Talking Baseball

Your weekday baseball fix. Some days.

Posted by Jon on Monday, October 18, 2004

Back and Forth

My life as a Red Sox fan can be described with two emotions: unadulterated elation and resigned helplessness. Sox fans move from one extreme to the other at a moment's notice. The team never fails to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of the citizens of the Nation. But there is always hope. And tonight was no exception.

Elation and helplessness plagued my evening. Lowe looked good, but the Red Sox couldn't score. Then the A-Rod blast and I was done. One helpless fan, wondering how he could have been so silly as to imagine that they would defeat the Evil Empire. The cycle repeated numerous times.

Back and forth and back and forth my emotions occilated, a pendulum you could set your watch to. That is, until the ninth inning, when my entire perspective as a Red Sox fan was altered.

When Mueller laced that hit into center field to tie the game against the world's best releiver, I came to the realization that no matter how the game and the season ended for my Sox, I would be a contented fan. That RBI single was representative of exactly why this team was so attractive to the average fan: they cared and they tried, and did those more than any other baseball team I've ever seen.

Nobody would give in. Not even against a team that had battered them three straight and left them for dead following an excruciating 19-8 game that should have been an embarrassment for any Red Sox player.

But the Red Sox weren't embarrassed at all. They just moved on. While the woefully pessimistic Sox fans had all but conceeded a demoralizing sweep, the players refused to give in. Even with three outs left against the best reliever in baseball history, there was no quitting.

Knowing the players care as much as I do may have permanently decreased the distance in the swing of my pendulum.

Either that, or the countless mood swings have made me delusional.

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