Sunday, October 21, 2007

Game Seven

I love Game Sevens. In any sport, they're fantastic, but there really is nothing better in sports than a Game Seven in baseball. I love the phrase "win or go home." I love the phrase "all hands on deck" even more. That's easily my favorite baseball saying, just ahead of "double-barreled action in the bullpen." And I love the anticipation - I have a paper to write today, and I'm blowing off the game of a historically good Patriots team to write it so I have all afternoon and evening free for Game Seven.

And how do I even count the ways that I love this Game Seven? I can't wait to see Jacoby Ellsbury get another start. I'm hoping I don't have to see him, but I want to know how John Lester can pitch on the grand stage when the Red Sox need him most. I want to see if something happens that I never thought possible: J.D. Drew getting a standing ovation, at Fenway Park, no less. I hope to see C.C. Sabathia being used as a situational lefty, although Eric Wedge will probably leave him in too long. I don't even know how this hilarious Paul Byrd business will affect the game, but there's a 100% chance that I will complain about it repeatedly if the Indians win tonight (will Ross join me?).

I hopeful, of course, because you have to be. I'm hopeful that Matsuzaka won't put too much pressure on himself, and will attack the strike zone and keep his pitch count manageable. I'm hopeful that the Red Sox can finally solve the Jake Westbrook knock-knock joke (he's not really a riddle, is he? He's Jake Westbrook!). I'm hopeful that Eric Wedge will continue to blow this series, after pushing Sabathia too hard in Game Five and using up most of his good relievers in Game Six (I finally know what it was like for Yankee fans playing against a Grady Little-managed team - it feels sweeeeeeeet). I'm hopeful that Troy O'Leary throws out the first pitch. I'm hopeful that the last few innings are rendered meaningless by a huge Red Sox lead, but if they're not, I hope for one or two things, or both: the prominent involvement of David Ortiz and the prominent involvement of Joe Borowski.

Mostly, I hope that the Red Sox finish off their 1986-esque ALCS comeback, and if it happens, I hope that I can get World Series tickets. Fenway is impossible, but the Rockies don't start selling until tomorrow morning, and I've got three other guys committed to a weekend trip to Denver.

I'm giddy. I'm nervous. I'm ready for Game Seven.


Warren said...

Red Sox fans have got to be hoping that their team isn't giving them The Tease. I remember all too well the Mets' Tease in the 1999 playoffs against the Braves. Down 3-0 they win Game 4, then have Ventura's famous grand single to win Game 5. Then in Game 6, they have Al Leiter give up 5 runs without getting an out, but come all the way back and take the lead in the eighth. Then Franco blows the save, but the game goes into extra innings. Then the Mets score in the 10th, but Benitez blows it. Then the Braves get a man on third in the 11th, the Mets intentionally walk two batters and Kenny Rogers walks in the winning run. The only reason I don't look back and wish the Mets got swept instead was because I was at that Game 5 and it was the greatest sports moment I've witnessed (although Mandy wasn't too happy about sitting through that loss in her Braves gear and then having to walk through the parking lot being berated by Mets fans).

But good news, Boston fans - I think the Houston Texas stole your Tease today. They were down 32-7 entering the fourth quarter, then scored 29 points in the quarter to take a one point lead with less than a minute left, just to lose on the Titans' last second field goal (their eighth of the day). So, Sully, I hope for your sake that all the negative mojo has been stolen from Boston today.

Sully said...

Consider it stolen. I don't even know what to say - I feel guilty because I'm so freaking spoiled right now. The rest of America hates Boston so much, and I feel *this* bad about it. But at the same time, I remember the 90's, when we got three sniffs of a championship in 40 team seasons ('90 Sox, '90 Bruins, '96 Patriots).

I feel bad for Cleveland, because they've had it just as bad, but for the past 50-plus years. I feel bad for Philly, and Buffalo, and San Diego (especially this year), and all of the other fan bases that have gone through droughts like that. It's not really fair, but as someone who's been on the other side, I can only say this: the wait is worth it. Just trust me.