Yes, it’s true – you’ve heard it here last: My Boston Red Sox are the 2013 World Series Champs!
Four days later, the Ballatore tasted sweet yesterday as we toasted the club while watching the sometimes-hapless 2013 Patriots. I’ve spent a lot of time since last Wednesday reading and watching recaps of the Series, reading columns in the Globe, the New York Times, and even the Wall Street Journal about what winning for the third time in nine years means. I’ve read things from all the beat writers, Bob Ryan, Dan Shaughnessy, Gordon Edes, Jayson Stark, Dennis Lehane.
And yes, I read one from Bill Simmons. But not the column I wanted. He wrote about Papi’s legacy, which I suppose makes sense when you don’t want to write the same thing that everyone else is writing and when the lead baseball writer on your own website (Jonah Keri, on Grantland) has already written the big-picture piece.
Except. The Sports Guy’s voice was the one I wanted to “hear,” more than any other, just as I’ve read/heard it for more than a decade now, ever since he started writing for the now-defunct Page 2 on ESPN.com. For all those years, he captured better than anyone else my feelings about the Sox, right down to the column he wrote the day after Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, when I left my heart in a bar by the beach on Marco Island, Florida, and the one he wrote after they finally won it all in 2004.
I loved his columns about the Sox, and about the Pats, and about 90210. So I stuck with him, even when he moved to L.A. and stopped writing as frequently so he could chase his dream of writing for the Jimmy Kimmel show, even when he took tons of time off from writing so he could concentrate on his epic basketball book, even when he didn’t write a single column all summer about what was shaping up to be an incredible rebound baseball season.
Instead of writing about the Sox this year, he wrote and talked about basketball. ALL THE TIME. Even when basketball season was over, and there were still weeks to go before training camp (do they even call it that in basketball?). He threw us a few bones here and there by having his dad or his friend Jack-O, a die-hard Yankees fan, on the podcast, but it wasn’t the same. The day after the Sox won? His podcast, yet AGAIN, was about basketball, and even half of the Papi piece was devoted to Bill Russell. Really?
Listen, I get it. He’s getting paid big bucks by ESPN and ABC to be one of their basketball analysts, and he’s running Grantland now, so he doesn’t need to write 5,000-word tomes on lucky beards and duck boat parades and seasons of redemption.
I just wish that he’d done it, anyway. Come on, Sports Guy – one for old time’s sake?