So, the parade [video] was awesome. Maybe not quite as perfect, cathartic, and once-in-a-lifetime as 2004... but who cares? It was the fucking World Series parade! You cheer. You connect. You show your appreciation. You make eye contact with your heroes, for a moment both instantaneous and neverending. And you join in with your fellow fans, none of whom have a good excuse to be away from their schools and jobs, to see them do likewise. When a city ties its fate to that of its team so closely, an event like this can't be missed.
I was lucky enough to be pretty much up at the railings on Boylston St. near Exeter. Got a great view of everything, though without a camera I can't really share that. Highlights:
* Theo holding up the trophy for us, like the pimp that he is.
* El Tiante! That was a nice surprise.
* Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose appearance also snuck up on me. It's so easy to forget about our newest and coolest toy, since he ended up flying under the radar. And then suddenly he's looking right at you. Pretty cool.
* The Dropkicks/Papelbon/Timlin flatbed stopped right in front of us and finished up "Tessie."
Not much else to say. Except for the following, which I've been thinking over since the series ended:
The Post-Game Celebration
The image of J.D. Drew in a World Series Champion t-shirt has gotta be pissing off an awful lot of National League fans right now.
This year's playoffs had surprisingly few bad (er, "beneficial") calls. The most contentious calls tended to involve Manny, which means they didn't make any difference in the long run.
The only noteworthy, fate-changing goof was Tim McClelland's safe call in the tiebreaker, giving Colorado the win. And even then, although Holliday never tagged the plate, he also was never tagged with the ball... so it's not like there was a "correct" call to make there.
The cheapest thing that happened all through the Sox' run was the kid who caught the foul ball in the photographers' pit against the Angels... and that was entirely within the ground rules.
That's part of what makes the Sox' titles feel so pure: they didn't need a Tuck Rule to get it all done. It's meaningful.
Chris and I had the exact same reaction to Holliday's defense: why was even the most minor Manny mistake made into a major malady, when Holliday was given a pass on two more critical game-changing blunders than Manny has on his entire resume (0)?
Well, we know why: habit and laze. After all, these are announcers and columnists we're talking about.
But the fact remains, Holliday cost his team a chance to tie Game 2 by getting picked off, and his defensive goof in Game 4 allowed Sox baserunners to advance further than they should have, leading to a decisive run. (They were all decisive, as it turns out.) Holliday is Colorado's best player, and the likely NL MVP, and he directly took his team out of two one-run games. Nobody else thinks this is more of a story?
For all that Manny gets crap, he outplayed Holliday both defensively and on the basepaths. Read that statement again, and consider how awful Holliday would have to be to accomplish that. He did. His mental errors didn't cost the Sox a single game. Not so for Mr. Holliday. Warrants mentioning.
I'm not saying light the guy up. But as Joe Morgan would say, the announcers' consistency needs to be more consistent.
Offseasons Are When They Pretend To Try To Trade Manny
And the same question arises again, as it always does: we know Manny's gone next winter, so do we try to get something for him? Or have we finally reached a mutual admiration stage, where Manny's okay being in Boston, where Boston actually appreciates the most invincible right-handed hitter of his era, and where we finally realize that he cannot be replaced? I sure hope it's the latter.
Other Likely Changes
We've probably seen the last of Mike Lowell, Curt Schilling and Coco Crisp. They're welcome back, in my eyes, but given that I currently have nothing against any of them, I'd be just fine keeping it that way.
Count me amongst those who wouldn't resign Lowell to anything but a two-year deal. Much as I like him, and much as he deserves an exception to the organizational rule against signing old farts, I don't want Lowell's age 37 season to happen here. Not so much because of the money, but because of the planning. It takes a job away from a younger, potentially more effective player at that point. This is as good a time to move on as any, both for the Sox and for Lowell. I wish he'd stay, but on the team's terms. If not, I wish him the best.
Curt? Thanks, bye. I'll take my chances with the kids. If he ends up staying, again, fine by me, but they sure don't need him. I'd be fine going to war with Beckett, Buchholz, Lester and Future Dice (the one who can get past the 6th) next season.
Same with Coco. No complaints here, nothing but appreciation and thanks. But he deserves to go somewhere and start. Heck, Colorado needs an upgrade in center field over Sullivan and Spilborghs, their set of several stiffs. And the Rocks even have a young 3B to send us in Garrett Atkins, should Lowell be out. Hmmmm. (Actually, Curt would go nicely in Colorado as well... they could use some veteran leadership beyond Helton, and he'd get along with the Jesus freaks in the clubhouse. Francis, Jimenez, Morales, Schilling, and Fogg/Cook plus that offense would make them prohibitive favorites to get back to the Series next fall.)
But we'll see. Hopefully, Theo will see that the time to sign his next overrated free agent is a long, long way away. A reliever or two, and replacing the hole at 3B one way or another. I think that's all that needs to happen.
And with that, the season is over. There's nothing left to do now but wait for the best part of any championship offseason: the barrage of Sports Illustrated commercials. L'chaim!