Dusty in Here
to name but three:
win it for johnny pesky
win it for bart giamatti
and win it for the old man at the bar, whispering: "we never should have taken out willoughby".
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
and win it for the fans in red sox diaspora all over the world, who are sitting silently at home, living and dying with each pitch, "shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball", and enjoying our red sox with you, our brethren at boston, the living and the dead, in the green fields of the mind.
This post perhaps best explains the phenomenon of why it's "not just a game" to us, a phenomenon I've been struggling through thousands and thousands of words this year to explain or describe:
Win it in the name of the best within us.
Players, you have spent years perfecting your abilities. High school, college, minor league. Some of you have been working at this for longer than I've been alive. You possess incredible physical abilities. You invest countless hours at a level of analysis most will never reach in your field. (See 38, G). Your pursuit of excellence is an inspiration for those who seek the best humanity has to offer. Win it for yourselves, to experience the exaltation you so richly deserve.
Managers, you optimize the output of 25 of the best ballplayers in the world. You review film, you read scouting reports. You make decisions on every play that can mean the difference between winning and losing. I can not fathom what it takes you to compose lineups, analyze pitching matchups, and position your defenses to the level you need to succeed (though EV and others help out in that department). Your brain power is exceptional. Put your players in the best possible position to win it for you, so you can experience the exaltation you so richly deserve.
Front office, you make layer upon layer of decisions involving everything from personnel to concessions to advertising. Your business and baseball acumen are incredible. You have to be off-the-field managers and run a multimillion dollar corporation. You provide a wonderful source of entertainment and jobs. Thanks to you, people have fun and get to enjoy the lifestyle that comes from being surrounded by those who know that productive activity is a person's highest pursuit. You put your team in a position to win it for you, and I hope that you get to experience the exaltation you so richly deserve.
When you do these things, I, the fan, get to experience great exaltation not having done anything, merely knowing that people so talented, intelligent, and dedicated exist.
Baseball is such a wonderful example of the greatness that is possible to humans. Win it in the name of the best within us.