The Mountains Win Again
Ooh can you feel the same Ooh you gotta love the pain Ooh it looks like rain again Ooh I feel it comin' in The mountains win again The mountains win again --Blues Traveler
I can only imagine what Angry Bill is saying in his little apartment, somewhere in Boston right now.
Well, the good news is I'm feeling better physically. The bad news is, I now feel like shit because of the Red Sox.
The more I watch them struggle, the more I appreciate last season. Technically, I deserted between the mid-'90's, and last year, they called me back. Not sure why, really, and I don't hold it against myself that I left the bandwagon for all those years, because it's like Ed says: you don't choose the Red Sox, they choose you. How true that is. What motivation do I have, really, to watch them right now? To root for them? That "Cowboy Up" team is gone, as tonight's baserunning gaffes, pathetic offensive output, and heavy strikeouts against one of the worst teams in the league clearly demonstrate.
In fact, at times I even allow myself the thought: this is not The Year.
It's not for lack of trying. But hey, maybe here as everywhere, the weight of history is too much for the Sox. Think about the memorable years in Sox history: 1967, 1975, 1978, 1986, 1999, 2003. What do you remember about 1968, 1976, 1979, 1987 or 2000? (No fair answering this question if you are Glenn Stout.)
You get me?
So here we are, June 16, 2004, and in the rarified air of Denver, the Sox are heading into a tailspin. Manny striking out. Ortiz grounding out. Nomar making dives that miss and throwing errors to first base. If I slap my forehead any more, I'm going to get a concussion.
Through it all, there's a creeping sense of total panic, and the knowledge that the Yankees are disappearing over the horizon. If this continues, things will be grim in Beantown, at least till football season starts. Especially grim given that this year's stocked Sox were meant to cure the hangover from last season.
Of course, there's no guarantee that it will continue. They could go on a ten-game winning streak tomorrow. That's what makes watching the Sox more addictive than playing the slots--and just as potentially psychologically damaging.
Through it all, the biggest question is, why? Why do I fear the season derailing so deeply? Why does it fel as though my life, or at least my enjoyment of it, depends on the Red Sox winning?