So how do you feel? Is part of your identity now gone forever, or are you totally enjoying the moment and looking forward to more? For generations, the Red Sox have held the fans attention in Boston, always ending the season just short of the glory, yes sometimes agonizingly so. Now, that period in time is over. Another generation will not grow up as the last several have. There will be no more talk of 1918, of Babe Ruth and of any ridiculous curse. This Red Sox team put an end to all such weak minded, negative talk and did so in the most convincing and powerful fashion imaginable. They swept the Angels, a team only a couple years removed from a title, they did to the Yankees what that franchise has done to them so often, only a hundredfold, crushing their spirit in a most demoralizing way. They then swept the St. Louis Cardinals, thus avenging two of their previous seven game World Series loss. What else could they have possibly done? As was the case with so many other people around Red Sox nation last night, I thought of those who never got to see this. My great-grandfather for one, who introduced me to the aging Yaz and the Red Sox, starting me down the path of being a fan myself. Thanks Papa. Wish you were here.
I don’t believe there is any way I’m going to get to all the links today. I’ll try to get you the most important ones, the ones from the people you want to hear from, and the perspectives I think are interesting. My advice to you, just this once….BUY the newspapers. All of them. Read them. Keep them. Even the smaller newspapers, because things are going to change in the future, I don’t mean just with the Red Sox. In so many ways, an era ended last night. Things WILL be different going forward, but only in a good way. You’ll have those papers and years from now will be able to look back and appreciate just how different our perspective and even life was, back in the year 2004. A milestone year in so many ways for the sports fans of New England. Fans here have the Super Bowl Champions and the World Series Champions, both reigning at the same time. These are truly the glory days, my friends.
A column we’ve been waiting years for was finally written this morning. Dan Shaughnessy writes about the World Series champion Boston Red Sox. He can have his own paragraph and space here, as like him or not, he’s been at the forefront of the Red Sox sense of urgency the last 10 years or so, and now it has been accomplished. His book can get that final chapter, and be put to rest. Dan can now move on with the rest of his life, just as all of the rest of us can.
Gerry Callahan tells us that in so many ways, this Red Sox team did things that we will never see again. Bob Ryan tells us just “What this is about”, going through all that makes this so magical. Sean McAdam says yes, this does change everything, and now there will be a clear line of demarcation between this season, and all before it. Tony Massarotti notes the irony that “The team that so often failed to measure up has set new and lofty standards for everyone else to aim at.” Jeff Jacobs says the pain of cynicism that has been passed through generations of Red Sox fans is now gone forever. Lenny Megliola says that all wrongs have been righted. Jackie MacMullan looks at the celebrations among the players, noting the tears of joy in the eyes of Pedro Martinez, and how the team went about “transforming themselves from frustrated losers on the brink of elimination to the finest of champions.”
Bill Reynolds writes about “the great night in the history of New England sports”. Howard Bryant looks at Theo Epstein, ending the torment of Boston fans everywhere. Alex Speier says that at long last, there will be no more “wait till next year”. Steve Britt says that all of this just doesn’t feel real yet. Kevin Gray says “believe it”, the Sox have finally done it. Jon Couture says that many things are finally over, but he doesn’t want this morning to be one of them.
Yeah, I’ll get you the lead game stories. David Heuschkel says the Sox made it look easy. Steven Krasner says this is no cruel joke, this really happened, the Red Sox are champions. Bob Hohler says “hail the lovable idiots”, the Red Sox are champions of the World. David Borges simply ends with “Unbelievable.”
How about that Derek Lowe? Gordon Edes looks at Lowe’s “Road to Glory”. Steve Buckley says Lowe was as brilliant in his post game comments as he was on the mound in the post season, saying all the right things. Jack O’Connell says stock in Derek Lowe is once again on the rise after last night’s performance. Art Davidson says all Boston fans will owe Derek Lowe an everlasting debt of gratitude. Peter Gammons writes about Lowe coming through in the biggest of ways.
Manny as World Series MVP? Perhaps some might be curious over that choice, but he did hit .412 in the Series, and has a record tying 17 game postseason hitting streak going. Some might choose Schilling, though that would be for more intangible and emotional reasons, as Schilling’s outing performance wise at least, was matched by both Pedro and Lowe. Stephen Harris looks at Manny achieving one of his career goals. The other? The Hall of Fame. John Powers says that Manny’s performance in the series symbolized what these Red Sox are about. Jack O’Connell looks at Manny’s journey from waivers to MVP. Alex Speier says Manny’s consistent stroke in the Series got him the MVP honors. David Borges also looks at Manny as World Series MVP.
The post game coverage was extensive, and there was no way to catch all of it, but flipping around a bit, the following moments and scenes will be preserved in my memory:
- On NESN, Don Orsillo was on the field after the game and one of the people he talked to was Don Lowe, father of Derek. The guy was a live wire. Wearing coke-bottle glasses and bouncing around, talking a mile a minute, you could easily see how the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in this instance. He was wild.
- NECN’s Chris Collins was also on the field, and actually got lost in the crowd a number of times, he got some good interviews, including Johnny Damon and also talking to Pedro as he headed off the field and into the clubhouse. However as mentioned, Collins was engulfed by the crowd and you couldn’t even see him on his own camera a few times. He escaped the crowd after a bit, and went off babbling excitedly for a few minutes before sending it back to Mark Ockerbloom and Mike Shalin in the studio.
- During the presentation of the World Series trophy, Jeanne Zelasko had a bit of a rough time, once she got over to Theo Epstein, she got covered with champagne as Epstein and Curt Schilling had a bit of a celebration. You could see Zelasko cringing, trying to avoid the spray, to no avail. In the middle of talking to Theo, she turned off camera and asked for a towel, appearing more than a little annoyed.
- Bob Lobel, repeating over and over in disbelief: “The Red Sox have won the World Series. The Red Sox have won the World Series.”
- In closing out the baseball broadcast season, WEEI had a great audio montage of the entire season, incorporating moments from sweeping the Yankees in NY in April, all the way through the summer and through the playoffs. Very well done. I’ve heard TV stations did similar pieces, but I didn’t get to see them.
As I said in the opener, there are so many other great articles out there. Buy the papers, real them all, soak all of this in. You’re going to remember last night and today for the rest of your life. Enjoy it, my friends.