Re: 1967 vs 2013
posted at 9/13/2013 4:29 PM EDT
I wasn't alive in 1967, so I won't speak on it.
However, 2004 and 2013 are apples and oranges.
The 2004 team was mostly the same as the 2003 team which, consistent with our long history, blew it at the last moment. We started the 2004 season with the knowledge that it would be a good team with Pedro, Schilling, Manny and Ortiz. We had the very justified concern that, once again, they'd blow it in the end. Another Bill Buckner. Another Bucky Dent. Another Grady Little. Expectations were high, going in to 2004, but the long-standing pessimism couldn't be shaken. Through the whole season we maintained high expectations, but a sneaking suspicion that when the cards were down, they'd blow it again somehow. Then they were down 0-3 in the ALCS to the Yankees. It was fate; the Sox were going to fail again, just like they always did; just like we had worried from the beginning. That's why we didn't get to hopeful with the Sox; because they always let us down at the last minute. Then they won, and we thought, "at least it won't be a sweep." And then they won again, and we were like, "whoa, this team has some fight in them." And then, believe it or not, they won a third time, and we went into game four thinking, "how is this possible?" "Can this even be done?" "Will I cry when they lose game 4?" And then they won, and our minds were blown. Then there was the WS with the Cardinals, which was just gravy, really.
In contrast, we had no hopes or expectations going into 2013. We watched that torrid April, and figured it was a lucky month and they couldn't keep it up. May rolled around and they dropped out of first, and we all expected this was the regression to the mean: when they'd drop down to .500 where they belonged. Somehow, by early June they pulled together and got back on top. But the bullpen was a mess, and we were all concerned they couldn't make it through the whole season. Then Buchholz went down, and we all thought "it was nice while it lasted." Maybe some of us had a glimmer of hope that the team could keep it up, but nobody could really have expected what happened next. First, John Lackey, of all people, pitched like an ace. Then Jon Lester stepped up. The Koji Uehara became the reincarnation of Dennis Eckersly. But even going into August, we were worried that the @!$% Yankees would catch up; that A-Rod and Jeter would pick them up, while our cast of misfits would return to "normal." Our hopes gently and slowly built over the season. There was no one moment when it became clear that this team was good. They just kept piling on the wins, while we kept expecting them to regress. And now here we are, headed into the post-season, and really the favorites to take the pennant. If they [i]don't[/i] take the pennant, it will be a surprise. Who'd a thunk it back in April?
"Who would have guessed it possible that waiting is sustainable, a place with its own harvests -- or that in time's fullness the diamonds of patience couldn't be distinguished from genuine brilliance or hardness." --Kay Ryan.
"Everything is happening, all the time, very fast. I like that." -- Warren Ellis