It's a strange phenomenon, seeing the Red Sox back at the same park that was the Park of Our Dreams just months ago. Seeing Terry Francona, chewing methodically as always, peering out of the same green-and-brown enclosure in which he appears in so many celebratory videos. Seeing Trot Nixon, one of my enduring images of Game 4, up at bat again with the same backdrop--nothing you'd be able to name if asked a week ago or a week from now, but fitting together with all the subconscious details behind each batter.
We've been over and over and over it, on video, on television, in our mind's eye. The only parks we know better now than Busch Stadium are Yankee Stadium and, of course, Fenway Park.
What's the prevailing media angle on this series, which so far has been like being pecked to death by a duck for the Red Sox? The Cardinals' revenge? A general balancing of kharma?
Or proof through physical demonstration just how much of a miracle the World Series was? When you remember it, now, watching the Cardinals' brand of smart, relentless baseball chew through the Sox' rotation and bullpen, the only way it seems possible is via the supernatural, some kind of spell cast over the world those four nights last year.
Now, the spell is broken. So that's
David Eckstein Larry Walker (OK, I meant Larry Walker, it was Larry Walker I was seeing in my mind but somehow I put the wrong name down so sue me). Oh, Albert Pujols can hit?
It's as if they were replaced with pod people last fall, isn't it? Or as if we were in a parallel universe. Hard to believe that this is almost exactly the same team the Sox cut through like a hot knife through Land O' Lakes.
I thought that time would make the Series easier to understand, not harder.