For many people I know, including myself, 2011 has been a pretty lousy year. For a few hours a day, baseball is supposed to make you feel better when things stink. September didn’t make any Red Sox fans feel better and Terry Francona leaving was the cherry on the sucky sundae. So when KellyO tweeted to me last night “I really needed them to not win this year.” I absolutely knew what she meant. And for whatever reasons, the baseball gods decided to give Red Sox fans one thing, one, this season. And since beggars can’t be choosers, I’ll take it.
The last three innings of that game were the most stressful I’ve endured in a game that didn’t include the Red Sox in quite a long time. When Jeter hit that ball and I thought we were witnessing a two-run home run that was going to change the entire game I almost shut the television off. (That I didn’t shut it off when Joaquin Benoit loaded the bases and then walked in a run in the 7th inning still amazes me.) Jose Valverde had a 3-2 lead with Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez coming up in the ninth and used 11 pitches (only one of them on Cano) to finish the Yankees off. As soon as Slappy struck out, the Internet exploded.
It was pretty damn sweet.
No team from the American League East will be in the ALCS…this makes the process of watching the rest of the playoffs much less painful. So for that I thank the Texas Rangers and especially the Detroit Tigers. I don’t care how hokey this sounds, and I know it doesn’t change the woes of the Red Sox, but last night was the first step for me in the process of my baseball heart healing. Bring on the hotstove.
But for now…