all that and a postseason k/9 of 27Despite the truckload of photographic evidence of Jonathan Papelbon's no pants, no shame, no problem dancing shenanigans (and if you've been living under a rock or something, please see Texas Gal here and here for enough video and photographic evidence to almost convince you that it wasn't just a fever dream), my favorite picture to come out of Friday night's celebration is actually this one:
Where would this Red Sox team be without contributions from so many of the young kids? All Dustin Pedroia did this year was write a master's thesis on how to win Rookie of the Year. Clay Buchholz only notched three wins this year, but didn't they all come when wins were starting to feel a little thin on the ground? Would the team have been able to hang on to lead in September if Jacoby Ellsbury hadn't been playing out of his mind trying to fill the void left with Manny out of the lineup? And of course, there is the best beloved blogsake, Cinco Ocho, our pantsless elder statesman.
As a Red Sox fan, I root for this team with as much stomach-churning, rage-inducing insanity during the first game in a series against the Devil Rays in the middle of April as I would during the clinching game of a playoff series in October. Sometimes I think I should take a step back and say, okay, 2004 was probably the best outcome I will ever experience in my lifetime as a sports fan, and everything that happens in the considerable future is gravy. But I want 2007, too. I want it for all the players who have been there before and deserve to get back, but I want it twice as hard for the young guys. I want Dustin Pedroia to make a game-saving catch and knock in the game-winning run in the same inning. I want Jacoby Ellsbury to steal home plate in a walk-off situation. I want Jonathan Papelbon to let the world know that the clock has started ticking on Mariano Rivera's claim to being the most dominant closer in post season history. I want it all, and it's all happening, starting tonight.