Friday, September 30, 2011

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Ah, September can be such a cruel month in New England. As the first day dawned, the Red Sox were in first place, 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees and 9 wins better than Tampa Bay. It was great to be a Boston sports fan.

Well, you know what happened next. The team with the third highest payroll in baseball limped on to a 7-and-20 record over the final four weeks. After Hurricane Irene swept through on August 28, the Sox never won back-to-back games.
The dreaded and feared collapse again reminded Fenway fans of the opening paragraph from A. Bartlett Giamatti’s great essay, “The Green Fields of the Mind.” Here’s how the former commissioner of baseball described our dependence on the sport:
“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”
October can be a nasty stretch, too. In a few weeks we will be reminded of the 25th anniversary of Game 6 of the Sox-Mets World Series. Please wake me when October passes, too.

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