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Parting is sweep sorrow

There’s no joy at Fenway as Red Sox are knocked out

Jacob Davis and Cara Dorgan, sitting in the Cask’n Flagon, were a picture of dejection after the Red Sox’s season came to an end. Jacob Davis and Cara Dorgan, sitting in the Cask’n Flagon, were a picture of dejection after the Red Sox’s season came to an end. (Bill Greene/ Globe Staff)
By Brian R. Ballou
Globe Staff / October 12, 2009

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Sitting in Fenway Park during the seventh inning of yesterday’s game, Frank Flynn pulled his cellphone out of his Red Sox jacket and texted “looks like we won this one,’’ to a friend. Anne Hickey, another supremely confident fan, was already thinking about Game 4 tickets and calling in to work sick so she could attend. And Koji Hara, who had proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of the fifth, envisioned a storybook ending.

But then the Angels happened, and there was nothing these fans could do but grow dour as they followed the arc of Dustin Pedroia’s pop fly that capped the season with a 7-6 loss. Stunned, they headed for the exits. But they couldn’t just head home. So these die-hard fans stood behind steel barricades on the corner of Yawkey Way and Van Ness Street, waiting to watch the Sox players exit the stadium and drive away, knowing it would probably be their last glimpse of the team until spring training.

Some fans on the corner blamed the loss on hubris.

“The thing I don’t like about Jonathan Papelbon is his attitude, he is too pompous,’’ said Tom Efthimiades, 18, of Fairhaven. “When he came in, he was all pumped up and overconfident. I didn’t like him before, and I don’t like him even more now.’’

But Flynn, 47, of Belmont, said the loss was at the hands of a deserving team, that the Sox simply fell short in a remarkable season.

“I thought it was in the bag, especially when Papelbon came out because he is their closer, he’s the one who usu ally seals it in these situations,’’ said Flynn. “But it just wasn’t to be.’’

Papelbon, who hadn’t allowed a run in his 27 previous postseason innings, gave up three, including the winning run, in the ninth.

But Flynn did come away with a souvenir: a baseball Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino handed his 10-year-old daughter Caitlin in the concession area before the game.

“They had a good season, very entertaining, and now it’s over, and we start thinking of next year,’’ Flynn said.

Hickey, 43, who grew up in Lowell but now lives in Manhattan, could expect to receive some ribbing when she returned to her new home.

“For me to come up here from Manhattan, to have to go home and listen to Yankee fans, it’s very depressing,’’ she said. “The team, they didn’t have it this whole year, they didn’t seem the same, like something was missing. They didn’t get the big hits.’’

Between all the solemn Red Sox fans, Bret Cartier, 38, beamed a wide smile. He wore an Angels hat and held a poster that indicated he had paid $280 for plane tickets from Los Angeles to Boston and $130 for a game ticket, all to watch the Angels finish a three-game sweep of the Sox.

“In the seventh inning, I still had hope, because they were just a few hits away,’’ said Cartier of the Angels, who trailed, 5-2, after seven.

Cartier’s poster drew sneers from some Red Sox fans, but most ignored the intrusion on their turf and focused on Sox players as they climbed into their vehicles. As Jacoby Ellsbury closed his door on his shiny black sport utility vehicle, a fan yelled, “See you in spring training!’’ As the speedster drove by, the crowd seemed bolstered. “Wait until next year,’’ yelled another fan.

Hara tried to put things in perspective.

“I’m really disappointed, but this was a special game for us,’’ he said, standing next to his fiancée, Yasuko Sawada. “After I proposed to her, everyone around gave me high-fives and hugs. Everyone was happy. I wanted them to win, but it really doesn’t change this day for us.’’

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