Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category
Friday, October 22, 2004
The year 1918 is remembered in Europe as the year that ended World War 1 – the war to end all wars it was said. Unfortunately though we well know the human race doesn’t like to give up on its favorite pastime as easily as that. The briefest of conversations with any of our many visitors from the Bay State of Massachusetts soon makes you aware that 1918 is remembered by them as the last time their beloved Boston Red Sox (and yes they really do wear red socks although, perversely, the Chicago White Sox wear black socks) won the ‘World Series Baseball Championship’ – rather an exaggeration, our European visitors are quick to point out, in that only teams from the USA and Canada actually participate!
Anyway, on a nightly basis this week in the Playa Vista bar a mixed crew have watched with fascination as new baseball records have been set at the same time as belief in this year’s Red Sox team mounts.
To fully appreciate the atmosphere it has to be understood that baseball is fanatically followed in the Dominican Republic with extra local spice provided by Boston fielding as many as four Dominicans in their starting line-up on Monday night. So, with locals rubbing shoulder to shoulder with our numerous Boston regulars it made for a tremendously exciting night on Monday as Boston’s despair at going down 3 to 0 in the decisive seven-game series the previous night against their arch-rivals the New York Yankees was turned into genuine reignited hope in a 6-hour marathon game that saw the winning hit being made by one of those famous sons of the Dominican Republic, David ‘Gran Papi’ Ortiz.
The series was now 3-2 but the Red Sox were faced with a trip to the Yankees stadium and the still unlikely possibility of winning the last two games to book a place in the final. Two more nights of intense action-filled games and Boston’s belief is now truly palpable. They are the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a play-off series and have dramatically elbowed aside the 26-time World Champion Yankees to advance to the final of a potentially equally nerve-wracking series against St. Louis Cardinals beginning on Saturday night. Next week we will know if they have finally been able to bury the ghost of 86 years of striving and you should be able to hear the shouts of celebration from the numerous and very vocal Boston supporters in the Playa Vista bar starting with the opener of the new seven-game series on Saturday even if you are some distance away and separated by a soundproof wall or two!
Meanwhile seven years later:
Sure enough the Red Sox delivered on the expectations of our Bostonian friends in 2004. In 2007 they won the World Series again but this year were edged out of the play-offs completely. It looks very much like the St Louis Cardinals who have been a consistently strong team over this period of time might be crowned World Champions this year as they currently have the upperhand in this year’s final against Texas Rangers.