ALDS Game 3: October 7, 2005
White Sox (3-0), 5
Red Sox (0-3), 3
W: Freddy Garcia (1-0)
H: Orlando Hernandez (1)
S: Bobby Jenks (2)
L: Tim Wakefield (0-1)
White Sox win the series 3-0
What would I do without the Red Sox? They’ve inspired me to learn how to correctly program my DVR, a very necessary thing since, despite the club being the defending world champions, they did not get the coveted prime time slots because of the Yankees. I was assured of not missing a pitch thanks to modern technology.
At around 11:00 AM at work Andrew of 12eight instant messengers me (is that the correct verb form?) asking me if I’d like to go to the game today. I briefly considered he might have been pranking me since I told him that David Ortiz was out of the lineup in Game 2 of this series. He had every right to retaliate, though taunting about tickets would be exceptionally cruel. But he did indeed have an extra ticket and offered it to me despite past transgressions. He gave me the opportunity to witness the Chicago AL club’s first postseason series win since 1917. That was quite a way to get back at me.
We would at least be spared the idiocies of the ESPN crew. The guys behind us, however, discussed fantasy football in excrutiating, infuriating detail throughout the evening. Is this the type of fans the club accrues with success? They might be in for some disappointment in the coming seasons should the front office decide to retool. The Red Sox proved they could be a championship team using the free agent method, but it remains to be seen if they can build a sustainable, farm system-based organization like the Atlanta Braves or the Cleveland Indians.
This is the real story of what 2004 meant for succeeding seasons. The albatross fell away when Boston learned to see baseball not through the prism of insurmountable despair but as the glorious game it is in every facet. To me, it is ever more wondrous to see the spark of talent in the young players than to rekindle the fading glint in a veteran’s eye.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched 2.2 innings perfect innings and struck out 2 after Mike Myers and Chad Bradford failed to sit their batters. In the 9th, Mike Timlin gave up a leadoff double to A.J. Pierzynski, who would eventually score to push the score further into the White Sox favor, 5-3. The future, in the form of a reinvigorated prospect pool exemplified by Papelbon, is now.
Strangely enough, I was visited by a vision of the past on the way home. On the Green Line train going inbound, Jermaine Evans and Jessamy Finet, two fans featured on Still, We Believe, boarded the train. It was crowded, so I wasn’t able to talk to them. Their expressions conveyed clearly enough what we all felt, however. Long gone were the memories of the three home runs hit by David Ortiz (1 in the 4th) and Manny Ramirez (4th and 6th innings), which represented the total offensive output by Boston last night and the only Red Sox round-trippers in the 2005 ALDS. I wanted to ask them what they were feeling as they lived through 2004, since their reactions to that season were not chronicled, and if 2004 lessened the current disappointment. But the emotions were too fresh and the pain too present, so I went my separate way after reaching Park Street.
Just as 2003’s crushing end spurred the team to address their weaknesses for the 2004 championship drive, 2005’s fading finish will inform the front office’s strategy for the coming seasons. And we might be reaping the benefits of an abundant homegrown talent base for seasons to come, not just haphazardly hitting the jackpot once. That “once” we recently experienced was phenomenal, but once is just not enough. To the future.
Not a whit; we defy augury. There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.