The Journalists Have No Words

I like this piece by Bob Ryan. He literally doesn’t know what to say.

This pretty much sums it up for me:

Of all the conceivable outcomes in last night’s game, the one nobody in New England dared fantasize about was the one we saw. And what we saw was a two-way display of dominance. Johnny Damon pretty much personally took care of the offensive end all by himself with his second-inning grand slam and his fourth-inning two-run shot off Javier Vazquez, while Derek Lowe threw perhaps the most efficient six innings of baseball any Red Sox pitcher has submitted all year, holding the Yankees to one hit and one run while dispatching the hated Yankees in a Tewksburyian 69 pitches.

Yesterday I wrote that I was steeling myself, I still felt bruised from last October, I was protecting myself, etc. etc. I never dared fantasize that the game would turn out to be the kind of game it was. It was beyond thrilling. You just had to shake your head, and throw up your hands, and watch it unfold, as belief and faith grew … solidified … manifested … as it all became real.

Here’s more from Ryan’s great article –

What they did as a group will now be toasted and recounted for decades to come, and it should be. What we just saw was a tribute to 25 athletes and a coaching staff that refused to acknowledge a 100-year history. Baseball teams don’t come back from being down, 3-0, they were told. They didn’t buy into it.

The week of baseball they gave us would have been phenomenal under any circumstances, but when you’re the Red Sox playing the Yankees, it is never a normal circumstance. To come within three outs of being swept in Game 4, to persevere in that extraordinary 14-inning Game 5, to receive the kind of gritty pitching they got from Schilling in Game 6, and then to put everything together in spectacular fashion in Game 7, and to do it all against the Yankees, was an off-the-charts display of class and determination.

One year ago the Red Sox lost a traumatic Game 7 in this very park. It was talked about incessantly. Last Saturday night, the team lost a 19-8 game in Fenway. It was another frustrating chapter in the great Yankee-Red Sox drama. Elimination was imminent. The entire relationship between the Red Sox and their greatest rival seemed fated to remain an endlessly repetitious story in which the dynamics would never change. Call it Groundhog Day. Call it Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. Call it Sisyphus pushing his rock up the hill. They all apply. Down, 3-0, and having been humiliated in their own park (19 and 22 hits), the Red Sox were regarded as toe-tag material — again.

There was only one place on earth where there was any hope, and that was inside the Red Sox clubhouse.

What happened last night cannot be compared to other sporting events, other moments … actually, this whole past week stands alone in its … Jesus, I’ve lost my vocabulary. I was just going to write: this past week stands alone in its sheer amazing-ness.

Oh well. That’ll have to do.

This week has been nonstop sheer amazing-ness.

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15 Responses to The Journalists Have No Words

  1. Steve says:


    What is the best word that describes the ideal becoming real?

  2. red says:

    Coagulated sounds like an oozing wound, though – or something ikky like that.

    I kind of like to say, in such situations, “made manifest” – You know, ideas or abstract things manifesting … but like I said, I have lost my vocabulary today.

  3. j swift says:

    Though I am not a Red Sox fan or much of a baseball fan – Congratulations to all Red Sox fans!

    I grew up in Colorado and struggled through being a fan of the Broncos as they repeatedly got their butts kicked and finally doing the butt kicking during the Elway years. I can relate.

  4. Dan says:

    Big smiles today. BIG smiles.

  5. Dave J says:

    Yeah, I feel the same way: completely at a loss for words. So great.

  6. Bernard says:

    “Amazing-ness” does it for me.

  7. So Dan Shaughnessy has to retire now, right?

  8. susie says:

    You know I’m not really a baseball fan, but I love great drama and the Red Sox have definitely given me that. I actually shed a joyful tear last night when they won. You know my favorite book ever, I’ve read it four times, is The Brothers K, by David James Duncan. It’s a book about family and baseball and it really gave me an appreciation for how deep the love of a fan goes for their team so congratulation to all of those Red Sox fans. May your joy be amplified and expanded a thousand times in the world series!

  9. red says:

    susie: what the heck?? I have never heard of the Brothers K (although I am deeply engrossed in the OTHER Brothers K right now) – I will definitely check out the book you mention.

    Another book I love which really gets the romance and poetry of being a sports fan (sorry, but it’s true) – is Sportsman’s Paradise by Nancy Lemann. I love that book. She “gets” it. She makes fun of it, but she also understands it.

  10. susie says:

    I will definitely check out Sportsman’s Paradise. I wish I had read the “real” brothers K before Duncan’s book. There are references galore, one of the characters becomes obsessed with Russian Lit because he’s in love with a Russian Lit major. It’s the only book I ever read, sobbing through the last chapters, and upon completing it, promptly turned it over and started reading it all over again.
    I was just writing about the last three games and how I thought I was going to blow a vein – there’s a tension in baseball that is palpable. I am very much hoping for a Cardinals/Red Sox series. I don’t think I can handle the press drawing the Massachusetts v. Texas analogies. Today already I heard a news commentator commenting that with two rain delays and a 7 game series they will be playing the final game on Nov. 2.
    I want a pure baseball experience and 3 kleenex movie style happy ending.

  11. Rob says:

    “I want a pure baseball experience”

    Susie says it all. Keep politics and celebrities away from this. I want to see Red Sox and Cards, Cards and Red Sox. Shots of both team’s fabulous fans are fine.

    Make me sports director for a week. That’s all anyone would see.

  12. red says:

    Rob –

    I definitely nominate you sports director. I need baseball to be pure …

    And how WONDERFUL to have my team in the World Series in the middle of what I find to be the most annoying and irritating Presidential election I have ever experienced.

    I need that escape.

  13. red says:

    Oh but Rob – one request. My cousin is a celebrity Red Sox fan. He’s a wonderful man, and will be at the games. So shots of his happy Irish mug need to be allowed. Thank you.

  14. Rob says:

    OK, one exception.

  15. red says:

    My cousin, by the way, is not Ben Affleck, so we should be okay.

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