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Home » September 2007 Game CommentsOctober 2007 » Envoi


Game 162: September 30, 2007
WinTwins 3 W: Matt Garza (5-7)
H: Scott Baker (1)
S: Joe Nathan (37)
79-83, 1 game winning streak
20-24-8 series record
Red Sox 2 L: Julian Tavarez (7-11) 96-66, 1 game losing streak
33-14-6 series record
2007 AL East Champions
Highlights: Terry Francona made sure to pull Mike Lowell with two outs in the sixth so that he could be acknowledged by the fans in what could be his final regular season game as the Red Sox third baseman.

Descendants of the founders of the Royal Rooters threw out the first pitch on Sunday, including 96-year old Kitty Dooley, daughter of Jack Dooley. Peter Nash’s documentary Rooters: The Birth of Red Sox Nation, presented Dooley, along with Michael “Nuf Ced” McGreevy and John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, as the founders of the Rooters.

These raffish fans didn’t pay for plastic cards and ticket perks. Their fervor derived from gambling as much as following the game itself. A Rooter named Sport Sullivan laid the groundwork for the 1919 Black Sox with Chick Gandil in a room in the Buckminster Hotel. The players didn’t make the millions they do today, so grafting was an inevitable way to supplement their income.

Just as the real seediness has been leached from Las Vegas and glossed over with a glimmering veneer of respectability, baseball fandom today can be mere pageantry. The first item on the agenda of the well-manicured masses is to unveil their gadget du jour to call every member of their contact list to make sure they are seen on every acquaintances’ plasma TV. It’s about being seen, not observing.

The row behind me unleashed a swarm of beach balls after the traditional rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” They claimed it was to celebrate one of their ilk’s birthday and all in the name of a good time. The thing they most enjoyed, however, was deriding people in another section who took issue with the tossing of the tchotchkes. A few folks took it upon themselves to rip the balls.

I am all for enjoying oneself at the game as one will, but just as the purposeful destruction of the toys was over the top, so the relentless yammering of the beach ball contingent (which included threats of throwing the discarded toys purposefully at the heads of their opposition) was excessive.

For me, there’s no choosing between the self-indulgence of drunkards and the self-righteousness of killjoys, so I occupied myself with trying to keep track of Terry Francona’s revolving lineup card. Following the likes of Kevin Cash, Eric Hinske, and Brandon Moss became tedious. I simply succumbed to the realm of the sensory: the touch of the sun, the caress of the breeze, the last strokes of summer before she yields to the fall.

Hail, October.

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