Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thank You Red Sox!

Even though the 2008 Red Sox season ended without a World Championship, there were still good points. With the Thanksgiving holiday nearly here, here’s a list of a few things about the 2008 season that I am thankful for.

Another ring ceremony. Those never seem to get old. After wondering for so long if I’d ever get to see one, I’ve been in the stands for two of them. Almost missed this one due to insane parking issues, but made it time for the ceremonies. The Sox have sure learned how to put on a production at Fenway. Hopefully, there’ll be several more.

Jon Lester’s no-no. His maturation this year was a real treat. He started the year as a question mark. Half of Sox fans thought he should have been traded in the offseason. (And, yes, I was part of that half.) He ended the season as the staff ace, and one of the best young lefties in baseball. He’ll be fun to watch in the years to come.

Yankee Stadium’s demise. No more endless droning from the national media about mystique, or history, or any of that garbage. No more “house that Ruth built” crud. Now the Yankees will just play in a stadium. Just like everyone else. Although, I’m sure Fox will find some hype somewhere during broadcasts.

Four months of Manny. I wish it were three more. I’ll forever think it was a bad trade. But, I’m grateful that I got to see a first ballot Hall-of-Famer live in person for so many years. He was a treat to watch.

Jason Bay’s production. He was a downgrade, but dang if he didn’t try to pretend he wasn’t. Nobody even suggested he was the player that Manny was. But, he just went out and did his job. He didn’t try to do too much. He knew he was good, and figured that was good enough. I look forward to seeing what he brings to the table during a full season.

Dustin Pedroia’s trophies. His trophy case is pretty full for a youngster…World Series trophy, ROY, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, MVP. After you do that in your first two years, is there anywhere else to go? I can’t wait to find out.

Dirty Water. Even driving in the car, if that song comes on it brings a smile to my face.

Ortiz’s Cursed Jersey. Still one of my favorite stories of the year. How crazy are New Yorkers? Wait. Don’t answer that. How a jersey buried in a concrete floor would somehow curse a team I’ll never know. Why the Yankees made it a story by digging it up is even more of a question. I’ll give credit, though, for donating the jersey to charity. They could have burned it on the pitcher’s mound. Instead, they chose to do some good with it.

ALCS Games. How spoiled are we that not winning the ALCS is a bad year? But, the Sox made it to the final game of the championship series. Once again they came back from the brink of elimination to force a seventh game. They just didn’t have enough this year.

Brewers Games. I was finally able to add the Brew Crew to my “seen live” team list. Including young sluggers Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, it was a great line-up to check out. If only Gagne had made it into the game, it would have been perfect.

Terry Francona’s candor. His “second guess” segment with the EEIdiots should be required from every pro manager or GM. When he was asked a question, he gave an answer. Even if I thought the answer was bunk, it was nice to know he was thinking it over. Usually I found that things I questioned were obvious once he explained the behind-the scenes thought process.

I’m sure there are many more things. I could list. Anyone else have any of their own to offer?

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