"The E-Mail on the Kitchen Table", 2004 World Series, 2018 World Series, An Admission, Astros, Dodgers, Red Sox, Sox, St. Louis Cards, The Boston Red Sox, Yankees
(Photo by Jim Davis / Globe Staff)
The Red Sox played 14 postseason games this year.
As everyone who cares about such things knows, they won the World Series.
They lost only three games on their way to the World Series, one each against the three (other) best teams in 2018 – Yankees, Astros, Dodgers.
Admission: I did not watch the first 13 games.
But I did watch the 14th and final game from start to finish.
So what’s up with that? How could I not watch my heroes?
Digression: In 2004, when the Sox hadn’t won the World Series in 86 years, I was watching at home on TV when they defeated the Cards in the third game of the WS to take a 3-0 lead. I got on a plane in DC early the next morning to fly to St. Louis (didn’t have a ticket to the game), after wrestling with myself whether or not to go.
My dilemma was how could I not go when my wonderful grandfather (Pappy) had introduced me to the Sox when I was seven years old. Never in his lifetime did he see the Sox win a World Series. I had to go for him. But, having been ‘schooled’ by being a Red Sox fan for 54 years at that time (now it’s been 68 years of pain and joy), I feared another disaster (think Bill Buckner, Bucky Dent, etc.) and wondered about being far away from home if that disaster struck, and the Sox lost to the Cards.
My love for my grandfather and reasoning that if I went to St. Louis and they lost the fourth game, I could stay for one more game. If they lost that one, I could hasten home with the Sox up three games to two, and I could lock myself in our study and suck my thumb while they blew the next two games.
I went. They won. It was the end of a long nightmare and a wonderful night that I will never forget (see this earlier post from my younger daughter who left a letter for me on the kitchen table to see when I returned: The Email on the Kitchen Table).
Knowing myself, somewhat, I chose not to watch or listen to the first 13 games of the 2018 post season. The regular season had been superb with the Sox winning the most games ever in their history, going 108-54. They had a winning percentage of 67%, and I had watched many of those games as it was clear to me that something special was happening this year. And I posted that it didn’t matter if they won the World Series or not as they had given me and other fans a wonderful season (see For Me, the Sox Don’t HAVE to Win the World Series). I got a lot of criticism for that post and disbelief. But I meant it.
Plus, I couldn’t bear to watch them lose to the Yankees, Astros, or the Dodgers, as anything is possible in the postseason, especially to the Sox. So I went to bed every night not knowing the score of the first 13 games, often waking in the middle of the night to see what had happened. (Fortunately, Ellen kept silent about what was happening in each game as she apparently continually checked the score on her iPhone). If I saw they won, I would then watch every video and read everything about that win. If they lost (which they only did three times), I would immediately go back to sleep, except for that 18 inning game they lost to the Dodgers. That one demanded I read about what happened, and the ‘boo birds’ started with saying the WS had turned around, and the Sox would likely lose now.
When the Sox won the next game the next day and went ahead 3-1 over the Dodgers, I was presented with the same dilemma as I had had in 2004. If I watched, and they lost, it would be a miserable three-four hours, leaving me in pain.
But if they won, how could I not have watched it, including the celebrations at the end?
And after all, I ‘reasoned,’ they still would have three more chances to win the WS. So I didn’t really need to be fearful of sharp instruments or high places if they lost that fifth game.
I watched it.
You all know how this story ended.
Bob Thurston said:
Hard to believe that I actually watched more of the world series than my baseball-watching mentor! Go figure . . .
It’s easier when you don’t have a dog in the fight.
C Shuford said:
To be honest, there are a lot more important things today (Nov. 6)to think about
Not really. Millions of people will vote, power may change or it won’t….and yet, aside from a possible scuffle or two, there will be no violence. It’s truly astounding, and although I am not a sox fan, I am still very grateful, and almost fell sorry for some of those who posted yesterday on Richard’s blog (grown children weeping on election day…..seriously?)
Congrats Richard…a great team for sure….
True, CW Shuford, but I’m trying to find things to do until the results come in later tonight. This post was one of the ways I chose to distract myself.
Brian Steinbach said:
There is a possible solution to this conundrum – DVR the game and then watch if they win, delete if they don’t.
And you get to skip the commercials!
I started doing this with football games when I wanted to do outside things on Sunday afternoons but still see the game later.
You just have to have the wherewithal not to check the score…
But, any way, congrats to the Red Sox who now have a quasi-dynasty.
My brother-in-law does that for Kentucky basketball games in cases when he can’t watch from the beginning. He also is famous for shall I say ‘disruptive behavior” when something doesn’t go his/Kentucky’s way. If I knew how to record and play back games (I don’t), I would consider your proposal.
To davios said:
Richard, I think what you do with millerstime is great so you can do whatever your heart desires and as long as you’re happy and healthy, but personally, I never admit to nothing. enjoy, ronnie
Land Wayland said:
Although it hasn’t been as long, it has been equally hard to decide, over the last 30 years, how closely to watch the DOodgrrs as year after year they have managed to find a way to almost ascend immortality hill only to lose their way and wander off a cliff.
My solution has been to listen to the games so I am doing something distracting while I wait for the gaffe, the bobble, the hesitation that will leave them close but so far behind when the final “Yer Out” rolls trippingly off the umpire’s tongue. UNlike Richard who will revel in a brief hour of celebration, I will then have four months to enjoy the misery of imagining what might have been.
I think it will be more than a brief hour of celebration. Just saying…
Dodger Dawn said:
I, on the other hand, watched every inning of the Dodger’s postseason, only to be disappointed for the second year in a row. I’ve waited 30 years now, not nearly as long as Sox fans did for the 2004 win. As long as we don’t become the Buffalo Bills of baseball, I will be back again next year. And hopefully, the Dodgers will be as well.
You are so funny. But I did not know is that you are superstitious