“I mean, I sat in that dugout for a lot of wins this year and took the smiles and the laughs and everything. You hate to sit through a night like tonight. I can’t wait — I won’t bail on those guys. We’ll show up tomorrow and play.” – Terry Francona October 16, 2004– the night the Red Sox were blown out 19-8 by the Yankees and fell into the 3-0 deficit hole.
“We definitely have our work cut out for us, but I don’t think we should look at it as we’ve got to win three games in a row. We’ve just got to win [Thursday]. If we focus on winning Games 6 and 7 and you don’t win Game 5, it doesn’t matter. I think we really just have to focus on playing nine better innings than they do. If we win, great — we’ll pack it up and regroup and go on to the next day.” – Dustin Pedroia October 16. 2007– the night the Red Sox dropped the third straight ALCS game to the Cleveland Indians to fall into a 3-1 deficit.
‘Look, we can’t worry about winning four [three] games. We’ve got to worry about breaking it down to nine innings, and then breaking it down further to pitch by pitch.”
Everyone knows that the Red Sox have experience, but that doesn’t matter. The past is in the past, and now we are in the present looking forward to the future. We’re not even thinking about coming back, that’s not what we need. As Pedroia says, if you focus on game 6 and seven, then you lose game 5. The captain of the Red Sox, Jason Varitek who has been with the team since 1997, really puts it best. It really comes down to the nine innings, pitch by pitch. In the past, I’ve looked at it game by game, even into the future, and obviously, that’s not the way to go. Jason Varitek said those words in 2004, 2007 and he’s probably saying them again now. Terry Francona, our beloved manager, also has a great mentality. We’ll show up tomorrow, and play, and if we win, then we just go onto the next day and focus on that. One thing at a time. It’s going to be tough, and I am scared out of my mind right now. But I still believe. I believe that we can win without Manny, I believe that we can win without Mike Lowell, I believe that our pitchers will turn it around and do what they’ve got to do, I believe in Jacoby Ellsbury, not just because he’s my favorite player, but because I know that he can do it. I believe Big Papi. I believe in Jason Varitek, and I believe in our entire lineup. I have so much faith. But seeing the Fenway faithful walk out before the game is over is heartbreaking. Have the magical Red Sox lost some of that beautiful mentality? God I hope not. And if we lose, if we lose, then it’s not the end of the world. Manny Ramirez said that last year regarding the Indians situation, and his easy-going attitude is exactly what we need. Seeing people like Jacoby Ellsbury, Big Papi, and Jason Varitek struggle is frustrating, and it is sad for everyone including them because they want to help the Red Sox. So you’ve just got to believe. No matter what, never turn the game off, never turn your back.
I was thinking about quoting Walt Whitman’s ‘O Captain, my captain’ as a reference to Jason Varitek, but I decided not to. Because after ‘O Captain, my captain’ it says, our fearful trip is done. But our fearful trip hasn’t even started. Right now, Jason Varitek is what is keeping the Red Sox going. I have no idea what’s going to happen tonight, I don’t want to anticipate anything because I simply can’t. All I know is that I truly believe, and I will always truly believe whether we win, or lose by twenty runs.