The Baseball Desert

Monday, September 26, 2005

Hide In Your Shell

It's that time of year again, when a degree in mathematics is needed to work out the endless possibilities that this 6-month season of baseball has thrown up. It's a time when nerves are frayed, nails are bitten and - despite the joys of 2004 - one's mind is haunted by the memories of certain light-hitting infielders.

If you were to ask me if I've enjoyed the 2005 season so far, I would probably say that I have. But there comes a crunch time when every game can mean the difference between October baseball and October golf, and 'enjoyment' becomes a relative term. The big picture (a great season despite adverse circumstances) becomes a little blurred as I focus on each crucial half-inning, willing the Sox on to bigger and better things. I want this team to reach the playoffs, not out of some misguided notion of entitlement, but because I've invested more time and emotion than I care to admit in following it over the past six months. And as with any commitment on that scale, I want this relationship to last as long as is possible.

There will be no brash predictions or trash-talking here in the French chapter of Red Sox Nation, since the gods of baseball tend to frown on such arrogance. Instead I will retreat quietly into my protective shell, connected to my fellow fans in only the most virtual of ways. And from inside my little hideout I will continue to do the one thing that I have been able to do all season: cross my fingers and root for the Sox.

It doesn't seem like much and yet, as a fan, it's everything.

Red sums up the feeling best:
It's the single most important week of the season. It's must-win, take your vitamins, have an extra slab of meat with your eggs time. It's coming back home to Fenway, where the grass is greener, the air just a bit sweeter, and everything just seems to go our way.

Ready? Alright.

Here we go.