Friday, October 07, 2005

2005 ALDS Game 3: The King Is Dead

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 3, Chicago White Sox 5

Here lie the Red Sox.
We planted them raw.
They were quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.

The Red Sox were the World Champions. Later this month some other team will hold that title. That’s going to be hard to watch. It will be almost as hard as it was to watch this game. Timely hits? Gone. The Fenway crowd? Silenced. Ability to hold base runners? Vanished. All the luck, guts and mojo from 2004? Departed into the dark abyss or wherever teams that are eliminated in the first round go. There are a lot of Braves teams down here.

Wakefield started strong, but he heard the knocking at the door and tapered out giving up 4 runs in the process. Ortiz sensed the urgency and the pressure and responded accordingly, but it was not enough. In the 5th, his attempt at a second homerun was a 400 ft out to dead center. Manny was, as always unfazed by his surroundings. After the game I bet he told Millar: “Don’t worry we’ll get ‘em tomorrow”. But even a couple of his round trippers were not enough to hold off the inevitable. Finally, after Wake appeared to be completely done (Konerko is still waiting for that homer to come down) the young Jonathan Papelbon replaced the ineffective righty/lefty submarine twins (Bradford/Myers) and came in guns-a-blazing. He is the future, but not enough to save the present. Finally, Renteria capped his perfectly horrible season by grounding out weakly to 2nd base and denying Ortiz a last at bat. Here I should say something about "irony coming full circle” but really all I want to do is kick Rent in the junk.

This was like a
dark mirror image of 2004. Instead of finding holes in defense, they found extra outfielders. Instead of using the right pitch at the right time, the right pitch usually hit the right field wall. The sweepers were swept. The light extinguished. The 2004 playoffs saw the swansong for Pedro, Lowe, Cabrera and Dave Roberts. Even Embree and Bellhorn gave their best for the cause. Now? This wreck of a series might be the last for Damon, Graffanino, Mueller, Millar, Olerud, Nixon and maybe even Manny. Not knowing who will be back is almost as painful as the loss itself… well except for Millar. It’s WAY past your time buddy. Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?

2003 taught us we can’t always get what we want. 2004 taught us that hope and faith make anything possible. I think 2005 teaches us that hope and faith are great, but are even better when backed by sold pitching, defense and clutch hitting. Still, I bet Hope would have had a lower post season ERA than Clement and Faith would be able to score a run with the bases loaded and no outs.

Fight Club told us that: "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." So go the 2005 Red Sox. The road has ended. Our journey complete before we have reached the destination. We tasted the fruit of victory before and salivated for it once again, but it was not to be. However, our steps were not wasted. It was a voyage of love and loyalty. A voyage we at Keep Your Sox On will continue into 2006 and I hope you will join us. We will have updates, reviews and rants about trades as often as they come. And I bet Eric will have his closing statement about this season up shortly.

This is not the final chapter. As one season ends, another begins. The King is dead, long live the King.

Go Sox in 2006