If you like the Red Sox, that series was the stuff of legends. If you like to see the Yankees and their fans suffer, ditto. And we get it. That was 86 years of curse-related angst being thrown into the Charles River.
Did I, personally, hope the Red Sox would lose forever? Sure. I was also 13. Objectively, Boston fans can have a single World Series, as a treat. Even two.
Now, though, Yankees fans are sitting through a one-in-two-decades title non-run, while the Sox have picked up rings in ’04, ’07, ’13 and ’18. All of those championship years were infuriating for different reasons.
2004 included a four-day pile driver to the groin of every Yankee fan. 2007 featured a 3-1 comeback over title-starved Cleveland, proving the Sox were fairly unkillable. 2013 was a projected last-place team! 2018 was the most dominant post-1998 baseball team, and it coincided directly with what was supposed to be our window.
Apparently, though, the Red Sox and their fans, in the wake of Game 3 of the friggin’ 2021 ALDS, are now on a mission to make you believe nothing after 2004 counted. They apparently feel they’ve been stuck on square one ever since they got that initial monkey off their backs.
We don’t understand a thing about it, either, but what else could this mean?
Red Sox fans want you to feel like this is their first good moment since 2004. Yankees fans’ jaws are on the floor.
I…don’t understand. What about David Ortiz’s grand slam in 2013? Manny’s Game 2 walk-off against the Angels in 2007? Any one of the stupid 2018 team’s 108 victories en route to pay dirt? Nope. Right back to 2004. As if none of this two-decade run of sustained lucky breaks ever happened. We’re all experiencing joy for the first time! Aw, love that dirty water!
Christian Vazquez’s enthusiasm is understandable, though. He was on the field at Fenway, socking a magical walk-off. Though his evocation of Ortiz is bizarre, it’s not completely off the rails. Fenway’s an old ballpark. He feels the ghosts of bygone baseball. The Yankees tore down their stadium packed with memories; the Red Sox didn’t.
But then…what is this? It’s Bill Simmons claiming revenge for the…1975 World Series? After taking home 12 titles in 21 years? After writing off the 2021 Red Sox himself last week? That’s what this is?
Call up Johnny Bench! The 1975 Cincinnati Reds are surely shaking in their boots at this wicked vengeance! What kind of person wins the number of titles your average Bostonian has recently, and goes, “Nope. Not enough. Not until I can reverse the Ed Armbrister play in the 1975 World Series will I be satisfied.”
And so that brings us to the end of our program here: the reason Red Sox fans are acting like they discovered luck for the first time in their lives on Sunday night. Hunter Renfroe banging a loose baseball into the bullpen with his own body with two outs in the 13th inning.
Without Renfroe’s clumsiness, the ball scoots around the outfield and breaks the tie. Instead, the Red Sox found one of the strangest loopholes in the official MLB rule book, and were rewarded for their own incompetence, allowing Vazquez to walk it off.
Thanks to the fallacy of the predetermined outcome, the game would’ve ended 6-5 Sox anyway, those blessed fans would like you to know. But we know better.
Exciting moment? Sure! No doubt. Any other franchise would kill for this one. Might be nice for the Pirates. Hey, the Cleveland Guardians would love a moment like this! Red Sox fans? They’re acting like they finally feel young again, rooting on a scrappy underdog with a $185 million payroll against the behemoth, 100-win…Tampa Bay Rays? Do I have that right? The team that pays their players in Golden Corral buffet vouchers?
Yes. That’s right. Forget 2007, 2013, 2018, and a hundred-year history of exciting playoff wins. None of that ever happened. This is the first time Boston’s felt that underdog joy since 2004. This is a real run. That’s why they need this. Congratulations on your first-ever lucky bounce, Bostonians. Congrats on avenging the Ed Armbrister game. Every other fan base is so happy for you.
And we’ll be sure to get that deflection rule changed just in time for your city to benefit again on the other side of it. So good! So good! So good!