A Pile of Pennies

Two co-workers of my wife had made a bet before Wednesday night’s amazing game. The bet was $5, and it was paid from one Yankee fan to one Red Sox fan promptly on Thursday morning… in pennies. Not rolled, mind you — but in a large pile. If that doesn’t sum up the severity of this rivalry, I don’t know what does.
It’s been two days, yet I still can’t believe that the Red Sox will be facing the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. Here it is, getting cold up here in Boston — and I have to admit it doesn’t feel right that baseball is still being played. Like other fans, I attribute this to a “biological baseball clock” that, for my entire 30-year life (save 1986), has been trained to shut down regarding anything Red Sox related by mid-October. This year, it just feels odd. We’ve beaten the Yankees, and after that gigantic victory, there’s still four more games to be won. And it won’t be easy.
For now, it’s all about savouring the moment. Reversing the memories of last year, when the World Series logo had to be removed from behind home plate at Fenway after it had been prematurely painted before Game 7. And hearing about how the carts of champagne were wheeled down the hall to the Red Sox clubhouse, only to be turned around and wheeled to the Yankees clubhouse after the lead was squaundered in the 8th inning. This year, it’s all different.
I’ll close with a question regarding Pedro Martinez going into Game 7 on Wednesday in the 7th inning. Did this have anything to do with retribution for last year? Here is the guy that was on the mound in the same situation when the game was essentially lost. He had to have wanted to be out there for the rematch. It unfortunately gave the Yankees and fans their only momentum of the game — but I have to wonder if part of him going out there had anything to do with last year.

23 Comments

  1. joel says:

    From what I understand (between various news reports and “insight” via sports talk radio) Pedro pretty much asked to be put in. He wanted in and he got what he wanted. Maybe for retribution/redemption? who knows! But he was obviously out of gas at that point, and shouldn’t have been put in.
    Hopefully the mental baggage is non-existent when he faces the Cards’ lineup. No Yankees, no “daddies” — hopefully the Cardinals will be nothing more than 2nd cousins … or something.

  2. Scott says:

    Dan, I know what you’re talking about. Here in Mass it doesn’t feel like baseball season at all. Anyways, I think it’s cool that Pedro was put in because he wanted to. I thought they were putting him in for no good reason. I really hope the Sox can pull through and win the World Series. This would sure be a season to go down in the history books.

  3. Abel Rios says:

    Ouch! The pennies has got to be the worst part. Losing a bet like that is one thing, but to be sore about it is another. The yanks have gotten their glory. I believe it’s time to let the Socks have theirs. I’m no huge Socks fan, but I was definitely rooting for them in this series.
    Too bad the Astros couldn’t beat the Cards, or this year’s World Series would have been one for the history books (no matter the outcome).
    As for Pedro, I think that he may have felt like he had something to prove. With all the drama from last year, that rolled over to this year, he wanted to try and overcome all of that and bury the Yankees for good. Of course, I don’t think it worked out like he planned it. Who knows though. It was one hell of a comeback, and one hell of a series.

  4. Zelnox says:

    My local newspaper suggested the GM wanted to “test” Pedro, so if he doesn’t do well, they can go for plan B.
    Since last year, many people have lost faith in him, and perhaps that has affected his game.

  5. Dave M. says:

    A few things… Being a Yankee’s hater, I was very glad to see the Red Sox stick it to the Yanks. I was hoping for a blowout similar to the Indians during the regular season, but hey, any Yankee loss is a great thing in my book.
    Now, as for the Astros. Personally, I am very glad they went down. One because I really didn’t want to see another Mass/Texas match up. One is more than enough. Two, because I am one of the “Sea of Red” known as a Card’s fan.
    At this point, I’m just a “little” torn between seeing the Sox get the series and finally kill that curse that has been haning over them for so very long and seeing my home team win with the team they have put together. It’s been a really long time since the Cards have had a team worthy of competing in the series.
    It amazes me that, so far, no pitcher has intentionally walked Albert Pujols. I have never seen a player better than Pujols at seeing a pitch and smashing one out of the park like he does. Sure, Bonds can knock them out of the park, but he strikes out a lot too, it’s near to impossible to strike out Pujols. Rolen and Edmonds are streaky at best.
    At any rate, good luck guys! Even though I’m rooting for my guys, if we lose, it will be a loss I can live with. :)
    Thanks for taking out the Yankees! :)

  6. Patrick C says:

    I wouldn’t say that Pedro was out of gas when he came in. It took him some time to settle down and when he did he started throwing heat. It was overlooked because of the two runs he gave up, but he had some really good stuff that inning.
    The retribution angle seems like a reasonable hypothesis. He’s a competitor and he’s shown many times before that he has no fear and doesn’t back down. Would have been nice to see him shut them down completely but given the situation it wasn’t surprising that it took some batters for him to get it together.

  7. Lou says:

    I suspect Pedro wanted to prove something to himself. I nearly turned off the tv when he started pitching, but then it seems like he got really angry and started heaving the ball like I haven’t seen in a while. When he went from throwing 87mph to 96mph in the span of a few pitches, that was special for Pedro no doubt. I think he wanted that monkey off his back and knew that with an 8-1 lead in the 7th he was sure to not screw it up too bad if he couldn’t.

  8. Daniel says:

    Pennies – that’s awesome, it’s killer!! I love that Yankees lost, and Boston is in. It’s going to be hard to root for them, when fellow BC boy Larry Walker is in his first world series.
    As for Pedro, we were just dumbfounded as to why he would be put in. Regardless whether he asked or not. Shouldn’t he be resting for a Sat. start? We thought it was just dumb period, there was no reason for it.
    Have you read ‘Rules for being a true fan’ By Bill Simmons? Some rules to live by :)

  9. Kory Garner says:

    I have to agree with Patrick C on the Pedro issue. He had a slow start, but once he got going he finished ‘em off really quick. One of the announcers speculated that he may not have gotten the warm up that he usually gets as a starter so he needed to throw a few more before he really got going. I think if they had left him in he would’ve done just fine. But Timlin was great too, so good job on that.

  10. Taco John says:

    “Sure, Bonds can knock them out of the park, but he strikes out a lot too, it’s near to impossible to strike out Pujols.”
    Bonds struck out 41 times during the regular season. Pujols struck out 52 times. If you do it AB/K, Pujols did a little better, roughly a strikeout every 11 at-bats, vs. a strikeout every 9 for Bonds.

  11. Brian says:

    I have read, listened and today heard Francona on Pedro. Lowe was quoted as saying, “Don’t let me die out there” after the 6th. Originally I was pissed they pulled him, but realizing he had pitched 2 nights before and his luck was probably about to run out I have changed those original thoughts.
    I was even more furious to see Pedro. However, today Francona said, Wakefield was slated to go next but Lowe went deeper so they decide that Wake would go game 1 of the W.S.
    Pedro was warming up. They thought about using another pitcher but didn’t want Pedro to then cool down and possibly have to start warming again – so they went with Pedro.
    Is that the truth, I don’t know – I had heard Pedro asked to go in but not sure if that’s the case now.
    Remember the bullpen was completely taxed from the previous days so this is a good reason.
    I think Wakefield should pitch well in Game 1, he is going against the N.L who never face a knuckleballer, I think the only knuckleballer is on the Tigers.
    A.L. players get used to it some, then Yankees have seen plent of it and can adjust some now. These guys will be baffled early on.
    Pedro will be better in Game 3, he is better on extra rest, especially at this point of the year.

  12. Dan Jallits says:

    Dan,
    I think it is us life-long Cub’s fans who can fully appreciate the emotions running through Boston. After all when Boston claims this years World Series and we get ours “next year”, hell will definately have frozen over.
    So I will be rooting for Boston in this series for the following reasons:
    – My friends from New England cheered on the Cubbies last year
    – St. Louis ran away with the the N.L. Central title
    I hope you guys beat the ever living snot out of St. Louis (and Bartman if he makes an appearance)!

  13. Rui says:

    The rivalry is unmatched in my eyes. I’ve seen/heard my friends (hardcore Redsox fans) complain almost every year I’ve been at school and now this year they finally “got theirs” and what do they do…shove it in my face (I’m a Yankees fan having lived 30 min North of NYC). Not that I don’t love my friends, but be better winners than that. About the pennies…funniest way I’ve heard representing the rivalry.

  14. Eileen says:

    I was in Boston last week and joined in a discussion of whether Boston could handle the Red Sox actually winning the World Series. Rooting for the Red Sox and just keeping the faith, year after year…after year. Well, it’s kind of essential to the psychology of Boston. It’s such a part of who we are…die hard fans.
    Anyway, I found myself losing track of the conversation and wondering what it would look like if the Sox’s won the World Series. In this daydream, I had such a clear vision of Pedro going nuts on the field….this is the year.

  15. n. says:

    Ok. Now I’m torn. Growing up less than two hours away from the Arch made me a Cards fan by genetics.
    Boston is the only team in the AL I follow. (Stupid DH).
    This World Series will be bittersweet for me.

  16. ~bc says:

    May I suggest the next Web Standards meetup happens in the Monster Seats during game one? Dan, you’re in charge of tix. Call me when you get ‘em.
    ;-)
    Living in Boston tends to make you into a Red Sox, even though I was born and bred into a NY sports family in Southern New England…

  17. Koosh says:

    I think Pedro will be in fine form against the Yankees. Both teams had seen so much of each other that it was easy for teams to get to the pitchers. I think that is how the Sox hit Mussina, Brown, and Riveria so hard

  18. Matt says:

    Dan, I hate to do this, but…
    GOOOOO CARDS

  19. Chris Gwynne says:

    David Letterman said something funny on his show the other day
    The Red Sox won and all of their fans are shocked and don’t know what to do… so they go on the Internet and write about it
    Hehe, it’s true. ;-)

  20. owen says:

    It only takes one person to jinx the game for the whole team :(

  21. bob says:

    I thought I would safely die without seeing the Sox win a Series…and yet they appear to be on the verge. It is Wednesday night, quite possibly the final game of the 2004 Series – I am 3500 miles away from Boston right now and six hours in the future….but even from here I can still sense that all (or at least something) is not quite as it should be.
    I would like to apologise to all of the Boston fans – it appears it was my fault. Since leaving N.E., the Patriots have won not one, but two Super Bowl’s and the Sox might just break the curse. Who knows – if the lock-out hadn’t occured, maybe the B’s would have been skating the Cup around Boston Garden (never never the Fleet Center) at the end of this season too.
    The Babe’s got nothing on me.
    Sorry – I should have left earlier.

  22. Claypole says:

    This puts me in mind of another story in England.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wear/3202339.stm
    It’s one way of settling a dispute.