October 29, 2007

Wrapping things up

Red-Sox-Wang-Chung

How am I supposed to summarize nearly 200 games in a single passage? How do I explain what it's like to go from spending every spare second writing about one one team to ... having a break?
 
You'll have to excuse me if I'm a bit out of sorts today. After all, fueled only by beer, Chinese food and caffeinated beverages, I'm wrapping up a blogging marathon here and on Red Sox Monster that began last night immediately following the Boston Red Sox winning their second World Series in four years.
 
Obviously, there's no reason Red Sox fans should have to apologize for the victory. It was earned on the field, and it came at the expense of the Angels, Indians and Rockies, all teams that have a bright future and the possibility of winning a title next year with some retooling.
 
What do I hope this postseason showed, then? Well, there's a list of things, so let's jump right into it:
 
1) The Boston Red Sox are one group of tough hombres: I say this because lest we forget, it was but a few days ago that people were dancing on the team's grave as it stared at a 3-1 deficit against the Cleveland Indians. "This isn't 2004, stupid!" the blogosphere seemed to say to Boston fans. For the most part, we ignored it. And hoped. And wondered. And, well, things worked out, thanks to big-game veteran performances (Schilling, Beckett and JD Drew, to name a few), selfless acts (Tim Wakefield choosing to be left off the World Series roster) and the energy of a quintet of inexperienced players: Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima. That shows all we need to know about the 2007 Red Sox.
 
2) The Red Sox showed baseball can still be fun: Perhaps I'm overstating my point, but in an era where steroid talk dominates and Alex Rodriguez can announce his decision to opt out of a contract during the World Series, I think this is important to mention. Like them or hate them, there is no denying the Red Sox have an element to them that brings us back to little league, when we mocked teammates, played hard and didn't take ourselves too seriously. FOX beat the musical pirate ship bullpen story to death during the World Series, but how many other teams still do stuff like that?
 
3) The Red Sox showed a team can still act with class toward one another: Say what you want about the jazz-hands antics of Manny Ramirez this postseason, the Red Sox showed they respect one another. Mike Lowell and Curt Schilling, for example, both deflected questions about their impending free agency last night, even when it came up repeatedly. Coco Crisp politely took a seat in the World Series, allowing wunderkind center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to take his spot, even though it's probably on a permenant basis. And if you haven't seen the video of Mike Timlin publicly praising Tim Wakefield after the game last night ... well, maybe you'll go soft on this team with me for a minute.
 
Here's to the 2007 Boston Red Sox. Thanks to Yahoo! Sports for lending me this space for a week, and thanks to all of you for reading.
 
Now, if you'll excuse me. I need a break. I've got a petition on Mike Lowell's free agency to sign and a rolling rally to prepare for in spirit.
 
I might not be able to get there like I did in 2004, but I'm savoring this World Series win every bit as much as the last one.

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