November 17, 2013 by gregrabidoux2013
Magical. Euphoric. Timely. Heroic. An enormous amount of strike-outs. And did Jake Peavy really purchase a whole Duck-Boat? No matter. An historic worst-from-first comeback by a whole lot of guys with a whole lot of facial hair, capped off (sorry, first of many) with a roughing up of a first-year fire-spitting birdy named Wacha. Even now, barely two weeks after Koji “the Ninja” threw that last of his so many unhittable pitches to officially enter the 2013 Red Sox roster into the MLB history books the sports agent with no heart and briefcases full of money and very little facial hair, Scott Boras, has officially ended my Sox euphoria.
But before I get to the dreaded “Boras Effect,” some background on why I was hoping and praying that not only would “every little thing” be alright but that my euphoria would last at least until the boys of summer (and September and right through trick-or-treating) reassembled for light pitcher-catcher tossing in Ft. Myers Florida 2014.
You see, I got spoiled. After 85 years or so of having a thirst for a World Championship go unquenched and then inexplicably (okay, a huge payroll and Manny Ramirez’s doctor feel-good explained some of it away) watching my beloved Sox beat those nice, clean-cut chaps from St.Louis (circa 2004 not 2013 yet) and then not too long after that a group of Rocky Mountain Men from Colorado, I got greedy. Yep, greedy and spoiled. Filled with the hubris that I thought only Yankee fans could muster I actually spouted words like dynasty and “back-to-back” to family, friends, co-workers, bar-stool buddies, even complete strangers in pin-stripe suits. And I admit, I did all of this completely sober. Sad, isn’t it?
And then before Curt Schilling’s sock had fully dried, darkness descended over Fenway. Some of it exaggerated and some of it far too real. First, my lovable Sox had somehow morphed into all that is lousy about pro athletes circa 2011. Overpaid, out of shape, cry-babies who left little doubt about what was important (hint: the word team wasn’t part of the equation) and what wasn’t important (hint: the word team was in the equation). My Sox stumbled and staggered through the worst September imaginable and collapsed so completely that our most successful manager in franchise history (Terry Franco, he of 2 World Series championships, 8 games won against no games lost) was basically told not to let the door hit him on the way out. The stench of losing lingered through to next year along with the infamous beer and chicken brigade fixings or as we like to call it “the Josh Becket and pals pre-golf snack.”
And then without warning and certainly no red-velvet chocolate and roses to sweeten the gut-punch came the worst (Bobby) valentine ever foisted upon Sox Nation. Even Napoleon sought out advice now and again from his closest advisors when he wasn’t pillaging, plunging and getting summarily spanked at Waterloo. How bad was this valentine’s card you ask? When Dustin Pedroia made it clear early on that there was the Bobby V. way and then the Sox way (and implicitly, the Pedroia way) well, I knew it was about to get real scuffed up in Beantown.
And it did. Fast. In between the cursing, then the tears and then the unthinkable fan indifference, the Sox went on to lose over 90 games and cough up the worst Sox season ever (maybe it was second, I don’t know, too painful to look it up). Things spiraled out of control so bad that my formerly two best friends stood back-to-back (yes, they did) and asked me if it reminded me of any thing some sober fool had said just a few seasons prior. It did remind me of something but Rorshach would wince so I plead ignorance.
And then came the magic. Not Disney Magic or even the Green Monster Magic. Nope. This was the real deal. Magic Johnson and friends backed up a gold-gilded dump truck just outside of Yawkey way and Ben Cherington’s office and hauled away the refuse. “A-Gon” was now just gone. Carl Crawford was still the world’s biggest cry-baby it’s just now we yanked off the B-O-S-T-O-N jersey off his overpaid back and you could almost hear the old park breathe a sigh of thanks. But wait. Magic went for the slam-dunk and took Josh (the Chicken and Beer Brigade Captain) Becket away for good measure. I wiped away the image of Bobby V. in far too tight for his age biker pants and waited for Dan Shaughnessy to tell me I was dreaming. He never did and I wasn’t.
You know the rest I am sure. Guys like Napoli, Gomes, Victorino, Ross and Koji joined guys like Salty, Pedroia, Jacoby and of course, Big Papi, to give a true Valentine’s Day bouquet wrapped in Boston Strong to a city that suffered through what no city should ever endure. Losing baseball? Hardly. The tragedy of the 2013 Boston Marathon brought a darkness that will always stay near whenever we close your eyes and remember. And remember we must.
So euphoric and so healing was this 2013 World Series Championship that I guess I hoped against all logic that these good vibes would just stay. Not forever but at least until next spring training. But major league baseball is, of course, a business played for profit and operated for profit. And that’s where Scott Boras the highly paid, heartless sports agent scrooge comes in. Already I have read reports that his clients, including Stephen Drew and Jacoby Elsbury will command gobs of money on the free agency market and that both will probably not return to Boston (One guess as to which agent represents Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Xander Boagaerts, both their probable replacements). And that Mike “Popeye Arms” Napoli may be on the move out of Beantown. Geez, didn’t I just see him shirtless pouring celebratory shots for about 100 of his closest Sox pals in Boston the other day?
No matter. Scott Boras can take away all of those guys and more. But he’ll never be able to take away what the Sox season of 2013 meant to me, my grandmother who rooted for her beloved Sox for over 70 years and more importantly, the entire city of Boston. Be strong Beantown. Now and forever.