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    Tuesday, November 01, 2005
    The Good Times
    As I was tidying up the dining room tonight I picked up Steven King and Stewart O’Nan’s Faithful. Flipping through I paused on the entries about various games I had been to that season. And then I landed on THE game. Or at least it was THE game in my season that season as it was the only playoff game I was actually at. It was the clinching game of the ALDS. This is what I wrote when I got back from Boston that weekend:

    Ok, I have finally returned to NYC after attending the game on Friday. As many of you who were there have already said, it was the most amazing thing to see in person.

    It was an absolutely perfect day for baseball. Clear, a little cool, stereotypical playoff weather. I hadn't been back to Fenway in two years and when we entered through the right field concourse area I was stunned at all the improvements to the park. Granted those grandstands seats are still as uncomfortable looking as ever, but I had standing room tickets so what did that matter?

    We got there early enough to watch the Angels take batting practice and wander around the park for a while before taking our spots behind Section 16 of the grandstand. As long as everyone was sitting it was an amazing view of the game ... but being 5' 2" when people stood i needed to find people to look between to see the batter.

    As can be expected, when the Angels tied the game it took the wind out of the crowd. I should note here that h0nus actually called the game tying grand slam. The pitch before, which Guerrero had swung on and missed, h0nus it should be noted we now, a year plus later, call this one assh0le said "He's swinging to tie the game". Anyway, when the Sox came up to bat next they played Eminem's "Lose Yourself" over the loudspeaker and this very old man who was standing near us actually started to kind of dance along to it. He must have been in his eighties and it was just a great thing to see him so into it. You know he's been a fan forever and is still waiting to see them win it all.

    The crowd was restless after the next couple of innings. But with Pokey standing on first and Ortiz about to come up to bat the crowd was already getting pumped up as the Angels decided to bring in Washburn. I should also note here that h0nus once again semi-predicted what was about to happen when he said "Ladies and gentlemen, now pitching for the Angels, the pitcher who got rocked in game one of the series, Jarrod Washburn". And then IT happened. And the crowd went crazy.

    Seriously, I've never seen anything like this in my life. EVERYONE was jumping up and down, screaming, hugging each other. The old man who had been dancing was high fiving everyone. Somehow (probably because I am so short) someone accidentally clocked me in the eye. Got a cute little bruise on my eyelid, but who cares? SO worth it!

    For a while we stood on chairs in the back of the grandstand, watching the on field celebration, but eventually we decided to move down to the field level. We made it all the way to the second row, between the dugout and home plate. On the way down there, who do we see, but Pedro's midget! I didn't even see him at first as he was perched on a guy's shoulder who had passed us on the stairs, but wow. It's one thing to know the guys is small, it's a whole other to actually see him. Wish we had gotten a pic ...

    During the course of the next, geez, I don't even know, 45 minutes maybe? I have no idea, players were coming out spraying the crowd with beer, champagne, etc. There's a thread in the saloon with some pics. My favorite moment by far was being sprayed with beer by Tim Wakefield (we all know how much I love him). But Manny and Millar doing the victory lap was incredible, as was seeing a very doused Ortiz riding on the back of a cart with goggles on while Damon sat up front. Kapler was really going crazy with the champagne, and Youks was throwing toy balls into the crowd. Nixon and Kapler both got on the loudspeaker, thanking the fans for being there, etc. If anyone else was there, what the hell did Nixon say?! He had a cigar in his mouth and I'm pretty sure he was hammered and I couldn't understand much of it

    We stayed basically until security kicked us out. By far the most amazing game I've seen live, and one I'm probably going to remember forever.

    Why focus on this now, more than a year later? Because it’s easier for me to focus on that right now than it is what is going on with our General Manager situation right now.

    I’ve gotten past the emotional portion of my response to the news. Theo will always be remembered as the man who helped this team win what many thought might be impossible. He made his share of bad moves (Kim comes to mind immediately), and some amazing ones (David Ortiz anyone?) but when it comes down to it these moves were not made in a bubble and I am sure that many people had their fair share of input on them.

    What bothers me, and worries me the MOST here, is that in an offseason when the Sox really needed to focus on re-signing some key players and patching the holes that exist in the bullpen, starting lineup and on the bench, the Sox now need to focus on finding a new General Manager.

    Boston is a tough town to play in. Part of the General Manager’s job is to woo potential players to the table. Just look at what it took for Theo to get Schilling. The man spent a holiday in Arizona for Christ Sake! We need someone in there, and fast, that can help the front office make players feel that while the media may tear them apart, and while they may lose all privacy they ever hoped to have if they play for Boston, the organization is worth playing for and will protect them as much as possible.

    But to do that, we need to find someone who is willing to work under LL, which could be interesting. I know there is a lot of debate going on out there about the reasons that Theo left. But when you can’t hold onto a guy who grew up loving the team, who was groomed for this, his DREAM job, isn’t it going to be harder to convince potential replacements that this is the kind of working environment is the kind they’d love to be in?

    So yeah, I’m worried. This was the one signing this off season I wasn’t worried about. The ONE I thought we had in the bag. And now here we sit. Stunned. So yes, I’d rather focus on the good moments. Sue me.

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    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, November 01, 2005  
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    Name: FINY
    Home: New York, New York, United States
    About Me: Just a New England girl trying to make it in NYC. Email me at: soxfaninnyc [at] gmail [dot] com
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