A Moment at Fenway

Papelbon’s on the mound in extra innings, and the Twins are caught looking, third strike. Thanks to undergroundbastard for the shot.

Papelbon, doing what he does best

I Found It In My Fone

Reminder:  I am an English teacher.

Below is a found poem, a poem that was not written so much as found.  I’ve “written” found poems in the poetry classes I teach, often by using classified ads.  Sometimes they look a little something like this:

3BD $750  1000sq. ft.                                                                                                 

pd laundry on site

util. incl.

no pets must see

Below is a found poem from my cellphone’s text messaging center.  It details, up until the actual moment, my vy to get World Series tickets.  Events include cooperating with friends for the first and second days the tickets went on sale and also trying to tickets through other outlets.

The 27th.  I do not work.  Possible rox vs bo sox.  Want to go if i can get tix?

Rox. Sox. My head might explode.

Baseball heaven.  Coming up next weekend on a prayer.

Not looking good.  I’ve been trying for 55 minutes.  We can always hang out and watch the game.

Tix on sale at noon!

I tried.  They are sold out.

3 & 4 sold out.

Gonna try 4 tix in Denver.

Check yer email for tix.  Don’t have internet tonite.

Any word on tix?

Not yet. Still hoping.

We must manifest them! See ourselves in the skybox!

Tix fell thru.  I will not lose hope.  I believe.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

And believe I did.  I got tix through an old friend and my friend Geoff (featured above among the many messages) paid mucho $$$ to a broker for a single ticket.  But we both went and watched baseball history. 

Degrees of Fan(atics)

You gotta hand it to the Colorado Rockies baseball team: they’ve got the best fans.  Sure,  most of them don’t know a slider from a sinker or a balk from a bunt, but their lack of knowledge belies their decided unlack of enthusiasm.

I was one of the lucky fifty-five thousand or so who attended Game 4 of the World Series at Coors Field in Denver.  Pockets of red and blue were surrounded by a sea of purple and black.  One big red pocket, about the size of a section, was doing its best to taunt and torture the all-but-defeated Rockies.  Although I grew up a diehard Red Sox fan and matured into a student of baseball, all I wore to the game was the pink acrylic hat with an emblazoned “B” I bought this summer at Fenway.  No need to rub it in.

In fact, I sat silent most of the night, transfixed by the pre-grame cornucopia of balloons, presentations, fireworks, and F-16s.  I sat there, perched hundreds of feet above home plate and watched as my beloved Red Sox beat on the kids from Denver.  Again.

The game started with plenty of excitement as fans waved their free white rally towels around their heads.  No, they weren’t hoping for a miracle; they were just doing what they do: being uninformed but enthusiastic fans.

Red Sox fans are much different.  We know stats, player histories, and statistically the best play.  We even know what the pitcher is going to throw next, based on the pitcher, batter, number of outs, size of the ballpark, and RISP.  It’s just what we do.

As I watched the Rockies’ dream of merely looking good in the World Series come to an end in the latter innings of Game 4, I felt a little bad for the crowd around me.  I’ve no love for the Babe, and I watched the Bucky Dents and the Bill Buckners shatter my baseball hopes while growing up.  I cringed at Aaron Boone’s solo homerun as the Yankees once again did away with the Red Sox in a heated penant race in 2003.  I cried after Game 3 the following year as the Yankees embarrassed us, 19-8.

But then I watched the miracle, the 4-0 run against the Yankees and the sweep of the Cardinals to bring back to Boston the Commissioner’s trophy.  I agonized over the extra innings and the clutch bat of Ortiz.  I had been there.

 As I looked around me Sunday night, feeling the inevitable about to happen, my heart went out to those treading water in the purple and black sea.  The subdued crowd grew subdueder except for the outspoken faithful, who, believe it or not, believed in the miracle.  Rockies fans were still enjoying themselves, laughing, and making jokes.  They’d had a good run and they knew it.  Hell, they didn’t even belong in the World Series.

Red Sox fans.  Not so much.  Over the years we’ve elevated agonizing to an art form, and we hate the Yankees almost as much as we love the Red Sox.  You cannot, in fact, do the latter without doing the former.

But fans living west of the Mississippi are different.  They appreciate what they have (in this case, a good ballclub) and enjoy the ride without the anxiety.  Maybe they’re shallow.  Or maybe they’re just chill.

Red Sox Nation could learn much about not letting spectator sports run or ruin their lives.  And Rockies fans could learn a thing or two about baseball, ya know, for next season.

They could even start here: a sinker is a fastball and a slider is a change-up.