we turn off the TVs and go sharpen the snow shovels lets keep rooting for a couple more days/weeks. We have one more task to accomplish - support anyone that can defeat the Yuckees. They aren't the Red Sox but who ever they are, they are our "first cousin", eh?

L-girl said...

Thanks for this nice post, Redsock.

Robin said...

2004 took away my pain that was caused by being a Sox fan. We won.. its gone. But now I have this hunger. I WANT to be the champ again. I liked that feeling. I am addicted to that. Getting close again just makes it that more real. I can't wait for next year... I can't wait to get to try to taste the victory again.

mrbandw said...

Great post. I feel pretty much the same way. I'm bummed that the season is over, but it is not that gut-wrenching, painful feeling as it had been in years past. It's more of an 'oh well, too bad' feeling. (Kinda hard to put into words...)

You are right you can't win them all and you can't repeat every year. The Sox had a good, enjoyable season, especially considering it was a flawed team all year, and the future looks bright for our Sox with guys like Paplebon out there.

In Theo We Trust to put the pieces together next year.

DanFlaherty said...

Great post. The 2005 Red Sox deserve a special place in history. They lost Pedro to free agency. They lost Foulke to injury. Schilling was a shadow of his old self. On top of that, the Yankees added Randy Johnson. Any one of these changes should have been enough to decisively tip the balance to New York. All four represented a seismic change, that few teams could have overcome. Yet when it was over, they stood as co-champs of the AL East. Here's hoping management acknowledges the fact they won as many games as the Yanks, and hangs a white division championship banner outside Fenway to honor this gritty team.

Anonymous said...

So, remind me........what is it that we do with all of our free time between mid-October and March?

So proud to be a Sox fan!

stankyfish said...

Thank you Redsock. Up through the end of game 2 in Chicago, I didn't think that 2004 would provide me with much consolation for how things ended up tunring out, but surprisingly, it does.

Hats off to Chicago for playing fantastically solid baseball. They've waited a long time and I hope this year is theirs.

Lets hope Theo works his offseason magic and shores up the holes that prevented a Red Sox repeat.

Yaz-Tex said...

A great post, Alan, with sentiments echoed nicely by Bob Ryan in his column in today's Globe.

Sure, we had our chances against the White Sox, but a team of such depth will ultimately prevail if you don't take advantage when you can. You have to tip your hat to Ozzie and his team, and marvel at the craftsmanship, guile, and command that El Duque displayed last night in extricating Marte from what could have been a series-turning 6th inning.

As Ryan so aptly stated, it was clear early on that despite possessing an offense that would lead it to 95 wins, the inability to establish front of the rotation presence and stability out of the pen became factors that never really allowed this year's team to have a logical chance to repeat.

We all witnessed history in 2004, with a team that accomplished what no team in the history of the sport had ever done nor most likely will ever do again. While I'm left wanting more, it's more than my father had the chance to witness, and for now it's still enough.

Thanks, Alan, for a great job in all you do and for all your posts this season.

redsock said...

You can't help how you feel, so it's nice to hear a lot of other fans have the same feeling.

Like I said, I was surprised, but then, not really surprised.

2006 looks bright -- and I think there will be more turnover from this year than there was from 2004 to 2005.

So, remind me........what is it that we do with all of our free time between mid-October and March?

Join Netflix (or its Canandian equivalent) ... Though following the Sox is a year-round job.

G said...

It was a good game - close all the way, despite the 6th - which, if the team is going to lose, is all one can ask for - that the game be exciting all the way through, for both sides.

Next season, anything could happen - the Angels are a good example of a champion not repeating, but coming back to contend again soon after. So long as the core of the team is kept together, the RSox have a chance for years to come.

(And yes, I admit, that last game I can't be very critical of - they played well and gave the Fenway fans a great effort.)

Jack Marshall said...

I love baseball, but I will NEVER, EVER forgive ESPN for its offensive, inaccurate, insulting and stupid commentary during the last game. "Whether or not Papelbon strikes out the last player in a half-inning might determine whether the Sox can score in the next." PLEASE!! "A feeling of domm settles over Fenway with a two run deficit in the third." GOD TAKE ME NOW! "Manny and Ortiz accounted for 900 runs over the last two years." You're counting run scored and RBI as two runs when many of them are only one, YOU INCOMPETENT FOOLS! And if one more announcer ever calls Derek Lowe a "pillar" of the Sox pitching staff in 2004 (he stunk all season until the play-offs, as we all know) I'll hunt him down and kill him.

The bottom line is that the Sox bats went cold about three weeks ago and never recovered, and it had little to do with the ChiSox. The best offensive team in the majors (By the way, Sutcliffe, YOU ASS, Fenway is NOT the best hitting park in the AL...not even close!) couldn't score a single run in a bases-loaded, no out situation. That's a combination of slumps and bad luck, not Chicago brilliance. It's one of those things that just happens. Put Hydzu, Machado and Cora up against El Duque in that situation, and I guarantee they'll get two runs home more often than not.

The Sox starting pitching was NOT, as advertised, overwhelmed...Matt Clement was. The bullpen, Bob Ryan, did NOT stink...in fact, Marte was worse under pressure than any Red Sox reliever. The White Sox did NOT make more good plays than the Red Sox (Renteria's play from the hole was the best play of the series by far).

It's appropriate that Schilling said the White Sox proved they were the better team, but they didn't, and they weren't. I'm proud of the fact that our Sox won only four games less than last season after Pedro decided his ego couldn't handle playing second-fiddle to Schilling, without their remaining ace, their stopper, a champion-caliber first-baseman,a regular second-baseman, and with a Gold Glove shortstop who mysteriously forgot how to make easy plays. Great and exciting season guys...and next year you will be better.
And younger.

redsock said...

Jack:

It seems as though they do no prep work. And rely on info that is years out of date.

How can regular ol' fans know way more than the well-paid guys at ESPN?

Truly, it boggles the mind.

Berman is the worst. Sutcliffe is nearly as bad. ... I would gladly listen to McCarver over either of those two. (Well, maybe not gladly.)

I would mute the announcers all the time, but I really like hearing the crowd. (Not knowing any Spanish, sometimes I put on the SAP button when I have to watch the Sox on YES.)

Why can't someone give us a device that can simply cut out the blabbing -- kind of a karoke version of the game? All the background and none of the front men?

mouse said...

Great post. And I share pretty much all your sentiments. It sucks the season's over, because now I can't watch the nightly Red Sox game, but it doesn't leave that kind of foul, bitter taste in my mouth like, say, 2003 did.

I'll spend the next few weeks watching the rest of the playoffs and the WS, and then hibernate in the winter with the 2004 postseason DVDs while monitering the Sox's offseason moves. And before long, March will arrive and the 2006 season will start to unfold. And I'm pretty sure it'll be a good one.

Anonymous said...

god, i don't know how you guys can *stand* listening to commentary by espn or fox or whatever. i always have the radio on. i NEVER listen to those other dinks.
listening to jerry trupiano and joe castiglione is always a pleasure. they know how to call a game and they know their stuff. plus, of course, they are our guys.

yeah there's the delay and everything, but i put up with it. also, i think there is something nice about hearing what happens before seeing it.

Jason Adams said...

Allan,

WEll put. I feel the same way. Although, part of my peacefulness is because I live in Portland and watched the Sea Dogs all season and I've got to tell you, the Sox have some dynomite arms coming up through the system that Theo held onto. Sure, everyone's familiar with Papelbon, Hansen, and Delcarmen now. But they also have John Lester (Eastern league pitcher of the year --lefty who throws mid 90s and Kd 163 in 148 1/3 IPs) and Annibel Sanchez (who also throws mid 90s and Kd 63 in 57 1/3 IPs).

Watching these guys in person had me looking ahead to 2006 for the Sox all season. And by 2007 they could have a rotation where all of the starters are in their mid-twenties except for Wakefield.

yanks fan said...

After a year of listening how great the Sox are,there is nothing but silence from the Red sox nation in the area I live in.A one year winning streak.Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of idiots.

Devine said...

God, you're a jerk.

Devine said...

Oh, and just for old times' sake.

2004. Choke.

L-girl said...

After a year of listening how great the Sox are,there is nothing but silence from the Red sox nation in the area I live in.

It's pretty quiet in Yankeeland, too. You idiot.