Look, it’s been a pretty shitty year for fans of Red Sox baseball and fans of doing cool shit in general. We can’t cram our asses into Fenway’s narrow seats. We can’t pack into bars to watch games on big screens. We can’t take off our pants and roll around on the sidewalks of Allston (actually, we can do that last one, I just don’t recommend it). And the sad truth is that despite the parade of vaccines promising to bring us back to some sense of “normalcy,” we don’t know when or if we’ll ever get the life we had back. Christ, for all we know, COVIDs 20, 21 and 22 are waiting in the wings, ready to ruin all our Sundays.
But that said, there are still a lot of things to be thankful for. And thinking about them is pretty much the only thing keeping me from a whiskey-induced coma.
So with that, in no particular order, I’m thankful for:
The 2004 Red Sox. For doing what I was one-hundred percent convinced I would never see in my lifetime.
The 2013 Red Sox. The 2004 team will always be The Team, but damned if the 2013 team doesn’t come within percentage points for ownership of my heart and brain. In a year that Boston needed something good to cling to, this hillbilly-looking bunch took us over the top (and literally over Fenway’s bullpen fence).
The 2007 Red Sox.
The 2018 Red Sox.
The fact that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were in the same line-up.
The Jon Lester no-hitter at Fenway.
The Empire Strikes Back.
Every second of games four through seven of the 2004 ALCS.
That John Lackey saved all his magic for October 2013.
That the Indians tried to piss off Josh Beckett in the 2007 ALCS.
Ana de Armas.
That my father got to see the Red Sox win it all.
Watching Xander Bogaerts evolve from fresh-faced rookie tearing it up in the 2013 postseason to the face of the team.
That the Red Sox took Mike Lowell’s contract off the Marlins’ books in 2005.
That I was dead-ass wrong that the Red Sox should have never taken Mike Lowell’s contract off the Marlins’ books in 2005.
That I was equally wrong when I tweeted this.
All of the insane magic that Pedro Martinez conjured in a Red Sox uniform and that we mere mortals got to witness it.
The sound that Mark Bellhorn’s home run in game one of the 2004 World Series made as it clanged off Pesky’s Pole.
Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball.
That Alex Cora is back and the Red Sox are going to win the 2021 World Series.
That there are still some of you out there who’ve continued to read this alcohol-induced content since the site was launched in 2004. For the Real Ones who’ve been there from the start and those who have come aboard along the way, I am eternally grateful.
That I was once part of a world where on any summer night I could get my ass from my house to Fenway in roughly 20 minutes (or three road Buds) to hang outside and hear the crowd roar or weasel my way inside to the cheap seats. Or I could motor down 95 to McCoy and catch a game for less than 10 bucks. After staring at empty ballparks this season, I’ll never, ever take it for granted again.
Did I mention Ana de Armas? Because yes.