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Home » September 2008 Game CommentsSeptember 2008 » Record


Game 143: September 8, 2008
Rays 0 L: Edwin Jackson (11-10) 85-57, 4 game losing streak
WinRed Sox 3 W: Jon Lester (14-5)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (36)
85-58, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: The Red Sox are now a step away from assuming the lead in the AL East. The Rays, pretenders to the throne, were toppled last night on the strength of Lester’s superlative start, Papelbon’s near-faultless stop, and an early trio of runs (David Ortiz RBI double, Kevin Youkilis RBI single, Jason Bay homer to center). The weather was clear as the home team’s focus to win. I talked with Jere of “A Red Sox Fan from Pinstripe Territory” before the game and wished him a happy birthday. It is very fitting that this record-breaking day happened on the anniversary of his birth.

The Red Sox organization went out of their way to thank the fans for breaking the consecutive sellout streak record for a major league baseball team. During game intermissions the center field display would show highlights from May 15, 2003 to September 8, 2008 with a list of “thank yous” to the 37,622 in attendance. They expressed their gratitude to the team’s devotees for sitting through freezing evenings, blistering days, breathtaking wins, heartbreaking losses, for the loyalty of fans that spanned a little more than a half decade.

But as we were regaled with the team’s gratitude, I thought of the many ways I should be thanking them. Through them I learned that the desolation in a soul-wrenching loss can be filled with the comfort of a new spring and that in effective organizations incompetence is rewarded with near-immediate dismissal.

I learned that unbeatable odds are meant to be defied and that there is such a thing as clutch.

I learned not to grow content with success and to continually grow to address new challenges. However, if that success results in superstar egos that such personalities should be pruned from the family tree.

In Fenway I found a church that admits all races, colors, creeds, genders, and walks of life (if you can afford the ticket). We speak a common tongue and in this lexicon expletives are not condemned but part of the liturgy. When a particular player chases after the high heat heat that tempts him so or a hit and run inexplicably backfires or the umpire squeezes our pitchers, we murmur our oaths in tandem.

In our mosque we all turn towards home plate despite the direction our seats are pointing. Our faith is challenged by poles, angles, and walkway traffic, but we prove our allegiance with achy necks the morning after.

In the hymnal are “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” a song we share with other flocks, and “Sweet Caroline,” which other sports teams also have as part of their services. I like to believe that it is our temple that sings it best.

In special services, such as last night, we adherents raise our voices to the psalms “Dirty Water” and “Tessie.”

Photos from last night’s game to be posted later on this evening.

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