Home runs. Defensive gems. Errors. Ankle-grabbing. At least one questionable move by Francona (why use Timlin with such a hefty lead?). Last night’s victory in Game One of the ALDS had all this and more. And it was smashing enough to send Red Sox Nation to bed with the type of dizzy glow we usually associate with too much Jeagermeister (but minus the hallucinating. Cool!)
Now all eyes turn to Petey, as they have so many times in the past. We need you, l’il guy, to rise up like a phoenix and vanquish the bad vibes and “who’s your daddy” jokes that have made the last month seem like brunch in purgatory. Although we, of any people, should know that going up 2-0 in a 5 game series doesn’t guarantee you’ll ever get that third “w”, one thing we do know is that coming home with such an advantage will transform Fenway Park into a raucous madhouse this weekend. And I want that. I want the madness! I want the raucous! I want the crazy-go-nuts and let’s-barnstorm-Pizzeria-Uno-in-Kenmore-Square stuff. But most of all, I want to see a playoff victory celebration on our turf, even if it is just the first stage of three critical battles. And, big fan of irony that I am, I’d like to point out that the last time such a celebration took place at Friendly Fenway was after the 1986 ALCS. And guess who we defeated then?
We take nothing for granted, we who have been schooled far too many times to change our stripes. But the vibe is there, and it’s growing. And it’s pretty damn spectacular.
So where should the Red Sox start their World Series victory parade? That’s the question Jayson Stark asks in his insightful and engaging column over at espn.com, in which he explains why the Red Sox are, by default, the team that’s going to win it all.
On any other morning, I’d tell him to shut up. Don’t jinx it.
But today, it’s all making sense.