Monday, October 18, 2004

Not Hatched Yet

Until it gets to 7, this isn't about winning. The Red Sox haven't played well enough for that. For now, it's about pride, it's about fun, it's about making Yankee lives worse. Had Boston executed with even passable ability over the last six days, Sunday night could've been a lot more. It could've meant getting back into the series, or even, God forbid, pushing ahead. Instead, it was a battle for dignity. And they did it, they passed the lowest bar, and pathetically, we'll take it. What happened in the first three games shouldn't detract from what they pulled off in the fourth one, but think of how wonderful it would've been had it actually meant something. Right now Boston fans have their pride, but they still don't have a series. Which is not to say they won't, but 3-1 isn't it. Pedro wins tonight, and you officially have something. Legitimately frisky, worth taking seriously. Schilling wins in Yankee Stadium, then you've earned yourself a full-fledged, boy we might actually do this chance. But until then, you're just playing with chips. And don't you forget it. You don't think every hippy dippy 0-3 team that avoided the sweep thought they were back in it? They did. And they were wrong, every single one of them. So let's not get carried away. But hey buddy, it doesn't have to be all gloom and doom...

As I said, Pedro wins tonight and you've got a series, and I truly believe that. The fact that there's never been a 3-0 comeback doesn't really bother me. If it wasn't for the fact that no one has done it, I'd say it's been done before. You don't need to win 4 games in a row, you need to win one game four times - and the Red Sox need look no further than Foxboro to learn that. And we all know that someone, sooner or later, will pull it off, so why not Boston? If there's a problem, it's not the distant past, it's the recent one. What's keeping the Red Sox from taking games 4-7 is that they got absolutely dismantled in the first 3, which does not suggest a team ready to run the table. If they don't win, it'll be because they didn't play well enough, not because no one else played well enough before them. But yes, I think it could happen. Do I think it will? Absolutely not. But I do believe it's possible. Every game is a 50-50 chance. Play great, get a little lucky, make some history. It'll happen sooner or later.

For now we have to satisfy ourselves with the little pleasures. Pedro, perhaps his last time in a Red Sox uniform, trying once and for all to vanquish the dreaded Yankees. Curt Schilling, returning to the mound after being written off, battling a weak ankle and a fierce crowd, trying to pull his team out of the fire. A present tense Willis Reed, a Larry Bird, an Air Bud Golden Receiver. Whatever works. This is dramatic stuff, and however far Boston gets, they've made sure it will be fun to watch. Sunday night did that. The pressure of humiliation is off. It a lot of ways, all the pressure is. They've already lost in everyone's minds, so how it be worse when they do it for real? They bottomed out, but they got our pride back with one win. If they take a couple more, we might get our hope too.