Monday, October 22, 2007

Red Sox - World "Serious"

World "Serious." It's one of the last little-kid-isms my 6-year old son has left in his vocabulary, but it's so absolutely perfect in describing how fans feel when their team makes it to the championship game. In fact, my wife, oldest daughter and I have all told Matthew's 8-year old sister Riane that she is to stop correcting him on it. We're not too sure that she understands why, but so far she's willing to go along with the rest of us on this.

Down 3 games to 1 against a Cleveland Indians team that had dismantled the Yankees, I have to admit that the mood in the Monaghan household wasn't all that positive, although once Josh Beckett started to announce his presence with authority (to steal a line from Bull Durham), I started thinking that winning this thing might be possible after all.

This has been a terrific season so far. Among the highlights - just about any time Jacoby Ellsbury has been on base, holding off the Yankees, winning the division, steamrolling through the first round, and of course pulling out the pennant after being down 3-1 against a very good Cleveland team.

But the best part of the baseball year for me actually happened rather quietly during a mid-summer's day game in Fenway Park. My 17-year old daughter and I took in a game while looking at New England colleges. On a beautiful sun-drenched afternoon watching the Red Sox win, I turned to her and said, "This is one of my favorite places in the whole world. I love sharing this with you." She turned to me and said, "It's one of my favorite places, too. Thanks for taking me here."

Last night she and my wife surrounded me on the couch as Dustin Pedroia slammed a double off the Green Monster, Kevin Youkilis drove a ball high and deep into the Boston night off one of the Coke bottles in left, and Coco Crisp made another ESPN Web Gem catch to end the game. And as Jonathan Papelbon beckoned for Jason Varitek to "come to papa" in celebration of the 27th out, they were both telling me how much they wished they were at Fenway. But at that moment, sharing the experience of having my favorite baseball team in the World Series with two of the most important people in the world to me, there was no other place on earth I wanted to be.

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