Today's piece is intended to be a smarmy, heart-warming work about the 1986 Red Sox, the infamous Bill Buckner posse. Unheralded! Fantastic! Surprising! Soul-crushing! You get the idea. Right off the bat, we get such nonsense as this:
The Red Sox? They were well below the radar, coming off a thoroughly boring 81-81 season.Okay, I don't live in Boston, and I wasn't around then, but have the Red Sox ever been below anybody's radar? I have trouble believing this. And since when is 81-81 boring? Seems pretty exciting to me. The season could go either way after that. But what do I know?
Minor nitpick: "Sweet Caroline" was written by Neil Diamond in 1969 (yes, I had to look that up). So technically, it was there. Just not at Fenway. But I know what he meant.
There was no Nation, no Monster Section, no pink hats, no ``Sweet Caroline", no Curse, and no automatic sellout for every game.
Major nitpick: Yup, people, there's that "Curse" again! It wasn't there yet because a certain ugly curly-haired columnist hadn't yet come up with a completely stupid way to make money by writing a book about an odd coincidence! And here he is, pimping it! Yay for CHB!
Also, why does he list things that have only occurred since the Henry/Werner/Lucchino group took over? Nation? Monster Section? Automatic sellout? Not exactly ancient history, Dan. Most of us can remember back farther than 4 years.
They've all been treated unfairly, of course, and I'll own up to my contributions in this area.Oh my gosh. Is CHB apologizing? Look at this! Oh, wait. He says "I'll own up to my contributions." Future tense. Then he never does. Never mentions anything he said previously. I should have known better.
Now, we get to the most ridiculous paragraph I've ever seen:
Holy shit, Dan. No, they didn't. The '04 Red Sox had the most unlikely comeback in the history of sports. Coming back from down 3-0 in the series had never happened before. Please don't tell me you've forgotten all this already, how magical it was, how unexpected: it was two freaking years ago! Coming back from down 3-1, winning one game in extras, and then the other two "easily" is nowhere near as unlikely as coming back from down 3-0, never done before in MLB history, winning two games in extras, winning a game with a pitcher who probably shouldn't have been able to walk at all, and then winning the fourth game easily. Utter BS. Just wow.
These men who'll be honored tonight engineered a comeback every bit as unlikely as what the '04 Red Sox did against the Yankees. Trailing the California Angels, three games to one, they came back from a 5-2 deficit in the ninth inning of Game 5 in Anaheim. And it was Buckner who started the rally with a single up the middle in the ninth. A home run by Dave Henderson became instant Boston folklore as the Sox rallied to win Game 5, 7-6, in 11 innings.
They won the next two in Boston with ease, then took the first two games of the Series in New York.
I firmly believe this to be a hot load of crap, but I might be wrong.
The 1986 team deserves credit, not just for coming back against the Angels, not just for making it to Game 7 of the Series, but for putting big league baseball back on the map in New England.