Monday, October 20

Summer's Gone

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO 2008.

And I couldn't get away from you
Even if I wanted to
So I hang around
'Till the leaves are brown
And the summer's gone
--Aberfeldy, Summer’s Gone

Summer's Gone--Aberfeldy

That’s the story isn’t it? This year? Every year?

We couldn’t get away even if we wanted to. Jose went to Africa and he couldn’t get away, so he went to someplace even more remote, Durham, and he still couldn’t get away.

So he hangs around, ‘til the leaves are brown, and the summer’s gone.

And that’s where we are today. Summer’s gone. Bye. (Note: Waves.)

We could have gotten another week of summer. That’s what a World Series birth buys you. Jose thought we’d get that extra week. He was sure of it. But he was wrong. We didn’t. The leaves are brown and the summer’s gone.

The funny thing is that this is okay. It’s not ideal, to be sure. Jose likes summer. Jose likes baseball. But it is genuinely okay. Fall is inevitable. Winter is inevitable. All we can do, all our Red Sox can do is postpone them, fight them off for a few weeks, and they did that. They kept us hanging around, ‘til the leaves are brown and the summer’s gone.

But if fall and winter are inevitable, so too is spring. And the wonderful thing about baseball is that spring starts in February, when an old truck drives out of the Fens, stuffed full with hope, memory and the promise of summer.

Oh, and there are more lyrics to the song, one’s that we would do well to remember.
But I won't give up
And I won't give in
And I know it's tough
But I need to win
The Red Sox may have lost, but they did not give up. They did not give in. It is tough, but we need to win. We will just have to do it next year.

2. So it is fall now, yet something unexpected has transpired. The sun is still shining in Boston.

This is a change. Five years ago, in 2003, the sun did not shine. The sun did not shine for a long time, weeks, months. For day after day, the skies offered nothing but the impenetrable grey of unrelenting melancholy. And it was not the good artist’s melancholy either, not the kind that breeds creativity, the kind that breeds depression and madness.

After 2003, Jose thought about that game every day for months, every day until Johnny Damon ended the grief with one grand swing.

But today the sun is shining. Jose will think about this game today. He will think about this series next week.

And then he will not.

He will move on with his life. He will focus on the year ahead, and he will bask in the warm sun of winter.

3. It is not just the championships in 2004 and 2007 that have kept Jose out of the fetal position. It’s that we lost to a better team.

Jose can accept that. He does not like it. In fact, he hates it. But he can accept it. They won it; we did not loose it. They took it from us; we did not give it to them. We may have given them Game 2, but they gave us Game 5 right back.

We lost because they pitched better than us, and hit better than us. We lost because, we had a void in the bottom third of our order and they had something, rather than nothing.

We lost because they are young and hungry, and we are a mixture of young and not that hungry and old and fuller than Curt Euro at an all you can eat buffet.

But there is no Zimmer. There is no Grady. There is not even a Buckner or a Graffanino, though Alex Cora really wanted to be one.

There is only a very good baseball team that was beaten by an even better baseball team. Jose does not like it, but he does not like the cold or the rain either, yet he accepts them as the inevitable and natural order of the universe.

I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO 2008.

1 comment:

sanfransoxfan said...

Thanks Jose,

Florida Gramma (by way of W. Lynn) and I had this conversation late last night. Our sentiments exactly, though as always, you said it better. Not bad for a b-school puke.