I have been a Red Sox fan since the fourth grade. I don't come from a sports family, so this passion came out of left field (arf). My father would occasionally watch a game on a Saturday afternoon, but he wasn't a die hard fan by any chance. I remember wearing red barrettes to school- Catholic school uniforms made it hard to show team loyalties - the day of the one game playoff between the *spit* Yankees and the Red Sox in 1978. We lost, thanks to Bucky fucking Dent. In 1986, I was attending UMass Amherst and witnessed the dribbler thru Bill Buckner's legs. Even though the Sox had a chance in Game 7 to win that series, that's the play that's always cited when referring to that horrible series.
And 2003. The first time I ever cried over a baseball game. I'd gone down to a local pub to watch, along with about 500 of my closest friends. We were up! We were winning! Then Grady Little decided to leave Pedro in the game and, well. You know what happened. We lost. I set my beer down on the bar and went outside and cried. The 2004 season more than made up for it, however. Just a little.
I almost hate to say anything because I am very, very, VERY superstitious about these boys, but doods! We're 14.5 games ahead of the Yankees. The team in second place, Baltimore, is 11 games back. It's incredible. Every night, I watch the games. Every morning, I check the standings. TCBIM and I look at each other, wide-eyed, and giggle this "Holy shit, I can't believe we're getting away with this," giggle, sort of a whistling-thru-the-graveyard reaction to being so firmly in first place.
Because even after all this time, even after winning a World Series and having some kick ass talent, I still can't quite believe my guys are in first. Still. And that the *spit* Yankees are so far behind. I know they could, and have, come back from that, but it's almost June. It's amazing. It gives me that excited, stomach-knotting feeling, like maybe there's a chance it could happen again, that 2004 wasn't a fluke. That maybe, and I'm saying this softly, with offerings to appease the jealous baseball gods, we really do have the best team in baseball.
Oh, and Trot? Welcome back. We missed you. You look weird with a 33 on your back, but man, it was nice to see you roaming around the outfield again.