"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoon and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, you rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then, just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops."
-A. Bartlett Giamatti

Thanks to poster Tiki for reminding me of that quote from the late commissioner. Giamatti was, of course a Red Sox fan.

As for last night, I’m sure in time, he’ll come to be known at Aaron bleeping Boone. Grady Little will be criticized into the next century for not pulling a laboring Pedro Martinez to start the eighth. So be it. I can handle the loss. I can even handle Yankee fans, who I believe got themselves at good scare and whether they admit it or not, developed a healthy respect for this Red Sox squad. What I will not be able to handle is nitwit columnists who profit off of this loss, or the nationwide ignorants who proclaim last night the latest chapter in an ongoing curse. Those I will not be able to stand, and I dread having to listen to and read them over the winter and into next year. There’s no way I’m going over all the articles today, as almost of them try to connect last night to events that happened 16, 25, 28, 54, and 57 or more years ago.

First though, we’ll look at a few good articles from today, which include Tony Massarotti, who can see that this edition of the Red Sox is different. Lenny Megliola gives the Sox their credit. Kevin Gray focuses on the game, not history. Nick Cafardo reviews the series for us. Bill Griffith with a look at how this series has generated mail for him.

Now onto the ugly stuff…

If Dan Shaughnessy gets a nickel for each time the word curse or Ruth appears in a story or headline by any writer today, he will be a very rich man. I wonder how many appearances on shows from around the country Shaughnessy will be making today. Certainly many more than if the Sox won last night. The beat goes on and on with tired, lazy references to curses instead of what actually happened in the baseball game that was played last night. Sean McAdam – “Curses again”. Jeff Jacobs– “Only One Curse, Thank You Very Little”. I’ll give Bob Ryan credit, as he refrains from uttering either of the two phrases above, instead admitting that this storyline just doesn’t ever seem to change. More dreadful headlines: Jeff Horrigan – “Sox fall short? Of Curse: Series hopes dashed as Yanks rally, win in 11” Steven Krasner– “A ruthian collapse” , Bob Hohler – “Haunting blow”. More connections to the past: Jackie MacMullan – “Father knows best? You bet your life”. Peter May – “Magical reminder of things past”. Art Martone – “Sox have only selves to blames for accursed loss.” (as the sports editor, he needs to get a grip on his headline writers.) Dom Amore.

That’s enough baseball for me today. Newly appointed Patriots beat writer Michael Smith gives us a look at the job Romeo Crennel has done for the Patriots this year. He includes quotes from Crennel, which is interesting as other writers have complained about the lack of access to the assistant coaches. Tom Curran looks at another outstanding season in progress for Roman Phifer. George Kimball says that just by attracting the double-team, Richard Seymour is doing his job, but he’s gone well beyond just getting the job done. Ian M. Clark looks at Bobby Hamilton, often a forgotten man in the Patriot defense. Alan Greenberg looks at the challenge of facing Jason Taylor. Michael Parente looks at what the Dolphins hope Junior Seau brings to their team. Smith’s notebook looks at Mike Vrabel, itching to get back in action. Kimball’s notebook looks at Adam Vinatieri, who is not happy the Marlins made the World Series. Curran’s notebook looks at rookie Tully Banta-Cain, who practiced for the first time yesterday. Parente’s notebook also looks at Banta-Cain.