October 21, 2004


New England Rejoices In Boston Uncommon (Thomas Boswell, October 21, 2004, Washington Post)

The hero of the night, even more than ALCS MVP David Ortiz and winning pitcher Derek Lowe, was Johnny Damon, the hair-down-the-back free spirit who symbolizes the wacky Red Sox clubhouse. Damon, the epitome of all the Boston anti-Yankees, had the game of a lifetime in this game for the ages: two homers and six RBI.

His first homer, a grand slam, left the park at 9:11 p.m. for a 6-0 lead. However, as Damon's second blast flew directly over my head into the upper deck of Yankee Stadium, a.k.a. headquarters of the Evil Empire, it was time to call Sheik on the cell phone.

"The Red Sox have exploded," said Sheik, relishing the word as the Boston lead stood at 8-1 in the fifth inning. "All of New England is going crazy."

Then he paused, because it has been so, so ridiculously unjustly long -- literally a lifetime in his case without a single Red Sox championship or even one truly glorious humiliation of the Yankees franchise that has lorded over the Red Sox with all their babbling about "curses" as they've bought 26 titles since 1920.

"Let's just hope we can hold the lead," said Sheik.

They held it, 10-3. Just this once, a huge lead was actually enough. Between innings, the Yankees boomed their center field scoreboard with every conceivable highlight from their glorious past, trying to incite their fans and intimidate their guests. But this time it didn't work. And there is a reason why this season was different.

Finally, Red Sox familiarity with the Yankees has bred a healthy contempt.

In Hype-Happy World, One Rivalry Measures Up (GEORGE VECSEY, 10/21/04, NY Times)
They came through, both teams. They lived up to the hype. They justified all the talk about the greatest rivalry in American sports.

The Red Sox and the Yankees undermined the health of people who forced their eyes open in the midnight hours. They made people care, one way or the other.

The exhibition season began in March with Boston fans shouting vile things at Alex Rodriguez, the newest Yankee. The two teams jostled each other in a scrum in late July. And the Yankees' season ended last night as the Red Sox finally shrugged off their ancient tormentors with a 10-3 victory to win the American League pennant.

In true Red Sox fashion, they even survived a Grady Little moment, the death-wish insertion of Pedro Martínez into the game by Terry Francona, which roused Yankees fans out of their sullen stupor. Until the final out, any Boston fan would have sourly insisted that something dreadful could still ruin this huge lead.

Red Sox fans had seen too many dismal reverses, too many bad bounces, since the last pennant in 1986, since Babe Ruth was sold in 1920, since the Sox last won a World Series in 1918. Jerry Coleman. Bucky Dent. Aaron Boone. Pick a generation. Pick a disaster.

But you did not have to be steeped in the various myths and curses and legends that have accrued in this rivalry to know that something deep and genetic was going on. This went beyond the contemporary he-hate-me bravado of athletes. This was in the blood.

One thing that made the victory especially sweet was that Visa commercial where George Steinbrenner has a sore arm from signing so many checks. Next time better try buying some starting pitching.

A Date That Will Always Be Remembered (DAN SHAUGHNESSY, 10/21/04, The Boston Globe)

FOREVERMORE, the date goes into the New England calendar as an official no-school/no-work/no-mail-delivery holiday in Red Sox Nation.

Mark it down. Oct. 20. It will always be the day Sox citizens were liberated from eight decades of torment and torture at the hands of the Yankees and their fans.

Boston Baseball's Bastille Day.

The 2004 Red Sox won the American League pennant in the heart of the Evil Empire last night. In the heretofore haunted Bronx house, raggedy men wearing red socks embarrassed and eliminated the $180 million payroll Yankees, 10-3, in the seventh game of their American League Championship Series.

On the very soil where the Sox were so cruelly foiled in this same game one year ago, the Sons of Tito Francona completed the greatest postseason comeback in baseball history. No major league team had recovered from a 3-0 series deficit.

Red Sox fans now have a stock answer for those clever chants of "1918!'' They'll always be able to cite the fall of 2004, when the Big Apple was finally and firmly lodged in the throats of men wearing pinstripes. This time it was the gluttonous Yankees who choked.

ARTICLES FROM TODAY'S SPORTS SECTION A World Series party | Sox complete comeback, oust Yankees for AL title
-- By Dan Shaughnessy, Globe Staff

Story is too good for words
-- By Bob Ryan, Globe Columnist

Miracle workers | Resurgent Red Sox storm into World Series, leaving stunned Yankees behind
-- By Bob Hohler, Globe Staff

It's the high point for Lowe
-- By Jackie MacMullan, Globe Columnist

Red Sox chase history | Near finish of four-game comeback against N.Y.
-- By Dan Shaughnessy, Globe Staff

Red Sox notebook: MVP Ortiz shouldered the load | Ace's extra effort may pay dividends
-- By Bob Hohler, Globe Staff

On baseball: Victory was redemption for all
-- By Gordon Edes

Damon finds hitting groove
-- By Reid Laymance, Globe Staff

Morgan magic | Team doctor works wonders for Schilling
-- By Bob Hohler and Raja Mishra, Globe Staff

Boston bats put hurting on Brown | Postseason experience didn't help righthander
-- By Peter May, Globe Staff

Fans keeping watchful eye

Newest Yankees fail to deliver
-- By Peter May, Globe Staff

Martinez gets chance to help
-- By Reid Laymance, Globe Staff

Series proves baseball in October has no rival
-- By Dave Anderson, New York Times

Giving up was never in this group's nature
-- By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff

Ace's gritty performance won't soon be forgotten
-- By Jackie MacMullan, Globe Staff

Foulke's closing act deserving of ovation
-- By Reid Laymance, Globe Staff

New York Yankees coverage from around the Web:

New York Times:
A wise decision brings Boston home

New York Post:
A-Rod now face of failure

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 21, 2004 9:20 AM

Hold on, isn't it all about scoring more runs than your oppenents? Well, the Yankees got more total runs than the Red Sox (45-41) and therefore the Yankees won the series. The Red Sox are not the AL champs!

Posted by: Al Gore at October 21, 2004 9:38 AM


That was their argument in 1960 too.

Posted by: oj at October 21, 2004 9:42 AM

sounds like a 'risky scheme' to me ..

(say it with a lisp)

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at October 21, 2004 9:55 AM

Hats off to the Red Sox. What a great series.

I wanted the hated Yankees to win because I have lots of students who are Red Sox fans and I wanted to see them in pain. I must say, earlier in the year I posted something about the Yankees and Bosox acquisitions and said that Curt S. was a better acquisition than Arod because good pitching always beats good hitting. In the last four games, that was shown.

The World Series should be interesting.

Posted by: pchuck at October 21, 2004 9:57 AM

Even in the 9th I thought there was about a
50/50 chance the Yankees could have a 7 run
inning. Thankfully that didn't happen, but that
was my mindset.

One thing the Sox fans are good at (usually) is
waiting for the very last out.

Posted by: J.H. at October 21, 2004 10:11 AM


Holy Herald, when did you start hating your job ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 21, 2004 10:14 AM

I am a big baseball fan. I work in a law school and lots of my students are either Cubs fans or Red Sox fans (odd because we are in Omaha, Nebraska).

Anywho, I enjoy seeing their hopes dashed when it comes to baseball. I saw it when the Cubs imploded in July, August, September (and I like the Cubs). I believe the term is schadenfreude.

Although I know it is a game and I am not into the exaltation of baseball but it is a lot like life because there is an awful lot of failure going on in baseball (just like life). For example, you make 7 outs for every 10 times at bat and you are considered a great hitter.

Posted by: pchuck at October 21, 2004 10:25 AM

Even though I was pulling for NY to win it was undeniably inspiring to witness the Sox comeback after being down 3-nothing and getting drubbed last Saturday.

Now the world could be made perfect if my Cardinals win tonight and go on to crush Boston in the WS coupled with a Bush landslide on November 2nd.

Posted by: MB at October 21, 2004 11:02 AM


Hey, I'm in Omaha too! Wanna hold a BroJudd reader get-together at the Old Market or something on Election Day to ring in four more years? ;-)

I'm one EXTREMELY disappointed Yankees fan today, and it pains me like hell to say this, but...congrats to the Red Sox. What a series!!! They made a lot of doubters -- myself included -- temporarily shut up.

Now we'll see if they can lift the Curse for good by winning the WS. Go Cards or 'Stros! (Sorry, OJ -- my graciousness only extends so far.)

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 21, 2004 1:16 PM

This is a great day.

If they can only win 4 more, I might be able to finally forget the pain of 1986. I hope...

Posted by: cornetofhorse at October 21, 2004 4:25 PM

I hate that evil Steinbrenner, signing so many checks and having the highest payroll in baseball. Nothing like those wonderful Sox, who have the second highest payroll...

Posted by: brian at October 21, 2004 4:32 PM