Rantings and ravings from an admitted fan (as in fanatic!) of the Boston Red Sox. Updated only occasionally, but with my take on recent developments in Red Sox Nation. Updated more frequently during the end of the regular season and playoffs (hopefully).

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Championship rings, Buckner

It was a great day at Fenway yesterday. Opening Day, the sun was shining, and the Sox picked up their championship rings from the '07 title.

But the big headline of the day, for me, was the long-overdue return of one Bill Buckner. The "goat" of the 1986 World Series threw out the first pitch (to my boyhood hero, Dwight Evans), and got a warm ovation from the Fenway crowd.

My reaction: it's about damn time!!!

It's easy to forgive and forget Buckner after the glory of two titles in the past four seasons, but I ask why it took two titles and 22 years for this to happen? I was as upset as anyone on that October night in 1986 when Mookie Wilson's grounder went through Buckner's legs to end Game 6, but ... THIS JUST IN ... Buckner did not cost the team the world series! The fact that he has been villified, ostracized, and (of his own doing) banished out west is just plain wrong. There is a long laundry list of things that cost the Sox Game 6 against the Mets, among them:

  • Clemens asking (depending on who you believe) to come out of the game becuase of a sore finger

  • Bob Stanley's wild pitch

  • The above-mentioned steamer not covering the bag, so they probably wouldn't have gotten the speedy Mookie Wilson anyway at first

  • This was Game 6 -- people forget they had a LEAD in Game 7

  • And last, but certainly not least, is the biggest one of all. Manager John McNamara not using Dave Stapleton as a defensive replacement at first base as he had done ALL SEASON. That's right, Buckner shouldn't have even been in the game at that point. His bad knees, and the fact that Stapes was just a better defensive player overall should have all contributed to McNamara sticking with his game plan and putting in Stapleton.

But alas, all that could have gone wrong did go wrong, and the title was lost, leaving us 18 more years of misery to suffer as a Nation. All that being said, it STILL wasn't Buckner's fault.

I'm so glad he returned to Fenway, and judging from his emotional news conference you can tell that the events of 1986 still haunt him. The guy was an unbelievable player, and you could argue that the Sox wouldn't have made the '86 series without him.

It's sad that it took all this success to welcome him back with open arms, but at least it's done. Welcome back, Billy Buck!


Anonymous Keeya said...

People should read this.

9:16 PM


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