Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Best Baseball Decade of My Life

As the suddenness of the ending of the baseball season happened today, I thought about the fact that the next Red Sox game I see will be in a brand new decade: the 2010s. (Good Lord, where did the time go?) And with the decade of the 2000s ending, I looked back on it with some amazement.

The Red Sox ended the 1990s with an ALCS loss, and with little success in the first two years of the 2000s. They had the best pitcher in the game in Pedro Martinez, but couldn't get over the hump of winning it all. 2001 was a disaster, as the Sox were a dysfunctional team who fired a manager and replaced him with someone who never managed before. It was a rough time to be a Red Sox fan, with the Behemoths From The South (you know who they are) winning pennants and World Series.

But the end of 2001 brought in new management and a house cleaning at the top. Finally, someone who seemed to care about the fans and about winning. Fenway Park was saved and renovated, and is the crown jewel of all baseball parks.

What followed is like a gift from the heavens. Six of the last seven years have brought postseason baseball to Boston, something that never happened before. And of course, two World Series championships, with the most amazing comeback in the history of postseason baseball in the 2004 ALCS. And nothing could make it any better than to have put the choker tag on the New York Yankees.

It has been like a golden renaissance of baseball in Boston. The Red Sox have been competetive every year since Theo and The Trio took over. And that's all I want as a fan. A team that will go out and play and give the fans hope of seeing another title. We've seen two this decade, the first time since the 1910s that that has happened in Boston.

I DO NOT expect a championship every season (unlike some unnamed team's fans who expect it every year and feel is their birthright). The Boston Red Sox have given me some thrills this decade that I will remember and appreciate for the rest of my life. Naturally, I am disappointed that there won't be a championship flag flying over Fenway Park next season.

But I am really proud of my team, and really proud to call myself a Boston Red Sox fan.

It didn't happen in 2009. That's the way it goes sometimes. We'll get 'em in 2010.


Rick said...

yes some perspective is setting in. When you go to the postseason a lot for which I am very greatful you will have some disappointments. Definitely a great decade. Not as bummed that we lost as much as that the season is over

SoSock said...

Rick hits it on the money.
The disappointment is more in the ending of the games, the in-game on-line chats, (since I'm way the hell down here in NC), and the stat-watching and standings-watching.
And as a Carolina Tarheel fan I have finally gotten that almost-annual disappointment is a natural by-prouct of being "in it" almost every year. For decades we Red Sox fans didn't experience that.
Your "Words to Live By" have hit my particular personal situation right on the money several times lately. The selection up there right now, though, seems to be especially suiting for our team. This year WAS a big disappointment, in the sense that I think we all feel we have a beter team than our season results showed. So next year we look for one of those greatest successes.
This year has been the most difficult year I've ever experienced as a human on this ride we call life, and as such it has taught me where professional sports falls on the importance scale. It's pretty low. But it's also a nice reminder that things will still go on next year no matter how bad they seem right now, so there's that.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Good post, SoSock. You have to put these losses into perspective. I'm proud of my team and what they've accomplished this decade. It just didn't happen this year. OK, we move on to 2010 and hopefully the Sox take steps to be better. That's all I can ask.

Rick, I remember when the Pats lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl, and I told the Thom's gang at the end of the night to remember what they had done this decade, and that I'm a Vikings fan still waiting for that elusive first one. The end of the season always bums me out too. That means winter is approaching...