Thursday, October 28, 2004
SpeechlessPosted by Matthew Namee
First of all, I'm writing this at 2 AM on Thursday morning, somewhere around 3 1/2 hours after the Red Sox won the World Series. Before the game, I was sure that if Boston won, I'd have tons to say about it. Maybe it's the fact that it's two in the morning, but I honestly don't know what to say.
Our seats were in left field, Section 386, a half-dozen rows from the top. Other than not being able to see deep fly balls to left, the view was pretty nice. Next to us were a few Red Sox scouts, among them Matt Haas, the guy who signed Kevin Youkilis. Right after "God Bless America" in the middle of the 7th, Mike Webber and I left our seats and trekked over to Section 359, where Bill James and his wife Susie were sitting.
Bill was visibly nervous, and it was then that it began to sink in to me that, you know, we just might pull this off. I spent the whole bottom of the 9th standing behind Bill, on my cell phone with my cousin Nick, a die-hard Boston fan. There's about a three-second delay on the TV broadcast, so when Renteria hit the grounder to Foulke for out #3, I told Nick moments before he saw it on TV. Frankly, as thrilling as it is to have played even the smallest role in this incredible accomplishment, I think I may have been more thrilled that my cousin Nick got to see his Sox win a World Series.
The Cardinals fans were extremely kind -- I can't emphasize that enough. The only ones who even said anything to us were congratulating us. There were thousands of Red Sox fans in the stadium, and of course they stayed well after the end of the game. At one point after the victory, a "Yankees suck" chant got started, but then it seemed like everyone collectively realized, "You know what, who gives a damn about the Yankees? We just won the World Series. The Yankees don't matter right now."
There is so much that can be said about this Red Sox postseason, the game itself, and all the surrounding stories. I'm exhausted and probably wouldn't be the best guy to write all that anyway, but let me just say that this was a wonderful, unforgettable experience.
Oh, one other thing, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only guy to be thinking this... I can't stop wondering, "Okay, what's next?" I'm sure there's something, but this is uncharted territory for pretty much all of us. Really, really cool uncharted territory, but uncharted nonetheless.
Matthew Namee cofounded The Hardball Times in 2004, when he was working as the assistant to baseball author and Red Sox executive Bill James. Matthew still lives in Kansas, where he is currently pursuing a law degree. He can be reached at mfnamee [at] gmail [dot] com.