There it is. 12:06 a.m. on the East Coast and Jonathan Papelbon has just struck out Seth Smith to end the 2007 World Series and the baseball season. As I have every year for as long as I can remember, I made sure I stayed up to watch the final out, to see the last pitch of the season, to watch the celebration and to wrap my head around “Boston Red Sox, World Series champions,” or whoever the team has been.
Man, the Rockies gave them a ride these last two nights, cutting both games close before Boston pulled away and put it away.
I love how Jason Varitek already has the championship hat on during the on-field interview. I love how Jamey Carroll gave that ball a ride to the wall in left field and how his brother, Wes, whom I covered in Lakewood in 2002 and must’ve had a moment of unbelievable excitement. I love how it was Jon Lester who started this game only a year after chemotherapy treatments for Hodgkin’s disease. I love how wonderfully enthralling and engaging Roger Angell‘s season wrapups are and how we’ll get to read another one in a week or two.
I love how Bud Selig still looks like a car salesman even as he’s presenting a Tiffany trophy to the Red Sox ownership. I love how John Henry can sound so genuine in recognizing the Rockies and their 21-out-of-22 stretch. I love how Jeannie Zelasko seems to be wearing M.C. Hammer’s pants.
I love how Alex Rodriguez — or Scott Boras, or both — planned his opt-out announcement for tonight, to steal some thunder, to start the process right away, to try to make it all about him. I love how he didn’t show up in Denver to accept his Hank Aaron Award alongside the NL winner, Prince Fielder. I love how Mike Lowell is the Series MVP and is a free agent and that the Red Sox will probably re-sign him rather than spend the money for A-Rod. I love how the Rangers are off the hook for their remaining $21 million on A-Rod’s contract. I love how the Yankees say they won’t negotiate with him now that he’s opted out and how this can only end one of two ways: 1) He leaves, or 2) they lied.
I love how they run the credits along with highlights of the Series all set to music and how that song was Van Morrison’s “Golden Autumn Day” in 2004. I love how that song was Bruce Springsteen’s “Radio Nowhere” tonight, followed by U2’s “Walk On” for the extra minute.
I love how Jacoby Ellsbury stole us a taco.
I love how there’s only one October, meaning we won’t have to see Dane Cook yelling at us anymore.
And I love how everything starts anew again in four months when full squads report to spring training.