I have an excuse, though, and a promise. First the promise: tomorrow I will be attending the game against the Reds at Fenway Park, and I promise a wallbanger of a post, complete with photo gallery.
Now that that's out of the way, my excuse: I was in Columbus, Ohio this weekend, seeing my sister graduate from The! Ohio! State! University! She will be going right back to OSU for vet school, so hopefully at some point I'll be able to go into that cathedral of a football stadium (makes Gillette look like Fenway) for an actual game. Someday if I'm very, very good, I might be able to go to the Michigan game.
And I guess if I lead the life of a freakin' saint, I could go to the Michigan game when Sam is there and she and I could talk junk such as has never been seen before, even in the heated Michigan-Ohio State rivalry.
I thought of Sam all weekend, actually, which might be kind of sad considering as for me she is still imaginary. I thought of her cringing in horror as I "oohed" and "ahhed" at all the acoutrements of the Shoe. I also thought of how when I got back, I'd be sure to remind her that Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada are Michigan fans.
No, but seriously. It was my little sister's graduation. Rivalries and Red Sox take a backseat.
Anyway, along the way I've been catching snippets of the Red Sox' historic series at Wrigley Field. Namely:
That field, as Jerry Remy just said on the Sox broadcast, makes Fenway Park look brand new.
I like their tradition of singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in a drunken manner. Sort of like our tradition of singing "Sweet Caroline" in an inside-joke manner, but Midwestern style.
That goat curse makes the Bambino crap look like Arthurian legend.
In other words, the Cubs, like many midwesterners in the eyes of us sophisticated East Coast types, are there to make us feel better about ourselves.
Or so we thought.
Here's an analogy: the Cubs in terms of the Sox were like a person you've heard of quite a bit but never met, someone who you are assured repeatedly that you would really love, and identify with, and hit it off with, and oh man you gotta meet this kid, he's the shit.
Then, this series was like actually meeting the guy, putting your foot in your mouth, and having him throw a drink in your face.
Disappointing, to say the least.
It's tough to say it, but the Sox have the competitive tango down pat with the Yankees. One step forward, one step back, switching leads, cha-cha-cha. The Cubs and Sox did not play against each other as evenly, as gracefully or as excitingly as I had imagined they would. Every game was a blowout, regardless of who won.
Maybe I'm just bitter because the snippets I saw, of the entire series, were of Greg Maddux's home run off John Halama in the first
debacle game and Doug Mirabelli's baserunning error in the third.
The first incident occurred as I was waiting for my parents to make last minute fussings in preparation to head to Logan for the flight to Ohio (on which we almost died, but that's another story).
Maddux made contact and raised my eyebrows in bemused, relatively condescending appreciation.
By the time the goons above the ivy were scrambling to scoop up the ball he'd hit, my face had fallen into the picture of abject horror.
"John...fucking...Halama...just gave up a home run...to...the...pitcher." I said out loud to the empty living room.
"To the pitcher." I clarified.
The cat yawned and stretched. On the screen, the helpful graphics told me that Maddux' home run occurred in 1999. That the home run was his fifth hit this year.
"I...I..." I stammered.
Maddux came out for a curtain call.
My dad rushed by.
"Wha?!?" he stopped, looking impatient.
"John Halama just gave up a home run to the pitcher!"
"Maddux, he's a good hitter," my dad called back noncommittally.
"HE'S THE PITCHER!!!!" I screamed after him.
And the second "highlight" of the series? Picture it: the Woody Hayes room at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe, Columbus, Ohio. Sunburned after sitting through graduation, dead-dog tired after a strenuous week and even more exhausting weekend, gazing up at the television helpfully installed near the ceiling, sitting next to my grandfather, a Cubs fan.
The play was something of a blur. A hit. I threw up my arms in vindication. No sooner had I opened my mouth to start talking junk to Grandpa when all of a sudden Doug Mirabelli was doing a bellyflop at second base and there was a roar from the Wrigley crowd and my eyes darted from the prostrate Mirabelli to the "2 out" on the graphic and before I knew what I was doing, I clutched my head and hollered, "NO!!"
"NO NO NO NO NO!! SHIT!! DAMMIT!!! SHIT!!!"
Luckily for me, wine had been liberally served at my sister's graduation dinner party and by that point in the evening, many of the guests had already left.
"Heh, heh, heh," my grandfather said.
Cubs fans, man. Pssht.