Welcome to Next Year

I didn’t know how to start this piece. I didn’t know if I’d ever get to write it at all.

The Red Sox won the ALDS. They beat the Yankees in four games. They beat Aaron Boone. They struck out Giancarlo Stanton some twenty times. They popped champagne in the visitors’ clubhouse while blasting “New York, New York.” They owned Yankee Stadium.

I won’t get deep into tonight’s game, because it didn’t exactly inspire confidence, especially in Kimbrel. And win is a win, especially when it wins you a postseason series. And for a team that was eliminated from the last two ALDS’, these wins mean a whole lot.

We have so much to be grateful for, so much to celebrate. A magnificent manager who loves this team like they are a combination of his sons and brothers. A team that is more like a family than a bunch of men paid to hit a ball. The most beautiful ballpark in the history of any sport. And we are the best fans in the world. I feel sorry for everyone else.

So for tonight, let’s go by 2004 rules, for nostalgia’s sake: win today, think about tomorrow when it gets here. The ALCS looms menacingly, but I want to savor this night, this season so far, every beautiful moment we as Red Sox Nation have been blessed to experience.

One year ago today, I flew home from LA and surprised my sister with tickets to Game 4 of the ALDS. We sat in the rain for four hours and watched our team lose. Afterward, we waited in the team store on Yawkey Way for our dad to pick us up, and my hands shook typing out a post on my phone. I cried as I wrote that I love this team, even when they break my heart. I titled the piece, “Wait Til Next Year.”

One year later, next year is finally here.

Photo: Red Sox Instagram

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