By Jason Keidel
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Sometimes life just gives a gift…
I was ready to rip Reyes for pulling himself from that game, and then shred a writer who gutted my hero Walter Payton a decade after his death.
But then I heard that morbid groan gaining down I-95, the sound of a city’s soul collapsing – the death cry of Red Sox Nation. The clouds are covering the NE Corridor as I write this, the acid rain of a rancid pain. To paraphrase Robert Duval, it smells like…victory.
In January NESN – the home network of the Red Sox and resident shill – said the 2011 team would eclipse the 1927 Yankees as the best team of all-time. Look it up, my friends.
On April 7, I wrote a column calling the Red Sox season over just as it began because they were 0-5, noting that no team starting so ever won the World Series. Then the Red Sox made me look much the moron over the next four months, soaring to the top of the American League, 30 games over .500 in August, while the objects shriveled in their rearview mirror, presumably leaving the League vaporized until October.
Then they remembered they were the Red Sox, that despite the two titles last decade, they still have the spirit of their ancestors, an ancient mandate, a different kind of gag order.
I kept my hopes stuffed in my back pocket, in case the Red Sox survived this September belch before it became a titanic choke. Thank you, Boston. You won’t need the immortal Bruce Chen, after all.
There’s only one Mariano Rivera, and Boston learned that last night. How fitting that their prized procurement (Crawford) and their heretofore unhittable closer (Papelbon) surrendered the ninth, the night, and the season, for whatever reason.
Sure, we want the Yanks to finish the deal, and assume their familiar place on the perch of champions. But, frankly, I can live if they don’t because Boston can’t. Yeah, it’s like that. My complete contempt for the Sox – for all things New England, from Bahston to Hahvad to Ben Affleck to Bill Belichick – is so pronounced, that their failure is our success.
We don’t have to hear the group hug from our buddies in Bristol while they bristle at a collapse not even the Worldwide Leader can comprehend. The aftershocks of this quake tremble from ESPN to Joe Buck to Tim McCarver – all of whom detest the Yankees and are forced to cover contests sans their Red Sox Snuggies.
Boston couldn’t beat Baltimore, a tattered team playing for little more than provincial pride. Let’s tip our caps to our former skipper, Buck Showalter, who had his boys playing with the passion of Lombardi’s Packers when nothing was on the line.
No, 2011 doesn’t erase our wretched gag in 2004, but it made me sleep like a newborn last night. Nothing short of the apocalypse can make this a bad day. Even Mets fans can rejoice in Atlanta’s meltdown. Let’s do a PC, palms-down, tomahawk chop for our pals Ted and Jane.
And if Boston can’t find this middle finger, I raise two for you, straight from the Big Apple, with love. Pahk your cah near the bah and drink this nightmare away, while your big brothers in the Bronx play the very games you were assured until your tone deaf, 7-19 September Song, vomiting a 9-game lead to a Tampa team with a tiny ($41 million) payroll.
We can worry about Verlander tomorrow. Today, let’s hold hands, sing a song, because…ding-dong…the witch is dead. Sometimes life just gives a gift….
Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com