Open Love Letter
After a full night of Red Sox hype, I'm completely geeked. Completely. And with no baseball game to yell at, I'm going to channel my energies into...well...this.
Because I've realized, sick as it may be, that I have fallen in true, desperate, romantic love with a baseball team. The Red Sox are my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night, and they are in my dreams in between. I don't like them, I don't favor them, I don't root for them, I don't care about them, I am in love with them and the entire concept behind that sacred "B".
No idea if any of them will ever see any of the stuff we spew out over the Internet. Probably not. But in case some spirit is listening, I want to write this just to send it out, message in a bottle, hoping it'll hit some metaphysical shore.
Dear Boston Red Sox,
Do it. Do it for us. Do it for your family of millions. You know we're here, you can hear where we hold our breath, you can hear when our hearts beat faster. More than even last year's team, it seems like we can read each other's minds. You knew in Game 3 that our hearts were breaking. You saw our tears and you set about making things right. You let our faith carry you through, and then you carried us.
In Game 4, after one of the worst postseason losses in the history of the game, you felt Fenway staying, you felt Fenway steeling, you felt an entire region around you gritting its teeth, fierce in their love for you, refusing to leave, refusing to give up, and you followed suit--and then you let us follow you.
Into Game 5, where you felt our hope flickering like the tiniest spark, where you nursed that flame into a breathing thing. You felt our desperation, let it burn in your hearts, and then you fought your way back to New York.
Where in Game 6 you felt us even in enemy territory, felt our bravery venturing where people would abuse us, abuse our idols, tear down our traditions and prey on our fears. You felt our steadfastness, you felt our trust, and you let us trust you.
All the way to Game 7. Now the overriding feeling was anxiety--and creeping joy. The start of a smile as balls began flying off into the night. You felt us behind you as you confronted the ghosts of yourselves, and you let us confront them with you. You erased the past and rewrote history, and let us know we'd been in your hearts the whole time.
There's still work to do. I wish I could touch you all, give each of you some good luck charm, whisper some phrase in each of your ears as you take the field. Of course I can't, so I'll just pretend.
Bo: I love your cornrows, I love your big ears and your elfin nose and your curveball. Use it, and those, ahem, planetary parts of your anatomy. You are the embodiment of our sheer stubbornness.
Chaw: I love your tobacco plug and your mean squint in off the mound and I love that you are a lefty. Use that heat, boy, and spit that chaw. You are the embodiment of our rough-and-tumble toughness.
Foulkie: I love your perfect lips and your compact body and the way you wear that uniform like you were born in it. I love your change-up and your "dart-thrower" flick-of-the-wrist delivery. Use your brilliance the way we know you can. You are the embodiment of our finesse.
Curtis Leskanic: Damn, boy, what trailer park they rustle you up from? I love your wild hair and your crazy beard and the fact that it seems like you should be busting out of a trailer in stained underwear with a shotgun and a PBR and screaming for me to get off your property. Use your X-factor strangeness and that weird-ass windup. You are the embodiment of our quirks.
Derek: I love you for Games 7, 4, and 5 in that order. I love your pursed lips and your curlique delivery. Use that sinker and think of that cigar in the clubhouse waiting for you at the end of the road. You are the embodiment of our resurrection.
Petey Ponchado: I love you for all you've meant to this city and this team even in much darker days. I love that you have been the standard-bearer and often the Atlas holding up all our hopes with your sheer genius on the mound. Use the fact that you are once and for all the Man--and the fact that you have 24 other men picking you up--and bring that heat. You are the embodiment of our fire.
Youks: I love your goofy face and the fact that you seem like you should still be sleeping in dinosaur sheets. I loved your first home run against the Blue Jays. I love the way you've stepped in when needed and stepped down when others were ready to pull their weight. Use your gigantic heart and help us however you can. You are the embodiment of our earnest team effort.
Mike Myers: I love your name, first of all. I love that they play the theme music from Halloween when you walk out to the mound. Use that screwy delivery. You are the embodiment of our--well, our mystique.
Mad Mike: I love your big brass balls of pure tempered steel. I loved when you struck out the side with the bases loaded against the Blue Jays. I love it when you holler in triumph and I love the fact that you appear slightly deranged at all times. Use your ferocity and your faith and most importantly, strike that motherfucker out! You are the embodiment of our determination.
'Belli: I love that you, like Youks, come off the bench when needed, hold up Wake, who at times has deserved his own special outfield as well as his own special batterymate. I love that you not only catch the flutterball but jack one out when you need it. Use your smarts and your dirt-dog attitude. You are the embodiment of our depth.
Bellhorn: I love your face. I love your hair. I love your expressionlessness. I love that you look like Jack the Ripper. I love that you come up big when we least expect it, but when we most need it. Use that bat, and come correct this time. You are the embodiment of our redemption.
Lando: I love that you've gone from the basement to the penthouse this year, and that we could do that to you. I love that you've been both starry-eyed and unfazed by your introduction to the Greatest Sports City in the World. Use that glove the way you know you can, and when it's over, give Pokey the biggest hug for me. You are the embodiment of our change for the better.
Minty: I love that your name touches both armpits. I love your glove at first base. I love that you've refrained from complaining. I love that you've contributed where you can and endured when you can't. I love that you caught the last out at Yankee Stadium. Use that Gold Glove. You are the embodiment of our innovations.
Millar: More than anyone else, you are the face of this team, ya goofy sumbitch. I love your accent and what Roger Angell called your "raunchy grin". I love that we make fun of you at least as much as we cheer for you while we gather around the TV. I love that you keep everyone loose. I love how you made over Manny. Use that power to left field and for the love of Christ keep that glove on. You are the embodiment of our laughter.
Buelly: Damn, boy, I love that ass. And I love your slow gum-chewing. And your baby blue eyes. Oh, and your hitting and fielding, too. Use both sides of the plate and keep throwing with your mouth open--it seems to work and makes for great pictures. You are the embodiment of our versatility.
Poke: Pokey! Pokey! Pokey! Pokey! I love that you fielded the last ground-out at Yankee Stadium. I loved when you robbed Dave Roberts back in June. I hope you've settled it up with him since. I love your warm personality and your tremendous fielding. Use the whole infield--you own it, and parts of the outfield. You are the embodiment of our defensive confidence.
JD: I love your hair, I love your beard, I love your glove, I love your "um"s, but most of all, I love that bat. Keep "going off" and hitting grand slams. Use your humility and your quiet belief in yourself and your teammates. You are the embodiment of our camraderie.
Hammer: I love your muscles, I love your geeky batting stance, I love the fact that you're jacked but you'd probably still let me beat you at arm-wrestling. Use that rifle you've got attached to your right shoulder socket and gun a strike to home from deep right one of these games. You are the embodiment of our strength.
Trot: I love your accent. I love your furrowed eyebrows. I love what ESPN once called your "snapdragon personality." Use that dangerous lefty bat and use your somersaulting acrobatics in the field. Do me a favor and blow a gum-bubble whenever you rob someone of a hit or home run. I love it when you do that. You are the embodiment of our grit.
Manolito: I just love you. The whole concept of you. Your dark, shady eyes. Your impertinent facial expression. Your easy laughter. Your lilting accent. The way you've opened up this season. Your power from foul-pole to foul-pole. Use your bat and the "Manny" chants behind you. You are the embodiment of our happiness.
Dave Roberts: I love the way you run, like a kid after an ice cream truck. I love the fact that you've accepted being a role player when you'd be a starter anywhere else. Use those fleet feet and bunt, Dave, bunt! You are the embodiment of our newfound speed.
Tek: O Captain, my Captain. I love your beard and your calm eyes and the way you lead quietly, and by example. I love that you stuck it to A-Rod when he got too big for his pinstripes...more than once. I love that you are the Rock of Gibraltar behind the plate both for our pitchers and against opposing runners. Use those great big thighs and that trusty bat. You are the embodiment of our maturity.
Tizzle: Big Papi. I love your smile, I love your double-point, I love your relationship with Manny and Pedro, and I love that you picked this team up and carried them on your back during the entire ALCS. I've never seen a more deserving MVP than you. Use that bat and that cheerful courage. You are the embodiment of our momentum.
Curt: My hero. My idol. "My man" since before Spring Training. I love you for Game 6. Nuff said. Use that right arm and know we're brimming over just to know you'll be on the mound. You are the embodiment of sacrifice.
Wake: This one's for you, dearest Wake. You still haven't been paid back in full for your service and your heroism and your tenacity over the last amazing decade. Use that knuckleball and know you're the first person we turn to for help, and the first person we'll think of if that victory finally comes home. Tim Wakefield, you are the embodiment of our soul.
We're with each one of you, and you're with each one of us. We believe, and we love you more than you'll ever know.
All the love in the world, win or lose,
cc: Red Sox Nation