I know a lot of people who read this are college students like me. So I think you all can sympathize with me when I say this week has beaten me down harder than a Randy Orton RKO:
It’s been so bad that I haven’t even been able to watch any of the World Series so far this year. Yes sir it’s been a hell week among hell weeks. But when life gets you down like that there’s only one thing you can do… and that’s watch Four Days in October until all the bad things go away.
Now the dirty four letter network down in Bristol doesn’t do a whole lot right, but their 30 for 30 films are spot on. And as I was watching it, I realized that it’s hard to imagine how long it’s been since we all crowded around our televisions late into the night and watched 86 years of heartbreak and bullsh*t be replaced with pure unadulterated joy. And considering that it’s the 10-year anniversary of our favorite bunch of idiots shocking the world (and because if I maintain my current level of anger on these things I’ll have a heart murmur by the time I’m 25) I thought it would be nice to take a trip down memory lane, and relive the greatest postseason in baseball history.
We start the reminiscing at the low point in Red Sox baseball for the entire first decade of the new millennium: Game 7 ALCS 2003. Grady Little leaves Pedro Martinez in the game too long and Aaron f*cking Boone hit a homerun off of Tim Wakefield in the bottom of the 11th ruining all of our lives for like a solid three weeks. At the young age of nine I learned the hard way what it meant to be a Red Sox fan. I’d never been more pissed off and depressed in my life. They came so close. SO DAMN CLOSE! And they pissed it away like kidney stone… painfully and shamefully. Between that and the Red Sox history I had begun to learn about, I wondered if I’d be doomed to the same fate as my parents – to watch the team I love rip my heart out time after time after time.
But then along came 2004. The Sox added ace Curt Schilling and lockdown closer Keith Foulke during the offseason, along with role players Gabe Kapler and Mark Bellhorn. The Sox also shtcanned Grady and brought in Terry Francona (By the way, for those of you keeping score at home, that’s two weeks in a row I’ve worked the word “shtcanned” into my articles). With all these additions to an already playoff bound team, the Red Sox were primed for another competitive season.
The Red Sox played exceptionally well during the season, posting a 98-64 record. The best moment of the season was when douchebag extraordinaire and steroid-monger Alex Rodriguez tried to pick a fight with the greatest Red Sox catcher since Carlton Fisk, Jason Varitek, and A-Roid got a face-full of justice from the Red Sox captain.
The Red Sox also made multiple key acquisitions at the trade deadline: shortstop Orlando Cabrera and Gold Glove first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz were acquired in a trade for fan favorite Nomar Garciaparra, and base stealer Dave Roberts and reliever Curtis Leskanic were also added to the Red Sox roster at the end of July. Despite a record worthy of winning the division, the Red Sox still finished behind the Yankees, but managed to claim the wildcard spot.
The Sox swept the Angels in the ALDS on a walk-off homerun from David Ortiz. This set up another matchup with the Evil Empire that was George Steinbrenner’s New York Yankees in the ALCS. As we all know the Red Sox went down 0-3 in the series, including a 19-8 beatdown in Game 3, leading even forever hopeful nine-year old me to believe that the Sox were done.
But then, the clock struck midnight on October 18th 2004 and everything changed, as the Cinderella Red Sox came storming back.
In the bottom of the 9th of Game 4, first baseman and ringleader of the idiots circus Kevin Millar drew a walk against Mariano Rivera. Roberts pinch ran and stole second, with the entire world knowing he was going to steal. And as fate would have it, Rivera’s kryptonite Bill Mueller was at the plate, and drove in Roberts during that same AB, tying the game. David Ortiz would walk-off in the 12th with a homerun and he would walk off again in Game 5 in the bottom of the 14th, driving in Johnny Damon with a single.
With the series now only 3-2 Yankees, the comeback was not only plausible, but I fully believed it was destined to happen. As Schilling put it: “Why not us?” and as Game 6 began, Big Schill himself took the mound and absolutely delivered. Now I’ve given the man some crap in the past for the train wreck that was Studio 38, but regardless of his failed business ventures, his performance in Game 6 cemented his place as a legend in Red Sox history. Bloody sock and all, Curt Schilling pitched seven dominating innings giving up one run with a torn sheath on his ankle ligament and the Sox won 4-2. Simply put: Baller. As. F*ck. Game 7 came the next day and the there was no way in hell the Sox were losing this one. Derek Lowe pitched a solid six innings and Damon homered twice, including a grand slam, and the Red Sox toppled the evil empire 10-3, becoming the first team in Major League Baseball to win a series after being down 0-3. And the rest? Well…
The 2004 season wasn’t just another World Series title. Winning in that fashion did so much more for the Red Sox and their fans than just bring home a trophy.
It ended 86 years of winlessness and we finally beat those damn Yanks in the most humiliating way possible. Babe Ruth – gone. Bucky Dent – gone. Aaron f*cking Boone – gone. Years of misery and disappointment wiped away as our boys hoisted the trophy in St. Louis as the fabled Bronx Bombers watched the games at home. Not only that, but it started another decade of Bostonian domination the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the turn of the last century. Their three World Series victories are the most any team in Major League Baseball has won since we entered the 21st century. The lovable losers have become a dominating dynasty, whose performance on the field has finally risen to a level worthy of the voracity of its fanbase. So the next time you think about how good we have it as modern day Red Sox fans, be sure to thank the miracle pulled off by a bunch of idiots, four days in October, 10 years ago.