A eulogy in remembrance of the 2017 Boston Red Sox season

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 16: Mookie Betts
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 16: Mookie Betts /

With a Game 4 loss in the American League Division Series, the Boston Red Sox have been eliminated from the 2017 MLB playoffs.

We gather here today to celebrate and reflect on another completed season by the Boston Red Sox. It was a season full of ups and downs, and while it may have ended prematurely, there were positives throughout the entire thing.

First, I’d like everyone to take a minute to remember some of the best moments from this season. Anything that stuck with you, made you jump out of your chair, throw a fist in the air, or even pull your hair out of your head. I want you to relive those emotions and appreciate the experience that the 2017 Red Sox provided for you. I also request that you play the song “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan in your head while you do this. Thank you.

In no particular order, some of my favorite memories were: Devers’ home run off of Aroldis Chapman, Christian Vazquez’ walk-off 3-run homer against the Cleveland Indians, Jackie Bradley Jr. robbing Aaron Judge of a home run, and the 19th inning victory against the Toronto Blue Jays.

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers /

My definitive favorite game of the season was the only game I went to. It was my dad’s birthday, August 16th, so I bought the two of us tickets to the game vs. the St. Louis Cardinals (good son moment brag). The atmosphere at Fenway was how it always is: electric. It was the memorial of the 1967 Impossible Dream Team, so we got to see Yaz come out for a pregame ceremony. Pretty cool. He was outdone, though, by a ceremonial first pitch for the ages. It sailed wide right of home plate and right into the nether region of a cameraman. The crowd went wild.

The game moved at a normal pace, and the Red Sox fell down 4-2. It would have been more if not for a JBJ laser to cut down a run at the plate. In the 9th inning, the Cards brought in their closer, Trevor Rosenthal, and most of the crowd had given up. Hell, Dennis Drinkwater left in the 6th. But up to the plate comes Xander Bogaerts, who takes a Rosenthal fastball over the monster to cut the deficit to 1.

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Then, after a few questionable ball/strike calls and a late timeout grant from the home plate umpire, Cardinals coach Mike Matheny charged out of the dugout and got ejected. Two batters later, Mookie Betts stepped up to the plate with men on 1st and 2nd. After battling in a two-strike count, Mookie laced one off the monster. The tying run scored and JBJ got waved around to win the game. The Fenway Faithful erupted to a decibel level I’ve never heard. My ears are still ringing.

Thinking Positive Thoughts

Though this season is over, look what it has given us. I just went in depth about a random game in the middle of August because it made me as happy as I’ve been in a long time. I’m happy just thinking about it. Whether it was in this game or any of the Red Sox other 161 games, they made us feel joy.

We witnessed stars being born and young players developing. Rafael Devers, who looks like he may still be eligible for the Little League World Series, got thrown into the flames and caught fire. He batted .284 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs in the regular season and then hit 2 home runs in the postseason. Imagine how good this kid will be when he sheds some of his baby fat!

Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts were both 20/20 guys this season and were simply fun to watch. Mitch Moreland started hot and won the love of Red Sox nation, promptly earning him the nickname Mitchy 2-Bags (I’ll let you figure out the history behind that one). Hanley got fired up and became a true leader during the ALDS. At the end of the game, he’s who I wanted up.

Chris Sale struck out 300 batters! The same number as there were Spartans who fought in King Leonidas’ army! I knew to expect pure dominance every time he stepped onto the mound and was still dumbfounded when he struck out 10+ batters. That happened 8 times in a row, by the way. Wanna talk more about dominance? Craig Kimbrel struck out 126 batters in 69 innings pitched. That’s almost 2 batters per inning. He was incredible all season.

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So yes, it stings right now. It hurts to think about the Red Sox not having any more games until 2018. I’m going to have to find a way to spend my evenings. Anyone know any good Netflix shows? Maybe I’ll just sleep the nights away.

Whichever way you slice it, it’s a sad ending to an otherwise fun and exciting season. To those who didn’t think the Red Sox were good, I say shame on you sir (or madam). The Red Sox were a great baseball team, driven by team baseball and run-manufacturing. We didn’t have a consistent home run source, and that was okay. That was our team identity. It won us a division title.

It was a season full of happiness, sadness, intensity, anger, and Gatorade showers. We played an extra-inning game every other day. Not literally, but it sure felt like it. At the end of the day, it was a season full of good baseball and good company.

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In closing, thank you Red Sox. Thank you for the memories and the fun we had along the way. I’ll be interested to see what moves Dave Dombrowski makes, and whether or not we ever see John Farrell again. Trades and firings will happen, but the Red Sox will put 9 guys on the field and we will root for them because of the name on the fronts of their jerseys. When’s opening day?