Sox-Yanks essay: Why 'This is the Year' ... or not
It's the Red Sox and Yankees in the ALCS for the second straight season, which again has confident Sox fans saying "This is The Year."
We asked you to submit an essay on why (or why not) this is the year the Red Sox will beat the Yankees in the ALCS and win their first World Series in 86 years. We were planning on posting just a few of the entries, but we were so overwhelmed by the number and the quality of the responses that we decided to post them all. Enjoy ...
I am positive the Sox are going all the way this year, and here is why: As a life-long Sox fan, I have been here with them, through thick and thin every year. I have prided myself on never giving up and never giving in to the constant torments from my family and friends for my tireless enthusiasm for my Red Sox. It was with this frame of mind that, in September of 1999, I told my then 8 year old son that if and when the Sox ever make it to the World Series, he and I would buy tickets to the World Series, no matter the cost. That was my promise. We would be there. We were lucky enough to get tickets to two ALCS games that year, hoping to have to make the big investment for the fall classic. That never came. In 2003, we once again were lucky enough to get tickets to game 4 of the ALCS. It was, once again, the time of our lives for my son and I. I had every intention of having to find a source for world series tickets when disaster struck. The rest of the story everyone knows. Well here we are in 2004, and this is why the Sox are going all the way this year. With the Sox well on there way to another Wild Card, my own personal version of "The Curse" kicked in. On September 1st, as I counted the days down to the post season, my Army Reserve unit was mobilized for service in Iraq. Perfect. That brings us to now. As the Red Sox charge towards a trip to the world series, I am currently stationed in Baghdad, Iraq for the next 18 months or so, serving my country. The Red Sox are going to win the world series. It has to happen this year now! I won't be there to see it. As soon as I was mobilized, I knew the sox were going all the way. It is destiny. So, in order to at least keep half of my promise to my son, my wife, and Red Sox fan by default, Patty, has bought 2 tickets to Game 2 of the World Series at Fenway Park. I am praying for the sox to make it this year. Both because that is what I always do, but also for my son, so that he and my wife can have the experience of a lifetime by spending an evening in one of the greatest places on earth, during one of the most exiting times on earth. The World Series at Fenway Park. Go Sox!! SSG Steve Campbell Baghdad, Iraq
Steve, Sox Win in Six
This is very simple. The Red Sox will win because they are the better team. There once was a time when we believed the Patriots would never win a Super Bowl, but as of Sunday, and their 19th. record win in a row, in my opinion became a dynasty so why not the "Sox" with all their talent? With team barbers named Briggs and Stratten, and players that have to be told how many outs there are, they will win not because they can`t even spell 1918, but because they are a team that can pitch and hit, field and run better than the Yankee`s. They will win because they are 25 loveable clowns piling out of one cab on a team built not to fret history but to play ball and have fun. They will win because there is a God, and it`s time. They will not only win but the Yanks will be "Pap" smeared by Ortiz, and because New York`s payroll will be2 Schillings( starts) short of pitching. They will win because when Pedro`s on the mound he`s a real "mother" daddy. They will win because Phillip Bondy, of the Daily news, takes nasty classes from Dick Cheney, and deserves no better. They will win because Dick Cheney, takes 400 level nasty classes from George Steinbrenner, who deserves to lose because ( see, there is a God ) They will win because of Grady, thank you very Little. They will win because my step dad remembers Pesky holding the ball and my sister back in `67 giggling at me while in tears over game 7 loss to the Cards. They will win for my 1st wife ( see 3 treatment center`s for Alcoholism, thank you Bucky and Buckner ) standing at the ironing board, ( remember when woman used to iron?) giggling. They will win Sunday, the 5th. game at Fenway because no, really, there is a God, right after Church, and i`m going to Church, no, really God, i`m going. They will win because they made the Angels, who were actually favored by many, look like high school girls at a college party. They will win because they were built to win. They will win because we really do believe. They will win because their lead off hitter was just a hair short of M.V.P. they will win because their 2 left footer, I mean left fielder is M.V.P. They will win because Bellhorn will walk and hit when it most counts and strike out when it least matters. They will win because of the short porch at the "Stadium" and the " Monster seats" at Fenway, with Mueller and Millar, being the hero`s. They will win because the teams bus headlights will be shining right in the New Yorkers eye`s as they arrive for game one Tuesday. Most of all, they will win because this is not even my Red Sox, going back to Indian Orchard, of 1960 Little League days, and our bus rides to Fenway, but a team belonging to a whole new generation of winners and believers. ( see Patriots ) with more talent than Pearl Jam and more heart than little Gerard Kerouc. This is going to be fun. Enjoy yourself my fellow Boston fans. Wrecked `em? pretty near killed `em.
Charlie Knowlton, Red Sox in 5
First of all I am and always will be a Red Sox fan. That's 46 years now. I am not sure how I survived 1986 but I did. But I am also a realist. They have not shown they can win the big game. When they got close to first place this year they faded. I think they will lose on a bone head play. They have forgotten how many outs in the inning: picked off second base, I got the pop up, no you got it, etc. You all know what I'm talking about. They got away with it in the regular season. It will be a killer in the ALCS. Bottom line over the years is the Yankees find ways to win: the Red Sox find ways to lose. I hope the "idiots" prove me wrong, but don't bet on it. Yankees in six.
Ric , Yankees
First, they are better at the front and back end of the pitching. They are FINALLY playing some small ball , but to be honest, the real reason this is the Red Sox's year is that my father passed away in February. I have never thought it was the curse of the Bambino but the "Moniz Family Curse". In '86, my first reaction when the ball went through Buckners legs was to look at my father. The look on his face was heartbreaking. He got up, walked past me while staring at the floor and said" I'm never going to see them win in my lifetime". Last year's play -offs was the grand tease to our family. A terrifc team. Best chance to win in years. But the lords of the universe knew it was my fathers last play-off's , so why not tease and torture him one last time.? This past February, while in the hospital, the day before he fell silent for the last week of his life., we talked about the Sox and he mustered up his strong voice said like he always did " I hate those damn yankees". He passed away Feb 22. Spring Training was starting and I knew and I know, the Red Sox will win this year . Just to spite my father and end the Moniz family curse. Joe Moniz jr. South Dartmouth, Mass.
Joe, Red Sox in 6
I grew up on a dairy farm in New Jersey, rooting for the Red Sox because someone had given me a baseball hat with the Red Sox logo. Surrounded by Yankees and Phillies fans, I had the Red Sox pretty much all to myself. In the summer of 1967, I was initiated into what would be a life long devotion to the team I love and that has left me and millions of others thrilled and disappointed so many times. Yaz and Rico and Longborg entered into a litany of players that would play with a fire and desire seen only in New England, where being a Red Sox fan is being part of a religious-like experience, where we suffer together, rejoice together, hope for the best and expect the worst. Rice, Evans, Boomer, Clemens, Hurst, Gedman, Fisk, oh the names just flow and the blood and sweat of all those players who have roamed confines of Fenway Park. So many terrific players, so many brushes with true greatness and winning it all. I moved to Maine in 1980 and cried when Yaz retired, cried when the Mets won in 86. I moved to Vermont and followed the Red Sox some more, finally settling in New Hampshire for the next 15 years where the Red Sox continued to provide excitement, inspiration, and in the end give us glimpses of what be. After 1986, I realized what a celebration Boston would have if only the Sox could win it all, just once, win it all. While most conversations are started about the weather, in New England, they often begin with "how about those Sox?" Many New Englanders and Red Sox fans from all over the world have gone to the graves with their dying wish only that the Red Sox win the series. Writers and Artists and Actors and Politicians who love the Red Sox would trade their fame for a Red Sox win. Deals have been made with the devil, and I am sure many of those who have negotiated that bargain might be getting a little nervous right now. For some of us, a Series win would change us forever. The glass will now be half full, the winters will be shorter, and we will all be lighter in spirit, and the weather will improve. But here are the reasons I think this is the year that the Red Sox will win it all, in order of importance: 1) They have the most well-balanced team they have ever had, three Aces (I include Arroyo who is an artist and a genius on the mound and tough as nails), potentially the greatest bullpen in baseball, and with Trot back in the lineup, the most incredible offensive team in the majors, maybe ever. Look at the records they set and think about the records they might have set had they all been healthy this year. Finally, one word, "Varitek." 2) The law of averages 3) An interesting nexus of postive Karma from John Kerry's surging campaign joining the incredible surge that the Sox have had since August producing a perfect storm of perfect outcomes. Frankly, the Yankees could have Ruth, Dimaggio, Mr. October, Mickey, Maris, Yogi and any other Yankee great and they could not beat this year's version of the Sox, because 4) When Damon calls them "idiots," what I think he is saying is that what they are are fearless dirtdogs, selfless team guys who play the game with reckless abandon. I hope they win in 5 so they can do it at Fenway, but a series like this has to go 7. The jinxes, curses, and all other superstitions are gone, and secretly, even the most jaded Red Sox fan knows that this is the year. See you in Boston for the biggest party the world has ever seen.
Glenn, Red Sox in 7
This year is, amazingly enough, the year. The irony of it all is that I'm not in Boston for it, but instead halfway around the world in Beijing, China. It is here where I discovered that the Sox will win. Heading into the last regular season series between the Sox and Yanks, I took a cab across Beijing to a bar at 2 AM to watch the first game of the series. When I got there the blurry eyes staring at the big screen were all wearing Red Sox hats. Not a Yankee fan in sight. It was glorious! It was also a sign that the Sox have the dedication and heart, like their fans, to wear out the Yankees in 7.
Andrew, Red Sox in 7
I believe that the NY Yankees will win in six games, and it has nothing to do with talent. The reasons are these: - Despite all the talk about "the past being the past", it does have some effect on the outcome. The Red Sox, in an effort to try to beat the "curse" once and for all, may try too hard and end up defeating themselves by putting artificial pressure on themselves (leaving too many men on base, etc.). - Although the Red Sox beat the Yankees badly in their first series this year, the Yankees have the edge since then. Their team wasn't clicking then, and after the initial series with the Red Sox, their bats woke up and have remained hot ever since. Their record this season after getting off to a mediocre start speaks for itself. - Pedro, although still being a good pitcher, has a problem beating the Yankees. Schilling can't do it alone, and whether Arroyo or wakefirld is up to it is anyone's guess. - Brown has returned as one of the Yankees' starters and seems to be doing better. - Will Schilling's ankle affect him sometime during the series? That's a big question mark for the Red Sox. It's not a matter of talent. In fact, I'd give the Red Sox a slight edge in that department, but mindsets are mindsets, and one can't sugercoat anything. The past will affect the Red Sox in my opinion, and not allow them to be loose enough to win the series. If the Yankees were a little weaker, I'd go with the Red Sox, but they're not, and so the above is my opinion.
Davis, NY in six games
Sitting in my "Red Sox" study looking at al the memorabilia from Yaz to Nahring. Living and growing up in Yankee country. My 14-year-old son now a fourth geration Red Sox fan wearing his Manny jersey. We have taken it a long time here in central Jersey. Why will the Red Sox win in 2004. Talent!!! Sox have better stats; Sox scored more and yielded less. They say Yanks are in Pedro’s head. Sox are in Mariano’s head! No bad karma here. Walk under the ladders and kick the foul line leaving the field. Sox better hitting and pitching wins! All the completed 2004-playoff rounds thus far have yielded no upsets! Better teams are winning out.
I have to start by letting you know that I am a die hard Yankee fan, and I agree this is the greatest rivalry in all of sport. So, I was praying it would again come down to this... God I wanted this series, and these two teams, for some many reasons.... Pedro's "The Yankee's are my Daddy" comment, (Yeah, I think he's sand bagging too) past history, the match up's from top to bottom-ALL of it. THIS is what any pure baseball fan dreams of, and especially you Sox fans and us Yankee fans. After the Sox BARELY lost to the Yanks last year in the ALCS I didn't care (Honestly) what happened in the World Series, because in New England the ALCS WAS the WS... But this year... Man this is tough to admit in THE Boston Globe- I think the Sox can do it, and do it all... The Yankees starting pitching is beyond suspect, while Sox starters seem to have their groove on. Bronson Arroyo scares me the most, even more than Schilling or Petey- the kid has electric stuff... And then there's Wakefield... *SIGH* Knuckleballers... The only weakness I see in The Olde Town's Team is their middle releif and closer, and since your starters are going great, and usually six to seven innings, it's not really that much of a problem. The Yankee's- my beloved Bronx Bombers- are just the opposite. It's the starters that scare me, and that includes The Moose. Brown is a big question mark, Lieber you can flip a coin about, and Vasquez is almost too much of a gamble to even let start. The only real suprise may be Duque, cause he could be sand bagging just like Pedro.. It's almost like playing the lottery-"a doller and a dream" with this match up... I know my world will revolve around The Yanks and The Sox for the next nine days, and how this round will play out... So, here's my prediction; If the Yanks get SUPERIOR pitching they'll take it in six games. BUT, all the Sox have to do is play the way they have been and they'll finally be in a position to finally put to rest the curse, (in six games also) and I truely belive that, even though it pains me greatly to think it, let alone even type it! Since eight tenth's of my friends are Sox fans, I can honestly say that would be okay, because no one lives and dies with their team like Boston Red Sox fans, and God, Babe Ruth and Teddy Ballgame all know that... And even though most won't admit it, we Yankee fans know it too... May the best team win, and then win it ALL.
Mike, 6 games (could go either way
2004 is the year! Our 2004 Boston Red Sox have the pitching, the offense, the defense to win it all, but most of all they have the heart. The heart of this team lies in their starting lineup, it lies in the guys who come off the bench to pinch hit, to pinch run, for defensive reasons late in the game. Many of them are good enough to start on other major league team, but these guys want to win. They want to win so bad that they will sacrifice their personal statisitics and titles, their playing time, for the one thing that matters the most, being World Champions. While other teams may buy a world series victory, the Boston Red Sox will win it, not because they have the second highest payroll in MLB, but because each one of the guys on the roster come together as a team, they step up when needed, they dig down deep when needed, and do what they need to do to win. From Curt Schlling to Doug Mientkiewicz, and every player in between, this team has what it takes to win a world championship. Curt Schilling brings the experience of winning the series in 2001, Tim Wakefield remembers game seven of the ALCS last yearand is bitter about the ending, Orlando Cabrera is just happy to be playing on a winning team and on a team where the fans care about them and are passionate about them. Kevin Millar brings out the best in the guys around him, he is a catalyst for them, and pushes them to bring what they got to the table. Let's hope that Boston walks into the Yankees house on Tuesday, and puts their feet up on their furniture and comes back to Boston up 2-0. But most of all, the Red Sox will bring home the title of World Champions, for all the fans who have waited for so long, and for all those fans, who are no longer with us to celebrate. Mighty Joe Young, this seasons for you.
Karin, Sox in 6