Once or twice, every December, I like to go back to 2004. Don't get me wrong, I like to go back there all the time, but in December especially. December is cold, and stressful, and right now the Patriots suck, so I go back and relive it. You know what I'm talking about. October 27th, 2004. Remember? Of course you do.
See, I like to do this because it helps keep everything in perspective, and it helps make the pain of the off-season so much more tolerable. And I don't know about you, but every time I look back, I can remember it all. I remember where I was, watching on a TV with a time-delay of a few seconds. Being on the phone with a friend whose TV did not have a time delay. Hearing her stifle her screams of excitement as Foulke threw to first because she didn't want to ruin it for me, and celebrating madly after it was done. I can't forget. I can't forget the excitement I felt.
I can't even imagine what it was like for people who lived and died with the team their whole lives. In 2004, I was all of 20 years old and I definitely didn't grow up in a sports-oriented house. I never even HEARD of the Red Sox until 8th grade. Don't ask me how that happened. I'm not sure, but Nomar was the first player I ever heard about. Strangely, I never took a liking to him. I didn't live a sheltered life. We owned a TV and had the newspaper delivered. I had friends who were, presumably, sports fans. But the fanaticism didn't get passed to me for whatever reason. So, no, I didn't suffer the way everyone else did, but the joy I felt was still incredible. I still like to think I did my time. There was no one in my family that I could think back and say "Man, I wish so-and-so was still around so they could have seen this." Nope. Nothing. But it was still incredible.
So, here we are, on the verge of hitting 2010 on the calendar. 11 years since I discovered this team. Five full seasons have passed since we first raised that 2004 championship banner. Does anyone remember April 11, 2005? You bet your ass you do. So do I. Of course I do, because I love the Sox. I love to remember. I love each and every member of that 2004 team... maybe not LOVE everybody, but I can't dislike any of them. It's illegal. You CANNOT, as a Red Sox fan, openly dislike any member of that team, with the obvious and glaring exception of Johnny Damon (though if he signs with a different team, he can be sort of loved again). I don't want to hear how you all hate Manny now. I'll never hate Manny. I can't. And yes, I still love Pedro, because I HAVE to. I keep my tabs on Arroyo. I grinned every time I heard Dave Roberts in the broadcast booth this season, even if he wasn't so good. I keep tracking devices on Doug Mirabelli. My love for Bellhorn has never wavered. Never. And it won't. I think back to Bill Mueller and smile all the time. Orlando Cabrera... no matter what uniform he's in, I want o hug him. Wherever Kevin Millar goes, I go. Baltimore, Toronto, doesn't matter. I plan my vacations based on where he's playing. Hell, I rallied to get Trot Nixon a job. Why? Because he's one of the 25, that's why.
Why the heck am I bringing up all this anyway? Well, for one, it's my blog and I can. Two, it reminds me that despite what I think about the team, it can get better. You never know who's gonna click and bring us back to the promised land. Why am I not waxing poetic about 2007? Well, because you just sort of knew, didn't you? I know I did. It wasn't surprising and death-defying (except for that whole Cleveland thing....) 2007 was fantastic, don't get me wrong, and I loved that team... except Lugo... but even that doesn't measure up to 2004. Nothing will ever measure up to 2004. 2004 gets me through any awful, long, winter day. It reminds me of spring, and sunshine, and Pedro's afro, and I can't help but feel good. I love feeling good, so I go back to 2004.
Now that I feel good, I can stay positive about the silly things Theo is doing. By all means, GM. Continue on! You've got my support. I've got visions of spring training dancing in my head.
3 weeks ago