Thursday, 4:30 PM
Heady fans predict Sox sweep. Players aren't so cocky
(David L. Ryan/Globe staff)
A "Go Red Sox" sign strung between two buildings on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus got a look today from a jogger on Memorial Drive.
By Keith O'Brien, Globe Staff
When Josh Beckett arrived at Fenway Park just before 3:30 this afternoon with his luggage for the upcoming road trip to Colorado, one fan couldn't help himself and offered the Red Sox star pitcher a little traveling advice.
"Just pack for two days, Josh," said Bill Hagan, a Norwood man scouring the streets outside Fenway for tickets to Game 2 of the World Series tonight.
Beckett -- undefeated and pretty much untouchable this postseason -- didn't respond. His playoff scowl remained intact. But fans like Hagan were beginning to get a little cocky in the afterglow of last night's 13-1 dismissal of the hometown team's World Series foe, the Colorado Rockies.
The feeling on the sun-kissed streets outside Fenway this afternoon is that the Red Sox aren't just going to win tonight, they're going to sweep the Series in four.
Thus Hagan's advice that Beckett needn't pack for more than just two games in Denver.
"It can change on a dime," conceded Hagan, who was unlikely to pay the $1,000 necessary to buy just a single ticket to tonight’s game. "But right now it's looking good. After 2004, everything changed. We went from being pessimists to optimists, Red Sox fans."
It is a feeling shared by most everyone today outside Fenway Park. From 77-year-old Fran Bush, who's old enough to remember fans razzing the late, great Ted Williams, to her teenage granddaughters Maura and Emily Houghton, who weren’t even born when the Sox lost the heartbreaking 1986 World Series. From Wes Rosen, at the wheel of his red Ford Thunderbird decorated with Red Sox emblems, to Tony LoConte, the last man in the long line for day-of-game tickets.
"I think there’s going to be a sweep," said LoConte, a real estate agent in Norfolk. "That's what I'm looking for. They're too powerful a team. They've got the hitting, and they’ve got the pitching."
So optimistic was LoConte that even being last in line for tickets didn’t get him down. As he figured it, his chances of getting into the game were good. "I'd say about 75 percent," he said.
These are, indeed, days for dreaming in the Fens. The rain clouds have parted. The sun is shining. Game 2 of the World Series is here, and the predominant feeling among the Red Sox faithful is that nothing can go wrong.
That's how Kelsie Thames felt this afternoon until she spotted a petite blonde dropping off rookie center fielder and Sox-heartthrob-of-the-moment Jacoby Ellsbury outside the stadium.
"I'm not going to lie," said Thames, a 20-year-old student at Fisher College in Boston who ogled Ellsbury recently at the Red Sox playoff rally. "I could have sworn we had a moment at the rally … He was on stage and we locked eyes."
Now Thames had a blurry photograph as proof: There was another woman in Ellsbury's life. She sighed and placed her hand on her chest. But she expected the pain over Ellsbury will have faded by game time tonight.
"It'll be healed,” she said, "once I see him in that uniform."