It was with one eye open and the other squinting to reduce the size of the TV screen to a thin horizontal stripe that we watched the Red Sock Nation pull itself out of its cozy coffin, push through five and a half feet of dirt and come out dirty and stinky and still alive in the American League pennant chase. Has it come to this: putting all of our hopes that the Tampa Bay Rays have enough left to put the stake through the heart of America's least favorite team? Save us Rocco Baldelli!
It's been only twelve hours since the Bosox came back to nip the Rays after being down 7-0 where if they had any sense of decorum they would have stayed. But typical of the boorish behavior that causes grown novelists to sit and pen 300-page love letters every winter, the Sawx "faithful" stopped booing David Ortiz long enough to realize they loved him once he wrapped a pitch around the Pesky Pole and led his team back from the brink. And yet in those dozen hours I've been unable to avoid hearing crap like, "the fans willed the team to victory" or "this could only happen in Fenway--nobody was giving up" (including I guess the hundreds leaving at the 7th inning stretch?)and most painful of all the bluffing confidence that down 3-2 traveling to Tampa means the Little $150 million engine that could and will tell you all about it until you're ready to dump chowder on their heads is pretty much where they want to be.
By Sunday it will be over one way or the other, either Tampa Bay puts a penny on the track or the Boston Stranglers of all that is good and decent earn a World Series date with Philadelphia and the only fans more toxic and unpleasant than those in the Fens.
It means one or two more days of watching leads that will never be big or safe enough if the Rays get them at all and it means that I'll be rooting with people who cheer with cowbells. And if that doesn't work and the Red Sox ooze through into the World Series through mostly closed eyes and stopped up ears, there will only be two words left to say when the dust settles on Monday morning.
Go Phillies!— Kibby Kleiman