We were going to be at this game tonight.
The Red Sox are 16-2, off to a historic start, Mitch Moreland just likely sealed win No. 17 with a grand slam and I’m laying in a hotel room approximately 40 minutes down the road from the actual game, watching it on a TV roughly the size of my son’s bed.
Of course, this wouldn’t have happened if we actually had gone.
No, I’ve never seen the Red Sox win in person. In 21 years as a Boston fan, as I’ve documented in this blog before, I’ve made it to two whole games. Both in Oakland, both wildly entertaining. Both losses.
Back when the schedule for 2018 was released, we checked – as we always do – for when the Red Sox would be making their annual trip to Oakland. As it turned out, this year’s trip fell on the last day of our kids’ spring break – so we booked a hotel and resolved to be there.
A funny thing happened in the following months, though. We had a car die in February — and it was our good car, not the “bad car” as we imagined this progression unfolding. So we took on a new car payment and the budget for a big league ballgame fell to the wayside.
The thing was, though, we forgot to cancel the hotel room. And by the time we remembered, it was to late do so without incurring the cancellation fee.
So we pieced together a bare-bones hotel vacation (the pool, cable TV, pizza in the hotel room) and were content with the whole idea.
My wife, being the saint that she is, made a last-ditch effort to get us to the game – proposing we use birthday money she’d received.
Ultimately, we reverted to the no-game gameplan for a variety of reasons — my 10-year-old, bless her heart, would spend the entire time reading a book, my wife deserves to spend her own birthday money on something specifically for herself, I wasn’t too keen on taking the BART back to the hotel late on a Friday night with the children and so on.
And there was the matter of the Red Sox themselves. The team is just playing at an unreal level. Strong pitching, good defense, timely hitting, power we haven’t seen for years and years …
In a moment of vapid and superstitious self-importance, I had the thought, given the extremely small sample size of my hard luck watching the club lose in person: “The Red Sox are playing so well, I don’t want to be the fool who shows up and breaks up the band …”
So we’re here, watching on TV while the team salts away a win with the strongest part of the starting rotation still to come this weekend.
And we’re having a blast. This team is just plain old fun to watch in any capacity. Arguably the best player in baseball; arguably the best pitcher in baseball; arguably the best closer in baseball …
They claw back from deficits large and small. They are beating teams they traditionally struggle with. They seem to get along and they have a manager they seem to respect.
Simply put, the pieces are there. It’s early, and we all know any number of things can happen between now and then, but big league ball clubs just don’t start seasons this way.
It’s unique, and exciting. It’s something we likely won’t see again – at least not in this same magnitude – for quite some time.
We’ve already said, several times tonight, next year we’ll be sure to get out to the actual game.
This year, though, this year is shaping up to be something special.