8.25.2007

all i want for christmas

Many wmtc readers may not realize how much time and energy I spend thinking about baseball. Or maybe you do.

As we head into the final month of the baseball season - and on the eve of a huge series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees - I want to repeat something I've been saying nearly as long as I've been blogging.

Ever since my religious conversion (some would say exorcism) in the summer of 2003, I have wanted only two things.

One, for the Red Sox to win the division. The Yankees have ended their season on top of the American League East for the past 9 years (and 10 of the last 11 years). Even in 2004, when the Red Sox made the greatest comeback in baseball history - and the Yankees the greatest collapse - and the Red Sox went on to win their first World Series championship in 86 years, the Red Sox got to the playoffs through the wild card. That's fine with me, and with all of us. (Except one ancient New York sportswriter, but never mind him.)

But every citizen of Red Sox nation burns with the desire for the Red Sox to best their historical archrival to the top of the division. I am no different.

And two, I want the Yankees to not make the playoffs. No wild card. No nothing. They stay home. It would be the first postseason without the New York Yankees since 1995.

If you don't follow a sport and don't have a team, there's no way I can describe to you how badly I want these things to happen. One is much more important than the other, surely. But they both matter. A lot.

Right now, the Red Sox are all but a lock to win the division. I say "all but" because until we clinch, we can't really say. But as the days tick by, and our lead remains, it is increasingly likely. (The numbers are here - and now they're even better! - but I suspect any wmtc readers who are interested have probably already read this.)

The Yankees may yet still win the wild card. I don't think it's going to happen, but it could. I won't be crushed if they do. It's important, but secondary.

This is all I want. This is ALL I want. This is all I want.

Once we win the division, anything can happen. Of course I'll want the Red Sox to make it to the World Series, and of course I'll want them to win. But if they win the AL East, I'll have gotten my wish.

* * * *

A note to those friends of wmtc who don't care about this. That's fine. We don't have to all enjoy the same things. I don't read science fiction, I don't collect recipes, I don't scour YouTube for funny videos. There's no need to denigrate my interests merely because you don't care for baseball. (And it's baseball, by the way, not "sports"!)

22 comments:

Scott M. said...

You and your sports...

L-girl said...

And I don't go camping either! So there!

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

I am really (really really) not a fan of any team sport, but one of my nearest and dearest is a Boston-dwelling Red Sox fan, and so I hear about it all the time these days. And this post made me smile. A lot. :)

Anyway, I've sent it on to her, and I hope she reads both this and the post about your "conversion," which was fascinating. By the way, I would stake money on half of the negative reaction you got to that being about "oh my god, what if that happens to ME???"

L-girl said...

Hey that's cool, thanks I/P!

Does she blog? There are lots of female Red Sox bloggers. It would be funny if she and Allan knew each other through the Soxosphere.

L-girl said...

By the way, I would stake money on half of the negative reaction you got to that being about "oh my god, what if that happens to ME???"

People say (predictably) that I must not have been a real Yankees fan to begin with. But no one who knows me would say that!

I've taken to comparing it to a marriage. I fell out of love. How many people's first marriages are forever? Mine turned out to be 28 years (1975-2003). Now I'm on my second marriage. This one's a keeper. :)

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

She does blog. You've probably run across her blog, actually. Though I'll let her do the 'fessing up if she wants. :-)

L-girl said...

It will be very funny if we all know each other. The world gets smaller every day.

Jere said...

Yo, L! Yanks were in the post-season in '95. Remember, Seattle winning on the play at the plate in the final game of the ALDS? That was fun. For me. So it's '94. But there was no post-season that year. So really '93.

But, still, a long damn time.

L-girl said...

Yo, L! Yanks were in the post-season in '95.

You're telling me. I went to both home games, and the next three is where my original hatred of Randy Johnson stems from. (To be renewed in 2001.)

I don't think anything in the post says otherwise.

L-girl said...

And just to clarify, so we don't go around in circles...

It would be the first postseason without the New York Yankees since 1995.

To me that means the Yanks have been in the post-season every year since then. I see how you're reading it, but I'm ok with this. Thanks.

San Francisco Red Sox Fan said...

That's funny - the Sox winning the division and the Skanks being out of EVERYTHING is all I want for Channukah!

My brother had a reverse conversion. Grew up in Boston but became a Yankees fan. Poor thing.

lucky number 33 said...

Hi! Here via Idealistic Pragmatist (I'm the aforementioned rabid fan). I share your sort of crazy lust for the pennant--in fact, I'm at the point of obsession/OCD where I'm frantically knocking on wood anytime anyone says anything nice about the team, because why mess with the mojo?

And in re: your conversion, I came to Red Sox fandom in a roundabout way myself--I was raised by a hardcore Mets fan and spent my formative baseball years in the not-so-friendly confines of the Seattle Kingdome. So I was strictly a Mets/Mariners girl (and they're still dear favorites) until I started high school in Connecticut at the same time Derek Jeter was a rookie. My best friend was a Yankees fan; I went through school and into college with Yankees fans and I just could not root for them. Ignorant as I was about baseball, I could feel the smugness coming off them, the arrogance--it's what Roger Angell in the 60s called the Yankees out over; they're a capitalist team and their fans are more like stockholders than a passionate family. And the 1999 playoffs absolutely cemented my love for the Red Sox, especially watching Pedro Martinez pitch and a team that was absolutely hapless every other day of their series rack up a zillion runs.

I am so happy that I moved to Boston in 2003, so that I got to experience the worst ALCS and best ALCS of this era of the rivalry. After the highs and lows of that experience, I don't understand how any Sox fan can possibly relax until the whole thing is clinched. The Yankees can do anything. We've seen it before. It's scary. On the other hand, we can do a hell of a lot, too. And our Captain can kick their Captain's ass (Um, see also my blog).

No sleep until October (quite possibly November)!

L-girl said...

the Sox winning the division and the Skanks being out of EVERYTHING is all I want for Channukah!

I'm Jewish too :)

I was using "all I want for Christmas" as an expression. Christmas in October!

L-girl said...

Hi Lucky Number 33, thanks for your comment!

the not-so-friendly confines of the Seattle Kingdome

Worst park ever! Seattle surely had the biggest swing in ballpark quality. I love Safeco.

And the 1999 playoffs absolutely cemented my love for the Red Sox, especially watching Pedro Martinez pitch

Yeah! Allan and I are huge Pedro fans. I was even a huge Pedro fan when I was a Yankees fan! :)

I don't understand how any Sox fan can possibly relax until the whole thing is clinched.

Anything can happen in the playoffs, for sure - although not having a The Dumbest Manager in the Universe makes a big difference - but when it comes to clinching the division, some things are mathematically impossible. It's not sewn up yet, but it's getting there.

The Yankees can do anything.

They cannot. They're a team, like any other. They cannot perform miracles.

We've seen it before.

If you're referring to 2003, you didn't see the Yankees do anything. You saw the aforementioned Dumbest Manager in the Universe give them the pennant on a silver platter. You ought to know that!

It's scary.

This season isn't scary! It's fantastic. We're 6.5 games up on the last week of August! Ain't nothing scary about that. Believe it!

Thanks for stopping by. If you're ever watching a Sox game with your computer on hand, feel free to join our game thread over at Joy of Sox.

redsock said...

Hi, LN33!

Just following up what Laura said about 2003 -- the Yankees did have some extra help in that ALCS: their best player just happened to also be the Red Sox manager.

I've have thought that 2004 killed any fear of the Yankees -- since they choked away the pennant not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in the span of about 72 hours.

After that, it feels like Boston can come back from almost anything and New York is likely to blow just about any game.

I don't usually say "math, schmath" but the East is ours.

P.S. All Hail Pedro!

Jere said...

Hey Luckynumber33, like you, I went to high school in Connecticut in the 90s and like you, I live in Somerville now!

Where were you in CT?

lucky number 33 said...

See, I can't help it--I'm of the paranoiac school of thought where I feel like the luck will hear me and run away if I act too happy. I'm only allowed to celebrate when things are actually done. But then I party hard.

I just think the Yankees' offense is too expensive and powerful a package to write off. And also, that as for dumb management I've watched Francona make some bad, bad pitching decisions this season that fail to make sense to me. But I'm looking forward to the duel--especially to seeing Beckett and Clemens face off for the first time next week. No way that won't be interesting, right?

L-girl said...

I feel like the luck will hear me and run away if I act too happy

I don't believe in any superstitions. If I catch myself using any, I delete them as quickly as possible.

But as you said, you can't help it, I can't help it, we are each our own kind of fan. Baseball has room for all of us.

I just think the Yankees' offense is too expensive and powerful a package to write off.

I don't write them off. But it's the last week in August and they're 6.5 GB. That is incredibly difficult to make up when your pitching is as bad as theirs is.

I've watched Francona make some bad, bad pitching decisions this season that fail to make sense to me

Me too. No one agrees with every manager's decision. But Game 7 of 2003 was in another universe entirely.

Personally, I don't give a shit about Roger Clemens. I'm psyched for next week's series, but only to BURY THEM. :-)

Enjoy!

lucky number 33 said...

We definitely agree on 2003 ALCS game 7. Like, I'm watching Mets/Dodgers now and I still can't surpress the hissing every time I see Grady.

7.5 is even better than 6.5, I have to say. Here's hoping! (And, let's go Mets!)

L-girl said...

Like, I'm watching Mets/Dodgers now and I still can't surpress the hissing every time I see Grady.

I went to a game at Dodger Stadium in April, and I let out a huge loud BOOO when he was announced!! I also cheered Nomar... and I boo'd Luis Gonzalez. From my Yankees days. :)

7.5!!!!! Enjoy. :)

Jere said...

luckynumber33, I guess you missed my question. (Where were you in CT?)

Either that or you're scared I'm going to stalk, uh, the place you used to be in??

M@ said...

Sigh. I suffered through another horrible Ti-Cats loss on Saturday. It makes it kind of hard to remember what supporting a winning team is like.

I hope you do get what you want... I was just hoping for a .500 season for the Cats, and I'm a lot farther from getting my wish.

But you guys are having a great season -- I really am happy for you!