Saturday, October 30, 2004

Everyone Loves A Cliche

Just another day for Jere today: Up at dawn, fed the hogs, brunch with the Howell's...oh, and I went to the RED SOX WORLD SERIES VICTORY PARADE.

It ruled, of course. Pat & I were on Boylston, near Fenway Park, about two or three people back from the rail. It drizzed the whole time, but I can assure you nobody gave a crap about that. Cabrera had a cigar, Pedro was dancing, Ortiz was holding a "Who's Your Papi?" shirt. Manny wasn't yet holding the Jeter sign, though. We saw Remy, but no other announcer friends. The one negative was that some players would be on the other side of their duck boat from where we were standing. But we still got to see almost everybody. Hopefully, if technology allows, I will post some screen shots from the video I took. But don't hold your breath. It was such a great day. All Red Sox hats as far as the eye could see. And back home, almost no yankee hats. And people who are wearing them look straight at the ground. The yankee windshield and bumper stickers are great, because those people can't hide. Also, all train rides were free!

Isn't it great to get all the green lights for a change?

"Every Red Sox fan from now on can walk into Yankee Stadium with their head high." --Jason Varitek

[Terrible job by the dude on the rooftop yelling for girls to show their breasts. And great job by the girls who held up a sign that said "Shut Up." Funny how these cretin boys always do their thing from far away, and in large crowds, where they can easily run and hide if necessary.]

Friday, October 29, 2004

In Tents

It's just so comical to hear "Will the Red Sox fans have that same intensity next year?"

I'm already thinking about going for a repeat. I've already renewed my 10-game plan, and I want to be there on Opening Day too. I can't wait until yankee Stadium tickets go on sale, so I can get tix to the first Sox game there. Those'll be easy to get, yankee fans don't really notice when thier team's tix go on sale. Well, enough don't so that we Sox fans can buy a LOT of seats in the Bronx.

I think if anything, the yanks will draw less fans than they did last year. Last year, they weren't selling crazy amounts of tix until they acquired the best player (and slapper) of "all-time." So I think they've peaked attendance-wise.

Speaking of the slap, I'm still hearing yankee fans call up talk shows and say, "It wasn't any different from sliding hard into second base." And the weird thing is, the hosts don't know what to say except, "that's just the rule." What these people aren't understanding is the simple fact that as a baserunner, you can't purposely touch the ball with your hand. It'd be like running to first on a bunt, and picking up the ball and running with it to first so no one can get you out. You just can't do it. Plays on the baselines where you're taking out the fielder would not be fine if while you were bowling someone over, you tried to grab the ball with your hand.

I'm proud to be staying at a hotel in Framingham, home of Red Sox legend Rich Gedman, tonight, so Pat & I can get to the parade brizzight and early.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

What's New?

I'm psyched for the parade on Saturday. There won't be a rally, though, for safety concerns. Instead, it will be a "rolling rally," where the players talk to the crowd while they're driving down the parade route (on Duck Boats). The mayor said they're going into uncharted territory with this. I don't know, if safety's the big concern, which it should be, is it really the time to venture into uncharted territory? And does the term "rolling rally" remind anyone else of "bullpen by committee"?

Hopefully Pat & I get a spot. We'll see what happens. We could be talking ten million people here. We could be talking "The New York State Thruway is closed, man" style crowds.

By the way, if you looked for me at the Riviera, that Sox bar in NYC, on TV during Game 4, you wouldn't have seen me, because I didn't go like I said I was going to. (I didn't want to risk getting there late from work, and be stuck on the street.) Also, you probably don't know what I look like. (But my parents said they were sure they saw me in the crowd.) They told me that over the phone, because while I was at their place, to watch the game without any yankee fans around, and to get a sweet view of the eclipse, they were on vacation! The Red Sox in the World Series, and they leave the region. Terrible. But since the whole "being with family" thing didn't work out in '86, maybe we all needed to be together by phone only to get the win. Also, when Johnny had a triple and a homer, I was thinking "lunar cycle." But I'm a geek like that.

Mike and the Mad Dog were both way-too-pissed off that Fox showed shots of Sox fans from NYC during the game. Mike just doesn't want to believe that there are so many Sox fans right in the yanks' backyard. He was so stunned by how many Sox fans there were during Game 7 at the Stadium. "They kept multiplying as the game went on." Anyway, he referred to the "yahoos" at the Riviera as "twenty Red Sox fans around a table." I've been there, it's hundreds of fans with more outside that can't get in. There are 8 million people in NYC. A lot are Red Sox fans. And with Boston not being allowed to have cameras in bars, Fox showed another bar where multitudes of Sox fans gather. Francesa kept saying, "What about New Hampshire? Show me a place in New Hampshire!" A good point, had he been saying it because he truly cared about the people of New Hampshire. But he was really just mad that New York City is NOT comprised solely of yankee lovers. Oh, also, he may have been a little upset that the RED SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES!

Man, this is never gonna get old.

And no, spellcheck, I don't want to replace "psyched" with "pussycat." Actually, you know what? Fine. I'm pussycat for the parade. Whatever. We're World Champs.

The Millennium Cockroach

The yankee fan has lost their big gun. The one thing that they, the "most knowledgeable fans in baseball" could say to us when they just couldn't think of anything else: "1918." Look at that number. No, it's okay, we can stare it right in the face now. It's just a year. A beautiful year in which the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004. All glorious years. All can be said with confidence and pride. When we're sitting in the bleachers, and Kapler goes over to talk to Damon during a pitching change, we can look right at their backs without getting queasy: 19, 18. No problem.

I've been wondering if yankee fans will even understand what we're talking about when we say "2000" to them. "You mean 2004, right?" No. Two thousand was the last time your team won it all. A four-year drought. Must be excruciating. (If you know any yankee fans who have had a kid since 2000, go up to them and ask if they think their kid will see a championship in their lifetime. It's fun!)

Anyway, since 2000 is now the yanks' "magic number," I would like to crown Michael Kay, the all-time disgrace to the few remaining real yankee fans, with a new nickname: Michael Y2Kay.

Exclamation Points Galore!

I just heard that next year's home opener will be against the yanks! They have to see us raise the banner. This just keeps getting sweeter. I'll be doing everything I can to be there as well.

But first, I've got a parade to go to!

You thought the "GO SOX" on the Pru was impressive? How'd ya like the moon turning red as we WON THE WORLD SERIES???

Breaking news--while writing that last line, I just heard, from the TV, the call by Joe Castiglione of the final out, and instantly got tears in my eyes. I feel so happy for that man, as much as I do for anyone else. Too bad Ken Coleman wasn't around for this. But my mom said that she thought it was her father, and her father's father, who learned English by listening to Red Sox games, who turned that moon red tonight. Them and everyone else who wanted us to finally see what they'd seen eighty-six years ago. And my dad told me he'd gotten to the point where he didn't think he'd see this in his lifetime. It took 62 years for him. My 29 is nothing compared to that.

My aunt who was holding hands with us back in '86 called me right after the game, and asked if I'd remembered that moment. I'll obviously never forget it, but now I've got some new memories.

I'm going to bed now. There'll be plenty of time to write. If there is some kind of higher power, tonight I beg of it, please, please, please, when I wake up tomorrow, let this be real.

What a beautiful night. I hope you all went outside and breathed the cold, delicious New England air deep into your lungs.

I am a happy citizen of earth. All the sad turns to happy. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. The Red Sox are number one. My vision is blurring into a different dimension. My head is floating in the air, like the Red Sox balloon I see outside the window, whipping in the wind. My toes are thinking of my old blue rug I had when I was a little boy listening to the Red Sox on the radio. Congratulations to all who deserve it.

The Possible Dream

We're World Champs. I lived to see it! My dad and my mom lived to see it! Much more later. Time to dance. Thank you Red Sox.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Sun, Earth, Moon To Align Tonight

I'm not kidding.

Hopefully, a much more important event will occur at the same time.

Pedro is so awesome. Did you hear his postgame interview? He nonchalantly mentioned how he remembered Sheffield saying something when the yanks were up 3-0, but "we just shut our mouths and played baseball." I just imagined every yankee media-type and every yankee fan who bought all their hype seeing that and thinking, "Wow, Pedro just pitched a masterpiece in the World Series. Our guys were the ones that talked, and choked, and their guys are on the verge of winning it all, behind the guy we said was done, only to hide the fact that we wanted him so much. But he probably won't want to play for losers like us next year. God, I'm full of shit." It really pissed me off, but at the same time,made me laugh the day after the ALCS when Michael Backward Kay was yelling, "I don't ever want to hear Pedro mentioned with the elite ever again!" He was yelling like a teacher angry with his class. He was just so frustrated, it was great. F you, Kay, F you to hell. Choker. I still can't avoid the guy, because every time I turn on ESPN radio, I hear him doing a commercial for US Window Factory, or some car dealer, or something. There's one where he says something like, "With this muffler, you can drive around and keep up with the yanks and theMLB playoffs." Ha! It's great to hear him, recorded before the collapse, with that arrogance in his voice. There's also an ad for the NY Fox station's morning TV show that shows highlights of the yanks, saying, "New York's got two favorite teams, the yanks and Good Day New York" or whatever. You know they made that commercial assuming the yanks would hold on, and now they're stuck showing it.

So where's the drama? Are we in for some major heart-pounding events, or is this it? Did struggling through the never-before-seen amazing comeback allow us to get to witness the unheard-of pressure-free series win?

Tonight's game seemed over as soon as the Cards pulled off the play that it seems only the Red Sox could have ever even thought of. Why didn't Suppan just run? And when Buck said, "He's hung up...", I still thought, in that split second, that you can't be hung up when the ball's so far away from you, and you've had like ten seconds to just pick a damn base and go to it! It was funny how Oquendo just gave up on the play, right about the time Suppan actually tuerned to him for some help. It's also funny hearing McCarver say "Oquendo," because I used to have this baseball video where they did this skit where they made it look like Oquendo was playing every position at once, and some of McCarver's calls were spliced together to match the video. "O-kin-do delivers, ground ball to O-kin-do, throws to O-kin-do for the out."

For Game 4 I'm going to the Riviera in NYC. For my friends who are going with me--the bus leaves at 4:00. Meaning my car.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Sound Of Griswold

It's come to my understanding that one of the great works of art of our time, The Bad News Bears, is going to be remade. Sometimes people just go too far. We must do everything in our power to stop the release of this movie. If it comes out, I will blow up the world.

How are they gonna deal with the issue of Tanner's racism? Or Buttermaker's alcoholism? Or Kelly Leak's underage smoking?

People are really going nuts over this Ortiz at first base thing. I'm thinkin' by the time he hits his third HR off of Suppan, it's really not gonna matter much. And it's not like they're choosing some random guy to play first. He has played there quite a bit. Mad Dog thinks the Cards will definitely win two at home, and it's 50/50 they take all three. Terrible job.

My prediction for tonight? That the arch will be hit by a bolt of lightning. I don't know, I heard thunderstorms were in the forecast, and they have that big arch. Nothing against it, I just want the Fox cameras to catch that thing get supercharged by 1.21 gigawatts. It probably gets hit all the time. It is sixty stories high, if I remember correctly from National Lampoon's Vacation.

That's the Mississippi River, kids. The Mighty Mississip'. The Ole Miss. The olllld man. Deep river.....

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Life Of A Red Sox Fan

Gee, this pointy beard thing I've been growing has gotten really long. It's rubbing against my shirt when I look down at my desk at work. I think I'll shave it off. Oh wait, the Red Sox have been doing so good with me having this beard. Maybe I'll just trim it. No, can't do that, what if I trim off too much? Like, if I cut off a little bit, and the Sox lose the next game by one, I'll know that even that little bit mattered! And then what would I do?? Is the fact that I'm thinking about it taking some of the mystical power away from the beard and therefore the team? Maybe a trim would only affect, say, Curtis Leskanic. But then what if he comes in the game, oh god, make it stop!

Okay, you know what, I need to get over this. I'll shave the beard because I want to. What I do has nothing to do with the Red Sox. But let's say I shave it, and as I reach for the shaving cream, a fly flies out from behind it. The fly would have stayed, but since I agitated it, it now decides to start flying around. It flies outside, and ends up finding it's way on to a train. A train headed for...St. Louis! And when the train arrives, the fly flies out, landing on Terry Francona's hand. He kills the fly with his other hand, injuring his writing hand. When he goes to write out the starting lineup, he decides against players with long names, to cut down on excess writing. "Ramirez? Nah...Lowe, you're in left tonight."

There's no WAY I'm shaving.

I get the feeling that yankee fans--even the ones who are superstitious in general--don't worry about this stuff like we do. Granted, this story's an exaggeration (I know the managers write the names of all the available players on the scorecard, jeesh), but still, I think they can just sit back and watch, assuming they've won already. I mean, when they have, say, a three game lead in a playoff series, it must be so easy for them. They just know their team will win, yet again.

World Series Memories

Tonight we went up two games to none in the World Series. Two. Zero. World Series. I keep feeling like Nan Adams in that Twilight Zone episode "The Hitchhiker." You know, like I may have died a few days ago, and I'm slowly passing into some sort of afterlife. Just writing that proves the weird, altered state I'm in over all of this.

I've been thinking and talking about my memories from the '86 Series lately. I was eleven years old. Much like this year, we went up 2-0, and it felt like we had it wrapped up. I teased this kid Gary, a Mets fan, about his team being down 2-0 in Mr. Keough's 6th Grade Social Studies class on Monday. (Which is funny, because one of the people I watched tonight's game with knows the Keough family, because they were his neighbors growing up. But he lived just across the town line, so I never knew him until recently.) Earlier this year, I came across an old newspaper from the day of Game 3. It talked about how Boston fans aren't claiming victory yet, and about how Oil Can was psyched to start the first game at Fenway and had crazy vision problems, and about how Mets pitcher Ron Darling grew up a Sox fan. We then lost the next two, but won Game 5, which I believe featured a Dave Henderson triple. (There was a Topps sticker the next year showing him slididng into third with his arms way up in the air.) I thought it was so crazy when these balloons carrying a "Go Sox" sign floated onto the field at Fenway. Little did I know that a parachustist would float onto the field at Shea in Game 6. That week, I think Friday, our class went to Bear Mountain in New York State on a field trip, and my mom was a chaperone. Yesterday I talked to Pat, who I went to the ten games with this year, and who was in my class, about what the hell it was we were doing there: "For science? History? There's history of some sort up there." We did this high five where we ran toward each other, jumped up, while spinning all the way around, culminating with the hand slap. He said we should try to bring that back for this World Series. I agreed. Besides that, all I remember was seeing Mike Merenda in the parking lot. He was the first kid to bring in the Beastie Boys tape to school. The type who was really popular, but was still friendly with nerds like us. A real "student council"-type. But come on, the World Series was going on, I didn't have time to think about, uh, whatever there was at Bear Mountain.

The day of Game 6, I asked my mom for "a plate of meat." To this day, that's what I blame for us losing that series. Not Stanley, not Schiraldi, definitely not Buckner. It was the plate o' meat. (I'm now a vegetarian, so there's no chance this will happen this year.)

My aunt came over for that game, I believe unexpectedly. I don't remember ever seeing her at our house before that. I remember seeing the stat on the screen of longest World Series droughts. But I'd known that already. I'd known that for quite some time at that point.

It definitely seemed like the game was over. The announcers talked about how Marty Barrett and Bruce Hurst had such great series'. And how the scoreboard congratulated both teams. I still can't believe we couldn't close out that game. When we got to one strike away, we all stood up and held hands in my family room. Me, my mom, my dad, my aunt. I think my sister had gone to bed. Anyway, we stood for a long time, and that strike never came.

All I really remember about Game 7 was seeing the Strawberry HR, and knowing that it had pretty much slipped away at that point. I rooted for the Sox til that last out, though, still thinking that if Barrett could just get on, maybe we could start a rally. But it wasn't to be. As the Mets came out of the dugout and steamrolled over Orosco, I deadpanned, "Is that guy dead," thinking that Orosco may have been crushed, and not giving a god damn whether he was or not.

It was doubly tough for our family, since we had kind of taken to the Mets as kind of a "favorite NL team" in the few years previous to '86. My dad taught me that when the Mets win, it makes Steinbrenner mad, so we should root for them. Plus, Shea Stadium was only an hour away, and my dad's friend had sweet seats, so we'd go there once or twice a year. Late in the season in '86, my mom said, "The Red Sox and the Mets are doing good, isn't that great?" And I thought, Uh, this could be bad... Not like there was any doubt as to who we'd root for should they, by some crazy chance, actually meet in the World Series, but still, it was just a weird feeling. By the time the NLCS was going on, I was definitely rooting for the Astros, I wanted no part of that Met team. They were really good, and facing them would mean some weird cosmic thing where the baseball gods would put us through something crazy, and they sure did. Why did the Mets World Series year have to coincide with ours?

The thing I remember from the ALCS was in Game 5, my dad had left the room in the ninth, and I had to call him back in when we got within 1 run before the Hendu HR. And about the season itself, I remember the Spike Owen's 6 run game, and the crazy play with Steve Lyons running all over the basepaths. And Clemens winning his first 14 decisions or something. And being given the chance to go to the 20 strikeout game, but not being able to go because it was a weeknight.

Sorry, I've gone too far.

But good call by Hanks tonight when asked about wearing a Sox hat. "I'm sure the Cardinal fans are great, great city and all, but COME ON. The Red Sox are in the World Series! You have to root for 'em." I'll always be down with Hanks, for his fine comedy work in Splash and on Saturday Night Live. Because of that, he gets a pass on all the chessy serious movies he's done. Alright, it's almost 2 AM, I never get sleep anymore, and I'm writing about Tom Hanks. Good Night. Monday night will be the night for sleep, everybody. Don't miss out.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Dead As Dreams

Last night I had all these dreams where people were trying to kill me. In one, me and two other people were on a steep road, and skateboards were involved. That's all I really remember except for the fact that we were running/skating for our lives.

But the thing was, each time I avoided death, I thought, Alright, the Red Sox got the win. One game to nothing. Then in my next death-evading situation, I thought, Okay, gotta survive, don't want to let them tie it at one.

I guess that means I'm a die-hard fan or whatnot.

Now I'm going to go outside and make fun of yankee fans. (If I can find any.)

Disco Fever!

In the regular season, when you make four errors in a game, and your starter doesn't last four innings, you worry about how that might not fly in the playoffs. In the World Series, a win is a win. One down, et cetera et cetera.

The one part of the NLCS that I watched for more than a few seconds was the part where Tavarez completely lost his head on the mound, and then Kevin Browned the phone in the dugout. So that was the one thing I knew to hope for out of the Cards tonight: That they bring in Tavarez. (Not to be confused with the band Tavares, who scored a 1977 hit with More Than A Woman, off of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.) Well, they did bring in Tavarez, and he gave up the winning home run to Bellhorn, giving Cardinal fans, uh, a "fever" on this, eh, "Saturday Night," and, let's see, causing "more than a woman," in fact many women, as well as many children and men to go crazy all across Red Sox Nation.

Maybe tomorrow night they'll bring in Vicki Sue Robinson.

On Bellhorn's key dong at yankee Stadium, he hit the foul pole, and since Fox has a thousand microphones at each game, we all heard, "Kksshhhhhh!" Which, considering how great I felt at that moment, quickly became my favorite sound in the world. And stupid McCarver said, "What a horrible sound." Tonight, Bellhorn gave me my sound again, only the Pesky Pole sounded more like, "Bwassshhhh!" I hope that demented Cardinal/yankee fan hears that sound in his sleep tonight.

Fox did a *fairly* good job tonight. But they did do something that really showed how either their camera people don't know much about baseball, or there's not too much communication going on in the truck, or wherever the producer is. They had Papa Jack mic'ed, and on Bellhorn's HR, they showed a replay of Papa Jack's reaction, with sound. In the foreground was first base coach Lynn Jones, but you could tell it was Papa Jack yelling and cheering, especially when Jones stepped off the screen, with the camera staying on PJ as he continued to celebrate. Then they cut to a live shot, and who did we see? Lynn Jones. Buck covered it up by saying, "Lynn Jones, the first base coach, Papa Jack is in the dugout." I know they make these mistakes every night, but this one just kind of epitomized what MLB on FOX is all about.

I liked how Dave Roberts got one of the biggest ovations before the game. Well deserved.

This season, Fox 61, the Connecticut Fox station, opted to show the yanks instead of the Sox on the national Saturday games. I wrote them, and they claimed it was due to the yanks' popularity ("lately," they said.) Anyway, tonight, I saw a commercial where they used the Sox' resilience as a comparison to their news team. Their new motto for the News @ Ten is: Right Team, Right Time. So all of a sudden they're Sox fans. As much as I find that hypocritcal, the key is that winning gives you advantages. This season is going a long way toward making CT Red Sox territory. A WS win would seal the deal.

Ortiz after the game, when asked how important winning the first game was: "You get to breathe better." I love that guy, man.

Quote by someone, who I met--electronically--because of this blog, who was able to get obstructed view seats to a WS game at face value:

"I found some place selling similarly obstructed seats for one WS game. Two seats were on sale for $2,600. Woman who lives across the street from me said I should sell: '$2,600? You could do a mortgage payment with that.' Some people just don't get it. Who wants a house with bedrooms and bathrooms and couches and carpeting and central heating when you can have, for one magical night, a pair of hard-backed chairs with an obstructed view?"

A true Sox fan.

One more thing to prove Michael Kay a fool, regarding him saying how it will be SO BAD for Sox fans if our team wins it all: If they do win, I have a feeling scalpers will be getting LOTS of cash for '05 Opening Day tickets. (Not giving them away for free.) See what I mean, Mike?

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