Sunday, October 17, 2004: There really is not much to say the morning after a 19-8 massacre in a game that for all intents and purposes was a must win. Because faith is blind, I spent most of the afternoon wondering if we could not be the team to make history, to win a series after being down 3-0. these are the longest of odds and we are playing a team that knows how to keep its foot on the neck of its opponents once those opponents are down. Emily Dickinson once wrote that “Hope is the thing with feathers.” Hope, Ms. Dickinson, is the thing wearing the Red Sox hat today. And we still have hope. But it is fading.

Here are my first impressions of last night’s loss, written in an email to myself last night:

Immediate, if drunken, responses: I did not bring this upon myself. None of us did, really. You commit yourself to a team for reasons you never really understand, mostly related to geography, history, and perhaps a hint of daddy-did-it genetics. You wish and you hope and you love. And it sure enough is unconditional — it is not as if you expect Derek Lowe to send you a card or Johnny Damon to call you on your birthday. All you ask is that they return it. That they return it with effort. That they return it with grit. That they fucking return it somehow.
I am a 33 year-old man. I have a PhD, a good job, a great girlfriend, and frankly a life worth living. And yet . . . and yet. This team, this team I have yearned for and dreamed about and gushed over, this bunch of guys mostly younger then I, well, they can put me in this state. . . .And in this state, I am the bad guy — I have lost faith. Never mind that I did not give up 19 runs. Never mind that I was well aware that a loss tonight meant we were done. Never mind that . . . oh, never mind. Some years just hurt more than others. (Oh — and fuck Tim McCarver for railing on Manny in the second inning for trying to take third when, by the way, he was safe — the ump fucked up, not Manny, you sanctimonious, out-of-touch ass) My affliction is one that is unconditional. Tomorrow I’ll rationalize why they can win four in a row, despite the fact that no team has ever done so in baseball. Tomorrow I’ll deal with the calls on my cell phone. Tomorrow I’ll start dealing with, well, tomorrow.

So tomorrow is now today, and we have Derek Lowe going to the mound, most likely against an El Duque who will have no reason to feel any pressure. A win will give us one more game. Right now that is all we can play for – the chance to play one more time.

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