Thursday, October 16, 2003

Just to be on the record before tonight

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: "the Red Sox are going to win the Pennant."

Tonight's the big night. Seventh Game. One Hundred Years after the first Boston World Series win (held on what is now the Alma Mater, no less), and it's Red Sox / Yankees for all the beans.

The Yankees; winners of 101 regular season games, four World Series' since 1996, with the biggest payroll in baseball (okay, I'm making that up -- I don't have time to look up the actual numbers) versus

The Boston Red Sox; perennial "wait til next year" victims of improbable and sometimes sensational August / September / and October train-wrecks, the underdogs, the lovable mutts with their shaved heads and Johnny Damon's Mullet.

I'm a big time beliver in a heavenly bureaucracy: there's God, and then there's all these minions that handle things like, well, like nipples on men. Things that are really out of the whole life/death/cosmos area that's the purview of the big guy.

So, this "heavenly bureaucracy" (see, as a bureaucrat myself I like to imagine bureaucracies are necessary parts of everything) finds the time to get involved in other stuff. For instance, as Gregg Easterbrooks from ESPNs Page 2 points out, there are the Football Gods. My belief in the football gods got a big boost when the Pats beat the Rams. Look at that story: it's the 9-11 year, a team named "Patriots" wins, only after their longtime QB is lost for a huge chunk of the regular season, but comes back to save thier bacon in the AFC championship game, etc etc. It had destiny writen all over it.

Can't you feel that same thing happening with this Red Sox Team? C'mon, only the baseball gods could write an ending of the Roger Clemens / Red Sox saga like this. Either his last game is a loss to his former team, putting them in the World Series for the first time in 17 years, or he again stabs out the heart of New England and ends his career in the World Series, pitching for the mercenary Yankees. After which, he descends directly into Hell for his assorted misdeeds.

I prefer not to think that the Baseball Gods could be so capricious; I have faith in bureaucrats - the want the happy ending. And tonight's happy ending has the Traitor Clemens getting the L.

If the Red Sox win, then Basball can be saved -- baseball has meaning, for the Gods of Baseball offer salvation and mercy. If the evil minions of Lord Steinbrenner again take the prize, then there are no Baseball Gods, and the sport is a hopeless parade of random violence and soul-crushing despair.

In this battle for the heart and soul of Baseball Nation I am reminded of this exchange between Connor MacLeod and Ramirez from Highlander (the coolest movie of all time).

He cares about nothing or no-one.
He is completely evil.
If he wins the Prize, mortal men will suffer an eternity of darkness and slavery beneath his boot.

How do you fight such a savage?

With heart, faith and steel.
[In the end, there can be only one…]

Yes, there can be only one. And tonight, that one will be the Boston Red Sox.

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