Monday, October 20, 2008

A final salute to the 2008 Boston Red Sox

Well, they didn't win the World Series.

And yes, I thought when Pedroia hit that homer in the first inning last night that they were going to win it.
I thought they were going to put a 2 or 3 spot on the board in the first and it would be enough for Lester.

And it didn't happen.

But I won't be one of those people who think "anything short of a World Series title is a failure."
The 2008 Red Sox weren't the successes of the '04 and '07 Champs. But man were they fun!

Heck you can argue the 2008 post season had more thrilling wins than the 2007 title team.

2007 had the Manny walk off against the Angels, game 7 against the Indians which was a nail biter until the Sox blew it open in the bottom of the 8th and game 2 of the World Series which hinged on Matt Holliday getting picked off at first base.

The other wins against the Angels, Indians and Rockies were pretty decisive.
Oh sure, the Rockies put up a fight in games 3 and 4 in Colorado... but as I wrote, it never REALLY seemed that close.

The 2008 team gave us the wild game 1 in Anaheim, the 9th inning homer by J. D. Drew off of K-Rod to win game 2 in Anaheim, the heart stopping game 4 clincher in Boston with Jed Lowrie ending the series with a base hit to right, Dice-K throwing shut out ball into the 8th inning of game 1 of the ALCS, Beckett's gutsy game 6 performance to tie the series...

And of course game 5... the great comeback... one of the epic games that will be shown on ESPN Classic and be referred to whenever a team has a big lead in a post season game.

So yeah, we can look back at the extra inning game 2 loss or the game 7 heartbreaker and wallow in "What ifs".

But this isn't 1986...
This isn't 2003...

Those years we ended with the thought "my God... will we EVER win a World Series?"
Those years we were brought down by New York.
And those teams defeated themselves!

And this isn't 2005 when we were swept by the White Sox and basically didn't give Red Sox fans a single post season highlight to cling to.

This was a fun team that gave us joy... not the ultimate joy of course... but still joy.

It's best to savor these seasons.
Some day the Red Sox will fall back.

The Torre Yankees are no more.
The Bobby Cox Braves have collapsed.
The LaRussa A's eventually ran out of gas.
So did the Blue Jays of the early 1990s.

Eventually the Francona Red Sox will be done and they'll fall back to the pack.

And so I am savoring this time. I've wanted a great Red Sox team my whole life... and now I have one.
Just pile up the memories and enjoy the good days.

And come back fighting in 2009!!!!

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