Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hot Stove Season: It Already Started, Right?

So, since the World Series has been cancelled this year, it's officially Hot Stove season, right?

-Brief tidbits of news... D-Lo wants to return
-According to a BDD poll, more than 50% of people who voted want to trade Mike Lowell away and aquire Mark Texeira. To those people I say... you fickle little assholes. One injury-plagued year and people forget about that whole glorious "Re-Sign Lowell!" campaign we had going? Wow, people, you remind me why I'm convinced people suck.
-I'm convinced a majority of people (and that might include me) have no idea what's best for this club. We just went through a season where we saw most of our productive players go out with injuries, and a whole rash of other players step up. Just because Youk hit .300 doesn't mean Mikey won't rebound next year. Just because Ortiz had a bad year doesn't mean his career is over. Varitek still means something to us... as a coach! Really, it's our job as fans to be sentimental, and the management gets to make the hard decisions. Don't go ripping up this club because we came three runs away from a world series appearance. We made it that far with an injured Mikey, an injured Ortiz, an injured Beckett, an injured Lowrie, and an ineffective Varitek. We also made it with a first baseman (C+) who seemed to revel in leaving men on base. Don't panic. This is a good ballclub.

I intended this post to be longer, but after reading a majority of the opinions floating around the internet, I decided to give up for the day. I'll be at Gillette Stadium tomorrow for a work-related training event. I'll say hi to the Pats for everyone (if I see them)

Damn, I think the sick is coming back

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jup's Lament: Hello, end of the season

I don't think it should have ended like this, but our guys just weren't hungry enough. They were too beat up, too tired to manage more than one hit against Garza for something like 7 innings. And in the 8th, when Drew struck out with the bases loaded, I knew it was over. They had nothing left.

And I was sad. I really was. Jon Lester did his best, but yet again, they only scored him one run. I'm not the kind of person who likes to give credit to my opponent, so I won't, because I'm just like that. It's not that they didn't deserve it (I don't think they did), it's just that the Sox couldn't do it any more.

So I commiserated with my friend Dave via the handy interwebs. And I drank. I apparently didn't drink enough to help me pass out, because I didn't sleep. I went over in my head everything they did wrong, and everything they could have done better, despite the fact that none of their actions are within my control. I did manage to fall asleep somewhere around 5 AM, and my 5:50 alarm woke me up to the song "Poor Jack" off of the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. And you know what? It actually made me feel a lot better.

For those of you who don't know it, I'll re-print the lyrics that are applicable to this situation....

"But I never intended all this madness,
never,and nobody really understood,
well, how could they?
That all I ever wanted
was to bring them something great.
Why does nothing ever turn out like it should?
Well, what the heck, I went and did my best.
And by God, I really tasted something swell.
And for a moment, why,I even touched the sky
and at least I left some stories they can tell,I did."

No, I'm sure the Sox didn't intend this madness, and they did try to bring us something great. They tried their hardest to get to the World Series again, and fell just short.

And, oh, the stories we have left to tell from this post-season! From the five-run come back, to Ellsbury's 3-run single, I sure have some great memories. And next year, when most of our team is healthy again, we'll make another run at it.

But for now, Go Phillies.

And thanks, Red Sox, for a pretty good season.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Josh Beckett: Just what we needed

I doubted him. I feared what he would do. He basically kicked me in the face and told me that I worry too much. Perhaps I do worry too much. But that's how I am.

Beckett may not have been 'vintage Beckett' but he gave us just enough. He gave us five innings and only 2 ERs. I cannot complain about that. I also am seriously impressed by the work of Okajima, Masterson, and Papelbon. The bullpen guys are almost surely tired right now, but once gametime comes, I can't imagine that they won't be up to pitch.

I'm proud of the way this team fought back, and I can't believe I would doubt them. But I'm still nervous. I'm nervous and anxious, and all I want is for Jon Lester to get us one more win in the ALCS.

Again, just like every other Red Sox fan, I will be watching. And hoping, and believing that these guys can do it if they want to.

But I'm still really nervous. So guys, just win. Please? Just win.

Friday, October 17, 2008

JD Drew: Frequently makes me forget the bad things I say about him

You know what? I've given myself hours and hours to let it sink in... to let what happened last night fully absorb. And I can't do it.

I'm stunned. Impressed. Excited. Nervous. Are they giving us false hope? Are they really waking up? Who the hell knows?! I'm stuck in absolute wonderment. It amazes me.

The Rays were looking incredibly smug by the 7th inning. Of course, they had every right to be. It was 7-0, and we had a mere 9 outs left to go. Of course Tampa was liking their chances. But mocking our "fans" was a little uncalled for, and I think karma like that was their real downfall. The baseball gods did not appreciate that. Now, I'm not saying that said gods are going to continue to punish Tampa. I'm just saying that it was their punishment to lose.

But really, Sox fans. How on Earth do you boo your own team during a playoff elimination game? During the regular season is bad enough, but if you're booing your own guys, you do not deserve to be in that park. Never show your faces again. You know they were trying! Support them. That's what you're there for.

HR's by Papi and Drew, RBI's by Munchkin and Grumpy... and hits! More than one per inning! Oh, please let them keep this up for at least two more games. Please let them put up a fight and make it to (and beyond) that 7th game. I want more baseball so badly, and baseball is so much better to me when the Sox are involved. I can't fathom how to recap anything that happened.

All I can do is beg for another win from the Sox. And that's what I'm doing. Please, Josh. Win. You have to win. I really really really want you to win. So, consider it.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goodnight, sweet Manny, goodnight.

Turn out the lights on your season, and dream of contracts yet to come.

As I was driving to work this morning, delighting in the fact that the Phillies are headed to the World Series, I realized something. This whole Manny situation, at least for me, has been handled in a very ex-girlfriend sort of way. You know the way.

You're seeing some guy (Manny), and know things aren't going great, but you're hoping that all the drama will settle down and you can go back to the good old days (any year before this one and after 2000). Seven years of your life have been invested in this man's happiness. Then comes the fight. He admits he's been cheating on you, so you throw him out of the small, lyrical bandbox of an apartment that you've shared for years. He moves in with his new flame (the Dodgers). No matter what you do, you see him everywhere. Relatives, friends, and even idiots (the media) are always talking about him... "It was for the best." "He had to go, there was no reconciling this time." "You don't need him. You're better off without him." And then you meet a new guy (Jason Bay). He's nice enough, but he's so soft spoken, sometimes you forget about him because everyone is still talking about your ex.

You miss your ex. You never wanted to break up, but it happened, and you're still not sure why. You're convinced you could have worked it out, but he was gone before that could happen. You want to be mad. You want to blame him. If only he had just waited it out! You would have let him go after the world series. You would have allowed him to walk away with just a few tears. Instead, a bitter anger still mixed with love remains. You fight yourself over whether or not you wish him happiness. When you see him happy with his new flame, it kills you a little inside. Why couldn't he be that happy with you? But you still can't quite hate him.

In the end, you don't want him to be doing better than you, but you want him to at least be happy. So you have to cuddle up with the new boyfriend, and learn to move on.

Be happy, Manny. I still miss you. I swear, I'm trying to move on.

As for one Jason Andrew Varitek... I'm terrified that tonight may be his last game in a Red Sox uniform. I always knew this day may come, but I know I will cry (I'm big on crying, apparently). I shed a few tears on Trot's last day. That was bitterly painful. This day might be just as bad, if not worse. I'm gonna be ready for it. I'm TiVo'ing the entire game, and I will eventually transfer it to DVD and save it so when I feel nostalgic, I can look back and remember the Captain that stole my heart

I won't lie, today's game scares me. I'm not ready for it to be over. I want more... need more. I need a win tonight. So I'm holding my breath and praying that our guys find their bats. Don't let this be Tek's final curtain call without a fight. I'm not ready to let go yet!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Personal Injury Lawsuits: Coming to a Red Sox team near you

I am seriously contemplating sueing the Red Sox for personal injury, as I am certain they beat me unconscious last night. I feel like I've been kicked in the spine repeatedly, and I've got no other explanation for why except that the Sox did it.

Yes, I physically hurt this morning. Wakefield, I've loved you for ages, my friend. Please, take the Admiral and head on home. And stay there. It just aint working any more, guys. Let me remember the good in you, not the bad.

I have nothing left to say about our offense. Absolutely nothing.

Keep the faith, I keep hearing. It's hard, but I'll try. Please, just don't let them celebrate on our field.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This weekend: Made me cry a little inside

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I watched the three crappy New England teams' games calmly. I didn't. I swore, I threw things, I cursed Jason Varitek endlessly. All I wanted between the two Sox games and one Pats games was something that the Phillies brought home for me... a win. Yes, I've been cheering on the Phillies, and they've been doing pretty damn good, if I do say so. In my bitter anger, I decided I never want Manny to see a World Series again (but I'm not really mad at him, exactly, I'm just mad at the way our current team is playing)

Matt Cassel is who he is. He is not Tom Brady, and we can't expect him to be. However, we should expect our defense to be defensive instead of offensive. Since that doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon, I will have to live with it.

Do I blame Beckett and Lester for these losses? Yes and no, respectively. Beckett, if he's so damn hurt that he needs (might need) off-season surgery, should not be trying to throw a ball right now. I know he thinks it's for the good of the team, but it's not. He's not helping. Every time we managed a lead, Josh couldn't hold it. That tells me that his little oblique injury is more serious than he can admit. He doesn't look comfortable on the mound, and I definitely don't feel comfortable knowing that if in the next two games we go 1-1, Josh is our last line of defense against elimination. If this were last year, I wouldn't sweat it, but it's obvious this Beckett is a little too banged up to contribute.

As for Lester... well, I don't know what to say about that. He didn't pitch THAT badly. A passed ball by Jason allowed that first run to score, and two HR's after that were all he gave up. One of them just happened to be a 3-run shot. It could happen to anyone. You know what's killing the Red Sox?

Guess. Go ahead, I'll give you a minute.

You're absolutely correct. It's the offense. How different this team could be if Theo didn't trade away the best right handed hitter in baseball because he was cranky... I hate saying this, because I feel like I'm taking away from what JBay has brought, and I don't want to do that, but all we've been missing is that one big hit. I think we know who could have managed that.

Varitek is absolutely killing us at the plate. And yes, I was angry with him, but Lord forgive me for every awful thing I said and thought about him last night. My mind was made weak by losses and 20 or so guys LOB. I succumbed to cursing the one I love most, and for that, I seek forgiveness. I will try my hardest to never do that again. The guilt consumes my soul today. Even still, I'd like to see Tek maybe not strike out as much with RISP. I'm begging my mind to remember how much I hate Kevin Cash, and that's the only thing keeping me from asking for Varitek to take a seat. Not that he would, but I'd ask anyway, if I didn't hate Kevin Cash. I hate to say it, but my mind has a feeling this October is the last we'll be seeing of Jason in a Sox uni, and that breaks my heart.

That being said, I think this is the only time in the history of anything that I've been clamoring to get Coco into a game. Not for nothing, but Jacoby is really hurting us (despite his sac fly last night), and Coco has hit decently in the post season so far. Maybe Jacoby should get a night off. Coco could be a capable lead-off hitter...

Jacoby - 0 for the series
Ortiz - 0 for the series
Drew - under .200 for the series
Kotsay - 2 hits (give or take) for the series
Varitek - 0 for the series
Cora/Lowrie - 0 for the series.

My God, could our entire team stop slumping at the exact same time? This team has never reached a point where all of our guys, or at least 90% of them, are clicking at the same time, but they've made slumping at the same time an art. They're due for a big breakout game. I might not be able to watch it, because my blood pressure would surely kill me off if I watch anyone stare at another strike 3.

Not to mention the ridiculous bias shown by the announcers. "Pedroia has hit into 17 double plays this season, so he's a good canditate for a double play ball right here.... DOUBLE PLAY BALL!" That one killed me. That one made me throw my computer mouse against the TV, not so much for the dp, but for the excitement over th dp. Please, Chip Caray, be a little more bias. Honestly. It's not f*&^ing annoying at all.

Or how about this gem. "I like that the umpire has a wide strike zone. It makes the game more competitive." - after David Ortiz's ridiculous K-looking in the first. That ball was five or more inches off the plate, and it was a strike? The announcers loved it. But they didn't like it as much when our boys rang up a Ray. I'm pretty sure the umpires didn't like it either, because they wouldn't give Johnny the strike calls. Ugh.

I know, I know, people who aren't Sox fans would probably be reading this and saying to themselves "Typical Sox fan, their team loses and they blame the umpires, the announcers, and everyone else they can think of." And to them I say - you'd say the same thing if the umpires and announcers favored my team, so shut up and let me vent.

Game 4 tonight - Keeping every finger crossed that the knuckler is knuckling hardcore. If not, I may cry, or break something. But I'll be watching.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pictures: Property of the Globe

"Cinco Ocho: He don't know how he do... he just do."

Jonathan Tyler Lester: More "Nails" than John Lackey

You knew it was coming, didn't you? The sickening, mushy, love-filled rant of a girl so proud of a man she only met once... briefly. A post so adoration-intense that even I myself cannot bear to read my disgusting run-on, happy-happy-joy-joy, I-told-you-so, I-love-him-so-much type of rant. But here it is.

Did you SEE Jon Lester out there? My God, he's been so good, I can't even contemplate calling him "Binky" right now! He was everything he needed to be, even without the praise of the God-forsaken TBS announcers. They've got nerve saying that Jon was turning into a man before our very eyes. Jon has proven himself before. This was just another step. He was ALREADY a man, and now he's morphed into something special - a "BAD man" (tm Manny Ramirez). Make no mistake, last night was not some revelation of what Jon Lester could be. It was a demonstration of what he's been all damn year. If the guys on the booth didn't know that, then, well they must be Angels fans.

They obviously were. I damn-near threw my remote at the TV when the stupid one (specific, huh?) muttered a condescending "siddown!" to one of our hitters. I couldn't believe they were showing that much bias. Nothing our guys did was right, and nothing the Angels did was wrong. And calling Pedroia "El Caballito?" Yeah, that ruined him for the series. Thanks, assholes.

I also admit to shaking with rage and telling Tito that I hate him (through the TV, of course) once Fetus surrendured the tying run. I know, I probably would have done the same thing, but I'm allowed to react all angry and hot-headed, because I'm a fan. That's what we do. We live and die with this team, whether or not Mr. Ramirez likes it. That's how it is. You wait 86 years for a title, and you understand how each and every little play becomes so important to your goal. I swear, being a Red Sox fan is not for the weak. It's been better since '04... sort of... but winning IS addictive, and I think there's still some residual fear that one day, we'll have to go another handful of decades before winning a championship, so let's do all we can now to satiate our need, right? Right.

Kazerud, enjoy the second round of the playoffs. I know there have been a whole bunch of firsts for you on this team. I really hope your enjoying the ride. But JBay, it's ok to smile once or twice. Be happy. Let the happy show. It makes us happier for you.

Nice job last night, C+. Excellent timing for your first hit of the series, Munchkin (I wasn't worried about you... you started slow in the playoffs last year, too). Super clutch single, Lowrider. Bet you never imagined that you would be winning playoff games for the big club this year, did you?

Jon, you're amazing. Josh, I know you can be amazing. You've got a giant, looming assignment ahead of you. Take it one step, one pitch at a time. You'll be ok - you're too good not to be ok. I just know it. Dice-K... don't nibble. I hate nibbling. Lester used to nibble. He doesn't do that any more, and look at him. Awesomeness. Awesomeness indeed.

Admiral, I'm going to hope you're on board with us for this one. I just feel like you deserve to be there more than some of the other guys. You've earned another chance. Mikey, it hurts me to say, but I'm glad you're sitting out. I don't know a single person who didn't feel pain watching you try to grind it out and play through that injury. I admire your courage, now just sit back and relax. The rookies have got you covered, no worries.

Francona, sometimes I want to slap you. Other times, not so much.

Congratulations to the 2008 Boston Red Sox, heading to the ALCS again, and hopefully ready to do some damage (to the Rays, not themselves). Good luck, boys!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunday Night: Not What I Expected

Is it fair to say that Josh Beckett sucked last night? I think it's relatively fair to say. I'm sure he has his reasons (injury, rust, the twenty extra pounds he seems to have put on) but it hardly matters. This is not last year's Josh Beckett. This is 2006's Josh Beckett, who never really got into a groove, the one who was CONSTANTLY shaking off Varitek. Perhaps Becks didn't feel confident in his pitches, but shaking off Varitek is something that doesn't sit right with me. Right now, I'm in the mindframe that this Beckett isn't going to help us win. We just need to accept that and get ready for next year when he will be inexplicably awesome again. Even numbers equal down years. Beckett doesn't need the added pressure of being 'ace' right now. He's got enough pressure trying to find the strike zone with the bases loaded. We've still got a bona-fide ace, and he's pitching tonight.

I won't write another glowing love-fest sort of post about that ace, because, well, it's safe to say that Binky knows we love him by now.

So Jacoby got the very first 3-run single in post season history? I think that's awesome. I also am a little bit surprised that it's never happened before, what with all the post-seasons in history. But still, very cool.

I'm not going to blame Javy Lopez for this. I'm not going to blame Munchkin (0-for the series). I'm not even going to blame Beckett, because earned a ND (so did Saunders). Hell, as much as I want to blame Tito, I won't blame him either. I'm just going to write this off as a bad game, and accept it. There's another game tonight to worry about tonight. Bad games happen.

I'm expecting better, from everyone, tonight. Call me negative, but if we don't win today, I can't see us in the ALCS. Those Sox better be in the batting cages all day. Well... not all day, because then they'd be too tired for the game, but at least for several hours... or an hour! Or something! Give me something here!

I'm so sick of these 1:00 AM ending times. It's getting ridiculous. I've got a job, thanks very much, Red Sox. Could we try to wrap it up a little closer to, I don't know... 10:30? Thank you!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Jon Lester: 2008 Red Sox Ace

Goodness, another post about Jon Lester? It can't be! Oh, but it is.

I have to say, I don't remember falling asleep. I remember the 5th inning, and then when I woke up it was 5:45 AM, and I had no idea who won. What I did know was that I was happy with Jon. He got himself into a few jams, but as usual, he managed his way out of them. Is there a Sox fan alive who doesn't consider Jon their ace this year?

(For the record, I hate that I can't access any of my pictures from here. I've got SO MANY pictures of Jon!)

So Kazerud, in his very first playoff game that he didn't have to buy a ticket to, hit a game-winning HR. Sure, the Sox scored a few more runs after that, but we didn't need them. One two-run home run was all it took and, BOOM, we're up 1-nothing. Don't get me wrong, this is by no means a decisive victory. We still need to play 2 more games at minimum. We haven't won anything yet, but oh man, do we want to!

Game 2: Dice-K vs. Santana. We haven't faced Santana this year, so hopefully (and undoubtedly) the Sox are watching tons of video to prepare. What I expect: I expect Dice-K to throw roughly 100 pitches, hopefully in 6 innings, walk a few guys, strike out at least four, and get the win. Now, I wait to see what really happens.

I watched the Cubs/Dodgers game the other night... rather, I tried to, but I couldn't get far into it. Seeing Manny in that uniform, hustling and working really hard made me upset. I know, I KNOW he played that hard in the playoffs for us each and every time. I would never say Manny dogged any playoff game (and don't even go to the longest single in playoff history bullshit), so I'm not surprised to see him doing well for them. At the same time, the glowing praise about how he saved the Dodgers really got under my skin. More than the fact that I knew it was true, he did save the Dodgers, was the fact that he just couldn't stick it out here. He didn't have enough respect for his teammates in Boston, or the fans at Fenway to just finish up the year and THEN throw a hissy fit. You can't tell me you wouldn't feel better about facing the Angels with Manny in the lineup. Don't get me wrong, I like Kazerud, and I think it's awesome that we are getting to watch his first playoff games. I just will always miss Manny, I guess (even when he says things just to hurt me).

Go Kazerud! Win yourself a World Series, and make the people of Boston happy once more!

Oh, and for those audience members who still love and cherish Ducky, please watch this video. You'll enjoy it. My apologies if the link doesn't work.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

2008: I'm Happy With the Results

The regular season is now over. It’s been a cool adventure, and I’m hoping that it ends the same way last year’s adventure did. I’ve been to twelve games this year, starting in Florida, shooting up to Baltimore, shooting even further up to Toronto, and ending in Boston (with, you know, a few more Boston games in between). Next year, I hope to make it out to Chicago and see the two ball parks that city has to offer. It’s been a long road for these Sox. Three different countries to begin the season, countless injuries, Manny-induced turmoil, happy times, sad times… too much for me to recap. I did want to recap, though, if only from the games I went to. I decided that I’m going to recap my top five favorite games that hosted me this year.

5) March 4th, 2008. My first game of the 2008 (pre) season. Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Phil Dumatrait (Pirates). Just being in Florida in March is a good enough reason to include this game on the list, never mind the fact that we won. It featured Sean Casey’s first hits in a Red Sox uniform, after a particularly wonderful autograph session by the Mayor before the game.
Highlight: A new baseball season is born.
Lowlight: Julio Lugo autographed my baseball without me asking, or wanting, him to as I waited for Sean Casey. Thanks for ruining a perfectly good ball, POS.

4) June 25th, 2008. Boston, MA – Tim Wakefield vs. Randy Johnson (Diamondbacks). There were many reasons I liked this game. One, I had been wanting to see the Diamondbacks (I might have a crush on Stephen Drew…), and I had missed out on an opportunity to get tickets when they went on sale. I ended up getting invited to the game, AND had pretty damn good seats. I got to watch Papelbon strip in the bullpen. Tek stood in front of me the entire night, so I was able to satiate my insane need to take many pictures of Tek. I also got some great pictures of Timlin. The Red Sox won 5-0!
Highlights: Plentiful photo-ops. Great company, great win.
Lowlights: Having many men LOB, Kevin Cash hitting a home run, thus making him think he matters. (It was his first in three years)

3) April 30th, 2008. Boston, MA – Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Dustin McGowan (Blue Jays). Tight game right down to the wire on a particularly cold April night. I literally had JUST gotten over a severe virus that knocked me out of commission for nearly 2 weeks, but I wasn’t missing this game. Unfortunately, due to the cold and me being so sick, we did have to leave in the 7th inning, but I got home in time to see the bottom of the 9th, a single to bring in the go-ahead run off the bat of my beloved Captain, Jason Andrew Varitek. As I settled my sick little body into bed, Jason drove in the winning run, and I managed to go into a medicine-induced sleep very happily.
Highlights: Tek winning the game, Ortiz’ 7th inning HR (that I missed) to give us the momentary lead.
Lowlights: Having to miss the ending due to awful viruses making me weak and cold.

2) May 31st, 2008. Baltimore, MD. – Jon Lester vs. Garrett Olson. As much as I’ve grown angry with Manny recently, there’s no denying that this was a special game. I had been telling people all around Baltimore in the days leading up to the game that he was going to him #500 when I was there. No one believed me, apparently, except Manny. From the hand of Chad Bradford, to the waiting bat of Manny, instantly into the stands. As soon as it hit the bat, we all knew, we were all on our feet, and we were all screaming our heads off. No one can take away what Manny accomplished in Boston; I just wish Manny would stop ruining our memories of him. Regardless, it was definitely a special moment, and I’m glad if it couldn’t be in Boston that it was in Baltimore. To tease us, Baltimore even began playing “Sweet Caroline” after the ball went out, but stopped and mocked our song. It was all in good fun (wrong inning anyway). So, once more, congratulations on Career Home Run #500, Manny… you cantankerous bastard.
Highlights: Manny’s 500th home run, Ellsbury stealing 3 bases, seeing Kevin Millar, back-to-back HR’s by Petey and Papi, Tek’s 6th inning game-tying single
Lowlights: Ortiz going down with an injury for two months

1) As if there were any question…. May 19th, 2008. Boston, MA. Jon Lester vs. Luke Hotchevar. This was just an awesome night all around. I took my best friend to the game for her birthday, never expecting that it would turn into the best game of the year, by far. Everything about the game was great… we sat in a great group of the most polite drunks you could ever hope to meet at a ball game. We got a free blanket, named Scott William, courtesy of the drunks who were appreciative of our help putting their seats down when their hands were filled with beers. The blanket was named after the guys who were hitting on us the entire game. I didn’t notice until about the 5th that the Royal’s line contained a lot more zeros than would be expected. Four innings is a long time for me as a fan to pray for no hits. I wanted it so bad for Jon that I could taste it. All I kept thinking to myself was, “He might actually do this… oh my God, he might actually do this while I’m here.” We stood for the last two innings, Scott William around our shoulders. The moon was big and bright (if not full, then definitely close to it). Every strike was rewarded by a shriek of happiness. Every ball was reassured with an ‘it’s ok, just throw more strikes.’ The final out was filled with jumping, hugging, laughing, smiling, and immense joy (and I’m sure they were happy on the field, too). We stayed as long as we could justify for a Monday night, watching everyone hug Lester, singing to Dirty Water and Tessie, and just living in the moment. It was an awesome night, and I’ll never stop being proud of Jon for all he’s accomplished.
Highlights: Jon Lester
Lowlights: It was kind of cold. But we had a blanket.

So there it is, my top five games I’ve attended this year. Hopefully by November, I’ll be able to post a top-five post-season games we won, after we hoist a new trophy. I won’t lie, this team frustrated the hell out of me this year. They’ve gotten so far under my skin with their inability to do anything well at the same time (hitting, pitching, fielding) that I’ve gone weekends where I couldn’t stand to look at them. I can’t complain, though, as we’ll be playing in October (specifically tonight). Congratulations on a successful year, 2008 Red Sox. Let’s keep it going.