Yvette’s Very Excellent Adventure Chapter 64: World Series Baseball

Thursday 31st October 2013

Boston Red Sox win the Championship and Boston goes nuts.

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Last night, with my brother Andre, his partner Elizabeth, her closest friend, Pat and Pat’s partner Brian, I watched the World Series Baseball Game 6.  We sat in Ninety Nine Restaurant in Home Depot Drive, Plymouth MA.  Elizabeth went there earlier to save 5 seats, while Andre came and collected me from the hotel.  I was bereft of Red Sox colours but Andre and Elizabeth fixed that by giving me a late birthday gift of a Boston Red Sox scarf.  I was adorned appropriately within minutes of arrival and found that my pumpkin Minion Napoli (made with Debbie in Kentucky) was sitting there waiting for us all, joining in the madness that is a night in Boston where so much hope abounded.

We were at the restaurant, sitting at the bar itself, knowing that before the game the volume would be turned up.  All the staff were donned in Red Sox gear, as were most of the patrons.  There was a buzz all over town.  Everywhere people wore their supporter gear, everyone was poised, wanting this game to be the decider and for the next night, Halloween, not to be the final possible game.  Red Sox were leading the series 3-2.  All it would take was good play and a bit of luck.

Omens were around aplenty.  The poor St.Louis Cardinals were stuck on an airport terminal in St.Louis, in their plane, for 7 hours.  Team, coaches, medical staff, families and children.  All stuck there waiting for the mechanics to be fixed. It meant that they came in very late the night before the game.  Not a good thing for the mental or physical health of a team.

The other major omen was the minion sitting at the bar.  He had his Red Sox hat (from the hot chips that Andre had bought when he and Elizabeth went last week.)  He had the Red Sox beard, started by Napoli at the beginning of the season and followed by most of the other players.  Beards are everywhere, real or fake.  Andre reminded me of why Napoli caught my attention.  One was his out of control beard, the other was his work at first base.  Apparently I kept saying, he’s really good, he doesn’t miss any catches at first base. A good quality in a first baseman.  He’s handy with a bat too, in season, but not so lucky in the post season matches.  But you forgive all for all the outs he creates on first base.

The last omen was that the last time Andre and I sat together watching a final, it was 2009 St.Kilda versus Geelong at the MCG, and that day ended sadly for us both. So here we were together again, and the feeling was different.

Last year the Red Sox ended up bottom of the table.  And here they are now with a new first time coach, bringing in some experienced players, and the dominance of three older players, Ortiz, Ellbury and Victorino to make this an odd shaped season.  For Ortiz, the heart and soul of this club and city, 2013 World Series Baseball playoffs was his third, he had victories in 2004 and 2007.  Ellbury and Victorino both played in the 2007 win. Both of these Series  were won out of town.  Tonight was the first night since 1918 that the Series could be won in Boston itself.

The other major factor was the Boston Marathon bombings at the beginning of the year, just after this team began to train together.  Even before the bombing, this group of men bonded well and it was on all of their minds to win the Series.  I mean, really on their minds.  Then the bombing occurred and this group of men gave solace to the town and the victims and their families, but also kept saying that it was Boston and its survivors which gave them strength to give their all.  They wanted to do it, win, for Boston.  They had the best winning run this year in their history.  It was the biggest turnaround from last place to top of the tree at the end of the season.  They won the playoffs to get into the World Series.  There was energy and there was hope and there was passion and some of the worst beards I have ever seen.  There was the new sport of beard tugging when a team mate hit one out of the park.  That must hurt, but they just gained strength.  The beards took off in fans, real beards and fake beards.  Even their mascot got a beard.

In 2004 they were called the idiots by the Yankees.  In 2013, no one was calling them names.

We ate our dinner at the bar, another great American meal, steak and veggies, and it was hard not to be winding up before the game.  Everyone was there together, with hope and dreams and we watched the game, entranced.

By the third over, Red Sox led by 3 after Victorino made a massive play, pumping his chest, getting his team to fire up, and not long after, by 6-0.  Could this be happening, full bases, runs, great pitching that kept the opposition bases cleared at those vital moments when it looked like a comeback was on the cards.  The Red Sox offence was brilliant and its defence equally effective.  The manager John Farrell (our version of the coach) was magnificent.  Calm.  Trusting in the greatness of his players.

Lackey bowled out of his brain, only allowing one run in 7 innings.  He was brilliant.  A man who many had written off through terrible injury played a game of his life.  Lester and Kawara played their roles and all kept the poor St.Louis team to one run all night.  The catcher Ross played well even though he’d been shattered twice this year with bad concussion.

I hated how the St.Louis team kept the great champion Ortiz from hitting, by throwing “balls” to his right, the catcher making sure he never got to touch the ball and was walked each time he came up to bat.  Ugly baseball.  But it meant that others had to step up to do the big hits.

OK, I don’t understand baseball speak enough to report accurately, so I will plagiarise and acknowledge (as written in the Boston Herald, Thursday October 31, 2013 pg 71)

 

Red Sox First – Ellsbury singled to right.  Pedroia grounded out, third baseman Freese to first baseman Ma.Adams, Ellbury to second.  D.Ortiz was intentionally walked. Napoli struck out. J Gomes was hit by the pitch, Ellsbury to third, D.Ortiz to second.  Victorino doubled to left, Ellsbury scored, D Ortiz scored, J Gomes scored.  Victorino to third. Bogaerts lined out to third baseman Freese.

(3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on.  Red Sox 3 Cardinals 0).

Red Sox Fourth- Drew homered to right on a 0-0 count. D Ross struck out.  Ellsbury doubled to right.  Pedroia filed out to right fielder Beltran, Ellsbury to third. D Ortiz intentionally walked. Lynn pitching. Napoli singled to center, Ellsbury scored. D Ortiz to second. J Gomes walked. D Ortiz to third, Napoli to second. Victorino singled to left. D Ortiz scored, Napoli to third, J Gomes to second. Maness pitching. Bogaerts struck out.

(3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 3 left on. Red Sox 6, Cardinals 0)

Cardinals Seventh – Freese struck out.  Jay grounded out, second baseman Pedroia to first baseman Napoli.  Descalso singled to right. M. Carpenter doubled to left, Descalso to third, Beltran singled to left, Descalso scored. M Carpenter to third. On Lackey’s wild pitch, Beltran to second. Holliday walked on full count.  Tazawa pitching. Craig grounded out, first baseman Napoli to pitcher Tazawa.

(1 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 left on. Red Sox 6 Cardinals 1.)

My man Napoli and big Papi Ortiz.

So all this was enjoyed with drinks and our fellow watchers, the numbers decreasing as sensible people went home to their families and their early morning wake ups. We jumped from our seats before the last pitch and the last out and all yelled and hugged and kissed, enjoying the few moments with the staff and the others in the pub, wildly celebrating as the players and the media when nuts too.  It was great to share this with our mob, a great meal, great company and a great win.  Texts between Debbie and Glenn and I rounded out the evening, and I called Glenn as he put the paper to bed and he’s keeping a copy of what the Courier-Journal writes about the World Series result.

By the time Pat dropped me home, the party had started in the rooms and ground at Fenway and in the streets.  People dropped down and kissed the sidewalks where runners and spectators died in the bombing. People celebrated and then the usual brainless idiots spoiled the night with attempts at tipping cars over and had to be hurried on by police on bicycles and cars, who had to change their location from near Fenway Park to the other hot spot areas of trouble.

Headlines of the Boston Herald read “Papi Party”, (Papi being Ortiz’s nickname). The coverage went into the night and all through the day and Boston felt some joy and happiness while the losers quietly slinked away, with nothing written, spoken or thought about.  I have been part of the losing team too often not to doff my hat at the St.Louis Cardinals and their greatness during this series.

At the end of the game, there were already t-shirts and souvenirs available for Red Sox fans, a major sports store around the corner opened at midnight and again at 6am. Early this morning Andre had bought his t-shirt and 2 papers before he went to training for a new job.  I went later, and bought some winning paraphernalia for myself and as gifts, and joined in the financial windfall that winning gives the winners.  A parade through the Boston streets is planned for Saturday.  I will be well ensconced in the wonderful city of New York by then, wearing my Red Sox scarf with my little St.Kilda emblem sewn on (it was hard to sleep after the game…maybe some of the Red Sox mojo will rub off on my beloved Saints).

I am just glad that history was for once, on my teams’ side, my winning Boston Red Sox.  Thanks for letting me know what it feels like.

 

Yvette Wroby

Roving International Almanac reporter

Plymouth Massachusetts USA.

 

 

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. Yvette – I had to find the photo of you at Fenway Park from a couple of month’s back to insert into your wonderful post.
    Glad you didn’t wear your Saints scarf again last night. That would have been a 3 run head start for the Cardinals.
    We need to work on your baseball vocabulary a little. I am joining the Cricket Australia campaign to destroy cricket as Australia’s national summer game. We need you as our patron – so stop calling baseball innings “overs” and pitchers “bowlers”. I left them in to preserve the unique passion of your piece.
    As for not liking “ugly baseball” with the Cards pitching around Ortiz, I am sure you were glad to see the back of Ross Lyon then.
    Which brings me round to suggesting you apply for a US Green Card. You and Boston and the Red Sox were made for each other.
    The Saints have just sacked Scott Watters and hired a bloke called “Bobby Valentine” to coach them next season.
    I jumped ship at the Avenging Eagle’s urging after the Saints sacked 2 of my favourite footy people – Stan Alves and then Malcolm Blight. They have just completed the trifecta.
    Suggest you reconsider your position. The Bulldogs have a good coach, list and draw for next season.
    Regards,
    Peter B

  2. Great read Yvette. I have concluded that October is the month to be in the US. Marking it down for a future cross-country sporting tour with the kids (when they are old enough).

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done , Ybette , Glad you are enjoying yourself and performing your duties as the
    roving international , Almanac reporter brilliantly and well and truly better than being back here as a , Saints supporter

  4. Neil Anderson says

    Agree with Peter B Yvette. Time to officially jump ship and follow the Bulldogs…officially. Just dye those black colours blue and your in business.
    The Press swarming over the Seaford headquarters (how did they find there way down there?) reminded me of the same thing at the Western Oval in 1996 when Alan Joyce was sacked. I suppose you’ve seen it fairly often in recent years. At least we ended up with Terry Wallace who took us from second-last to the prelim of which we dare not speak its name.
    The baseball final got a fair bit of publicity here even without our roving Almanac reporter on duty. Has the Bambino curse been lifted again and is it more powerful than the Kennett curse?
    Regards from Neil Anderson.

  5. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi guys,
    lets start with Peter, it was late and I thought I had edited out all cricket references but you are a great editor and of course, rubbed my nose in it. As for switching teams, it would be like a heart transplant, possible but you have to live with anti rejection medication for ever. IF I did switch, Doggies would get my vote for culture and underdog status, and I can half support them this year but my beloved Saints need me. They need something and I will have to be it. Plus what would I do without Uncle Bob and Gary and Rina by my side. No, it’s like family, you are stuck with who you are for better or worse. I just want some of the better. And remember, I re-joined the madness in the good years, so I have to just suck up the rubbish ones as the yin/yang balance takes it course.
    Neil, you should join recruiting at the Dogs. You are VERY persistent, but you could no more become a Saint than I could become a true Dog.
    ON a positive note, St.Kilda do keep me awake and alert. You can always be guaranteed some attention that isn’t around football and at least there is no nakedness or little people in this.
    I actually like Scott Watters and am sad to see him depart but one or the other is delusional…either he really believed what he said on the radio this morning or politics was being played when he could see the writing on the wall. I was hoping that he wasn’t sacked without a secret new wonder coach being available, but we will see how it plays out. St.Kilda are like an ongoing Shakespearean play and we never know the ending so it is actually quite gripping. Will there be more tragedy, or another love story, or a love story where the lovers die? At least we are never bored. Worried, disillusioned, bewildered, confused, surprised but never bored.

    We don’t need Kennett or anyone elses curses. We have 71, 97, 09, 10 to curse us. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, so I am just going to go with that for awhile as I await to see what I can awake to next.

    Thank goodness for the Red Sox diversion and for travels. And New York awaits.

    Love to all

    Yvette

  6. Rocket Nguyen says

    Red Sox Nation Rules!

  7. Loving your travelogue Yvette, with all of its idiosyncratic observations. We are watching things unfold here in Australia, albeit a different experience while playing Lego with kids when live games are on during the day.

  8. Neil Anderson says

    Hi again Yvette.
    Firstly my apologies for the spelling in my last post. One glass of wine and my writing standards just drop away.
    Also an apology for trying to win you over to the Bulldogs yet again as you are trying to make sense of the turmoil at the Saints.
    As an amateur playwright, I did like your analogy of watching and barracking for your team being like a Shakespearean play. The tragedy, the political intrigue and the very occasional triumph against all odds.
    Can you imagine how boring it would be to win a premiership every couple of years? Who needs it? Besides I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that Saints and Doggy supporters provide the best writing for the Almanac, so where we would they be without us?
    You might have read that JTH and Co. put out a request for any Hawthorn supporters that ‘could hold a crayon’ to submit a report on the Grand Final such was the apathy. I don’t think he would have had that problem after a Saint’s/ Bulldogs Grand Final.
    Can’t wait for the season 2014 to start with hopefully more ups than downs for us to write about.

  9. Don’t listen to those voices Yvette. They are seducers of the worst kind. When you sign on at the Junction Oval you sign on. You follow The Lads to the End of The World – which they can’t be far off down there at Eel Race Road. (I think you’ll find the Edge of The World has been pushed back a bit since they opened the Frankston by-pass Wrap – Ed) If going down with the ship is the option to leaving along the ratlines, a True Saint knows instinctively which one to take. It’s what you’re born for.

    And what’s this about a crusade against the Summer Game Mr B? You’ve picked a fine time for your traitorous campaign. With The Old Enemy at the gates and our team and game in tatters, you may have launched Yvette’s bonding element as per the Boston bombing to save the day. However much I agree that the team & the administration deserve & need a good hard kick in the pants, surely routing The Old Enemy takes priority. Getting Shane to pull his remoulded head in, Punter to let his book sell itself, and encouraging Watto to further his career in the IPA all deserve endorsement. And Heaven only knows where you find good sports administrators in this country. But lay one sand-encrusted finger on The Summer Game and you could find yourself standing in for a marker buoy off Cottesloe Beach.

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