The Red Sox were able to make Rays fans cry on Saturday with Beckett and the Sox winning Game 6, but it was tears of joy for them on Sunday night as the Rays won Game 7. It was a good year for the Sox, and it was fun following them through it. This was the first year since I jumped aboard the wagon in 2003 that I've followed pro baseball this closely. In the past, I've coached my son in baseball and had other commitments that took a higher precedence. I guess you could say this was the year I swore true allegiance to the Sox. I floundered for a few years, saying "Yeah, they're my team", and this or that, but this is where I went all in.
I did it with the Blue Devils for a couple of years, volleying back and forth between them and the Tar Heels in the mid/late 80's. That was before I knew it couldn't be both. I just grew to respect what the Dukies had going and through my hat into that ring. That's paid off in spades with three National Championships!
With the Bucs, I waivered after swearing off the Cowboys when Jerry Jones let Jimmy Johnson leave the Pokes. (And hired a Sooner no less in Barry Switzer). It was the mid-90s and the Jaguars and Panthers were just starting out. It seemed like a fresh start could be had. (I still have a Jaguar Football t-shirt). I chose the Bucs as my NFC team, but my love grew for what the Glazers and Tony Dungy were building, that I dropped the Jags altogether a year or so later. Now I've dedicatedly followed them since, and enjoyed the great ride of 2002 with a Super Bowl victory.
Now, with the Red Sox, I had still been in that middle ground. I had always followed the Astros, and my favorite player had always been Craig Biggio. However, a year or so ago, I began to notice that he was the only reason I was rooting for the Astros. Once he retired, there was nothing left. Astros managment was ditching all of the prospects for middling players and what I viewed as basically, crap! The Red Sox were my American League team by that time, and I had rooted for them through the Grady debacle, and the two World Series wins. I didn't consider myself neccessarily a bandwagon jumper, but I guess I am. I officially jumped in with both feet this season with no turning back, and spent evenings on the back patio listening to WRKO radiocasts via MLB.com. They didn't win it all, but they'll be back.
Thanks for a great year!