Monday, February 17, 2014

My Blood Pressure Is "Rising" Reliving This Stuff

I've been reading Michael Gee's coverage of 1986 baseball postseason in old issues of the weekly Boston Phoenix online. Some highlights are below. Click each to read more easily.

The 10/21/86 issue was between ALCS and World Series. The Red Sox had just completed their amazing from-the-dead comeback, and Gee closes his article with this:

Wow. He talks about how after that ALCS, we'd never have to hear about the "destiny-of-doom jive" again, and that "you've got to like the Red Sox' chances forever." Little did he know.... (He does talk about how logic has gone out the window and that all scenarios in the World Series are equally plausible.)

We move to the 10/28 issue, at which point the first five games of the World Series have been played. We all remember the Sox taking two at Shea before losing the next two at home and then going up 3-2 as the series headed back to Queens. And Mr. Gee is a tad off again:

He says the 1986 World Series will be remembered as being "noticeably short of the melodrama of the preceding playoffs." Whoops. He should have re-read his own words from the previous week, with the logic and the plausibility and whatnot. [Side note: I believe there is a line covered up at the bottom of the above article. I think it says: "But it probably won't." Odd that he'd think the title of World Champions wouldn't satisfy either set of fans. I'm pretty sure Mets fans were kinda okay with winning that year.]

And now it's all over. November is here, and Gee is still writing. [Had to cut this into two parts.] Here's what he closes with:
Lots of "curse" talk there. I do like how he mentions "some far distant edition of the Red Sox" who will finally win it all.

Another interesting thing from the November 4th issue: They have an article by a person who's involved with a rabid fan of the Boston teams. She tries as hard as she can but just can't get into it. She decides the whole thing just isn't worth it. Oddly, though, she ends her piece talking about how it's currently Game 7 of the ALCS. I think it's kind of fitting that after she goes through close calls with the Celts and Pats, possibly the all-time heart-breaking-est ending to a baseball season happens, but she's decided to hand her article in without even seeing how the World Series turned out first. That's all we needed to know about whether she was a true fan or not. At least she was honest. Still, I wonder if the Phoenix had second thoughts about printing what turned out to be a seemingly woefully unfinished tale that week.

There's also an article written by a Mets fan from one of the October issues, talking about how all the frontrunners in Manhattan have picked up on Mets Mania but will drop them just as quickly when things go sour again, and how the tickets for the playoffs all end up in the hands of the bosses of the true fans who went to games all season.

So go find this stuff at the Google archives and read it all. Of course, when I saw they had old Phoenixes (Phoenices?) up there, I dove in not looking for sports stuff, but for old ads for concerts and music reviews and stuff. It's so funny reading these Sox stories right next to ads for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Centrum in Worcester or whatever. And look, they didn't even know how to spell "Megadeth" yet!

P.S.: For anyone who doesn't know me or how old I am, I will point out that I remember this series like it was five minutes ago and it still kills me. I was 11 years old but had been following the Red Sox for years (despite what the Internet tells you: "We all started liking baseball at age 8 or 9, you don't have interest in it before that." Terrible job, Internet. I was collecting cards in '78!). Aunt Nancy came over just so she could be with us when the Red Sox won the World Series. We all stood up in a circle in the family room and held hands waiting for that final strike....


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Location: Rhode Island, United States