October 31st, 2013

Boston Strong

Last night was quite an experience.

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, baseball Champions of the World.

In the 7th and 8th innings I started to walk around the stadium to get a feel for the frenzy of the fans. It was remarkable how excited everyone was.

Smiles everywhere. Laughter. Joy. There really didn’t seem to be any Cardinals fans in the areas I walked. If they were present, they were good sports.

People were greeting each other with high fives, knuckles up and kind words. There were hugs and handshakes. Peace prevailed.

I stood in the aisle while “Sweet Caroline” shook the stadium. If the tradition of singing that together in the 8th inning is in jeopardy, it certainly wasn’t evident. Apparently it was the loudest rendition ever heard at Fenway.

When the game was over and the Red Sox had won, the media was invited on to the field. The problem? The only entry was at the extreme corner of right field. So all the hundreds of media members rushed out for the few elevators to take them downstairs. I went along, but decided not to go to the mound. It was a madhouse.

I decided to try and get a cab back to the hotel and finish my work in peace.

All of the immediate exterior of Fenway was blocked off so the thousands (and I do mean thousands) of excited well wishers would be kept on the perimeter.

Cab? None to be found.

Like a salmon swimming upstream I walked in the opposite direction of the oncoming crowd to get to a main street. Ever try that? It was scary, but I made it. And I ultimately found a taxi. I’ve never experienced that type of celebration. It was the place to be seen. And heard. That’s for sure.

The game itself was interesting, to say the least.

What happened to Michael Wacha’s changeup? I didn’t see it. Where did two miles an hour go on his average fastball? I honestly feel he was spent. Lots of innings for him in a very dramatic setting.

John Lackey was in total control. A bulldog. He deserved to prevail.

The Red Sox found their timely hitting shoes. The Cardinals did not.

The Cards had their opportunities, but couldn’t cash in.

Big Papi was the MVP. He deserved the honor. But Jon Lester and Koji Uehara also came up big in my opinion. The Red Sox won in a team effort. The Cardinals just didn’t hit. They pitched alright for the most part, but their bats were asleep.

The Red Sox staff did a fantastic job as hosts. Another lobster/chowder dinner for the media last night was greatly appreciated.

Even though they didn’t win the World Series, the Cardinals introduced some amazing young arms to returning and new viewers in Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Martinez. Blazing fastballs and command can be a lethal combination.

I think David Ross did a great job handling the Red Sox pitchers.

The World Series is over. It was a week to remember, to say the least. Strange plays, unusual situations, historical moments, great drama–it had it all. It wasn’t the best played. But it will be memorable, that’s for sure.

I return to Phoenix today perhaps in time to greet Trick or Treaters ringing the bell in their Halloween costumes, laughing and having a good time.

Underneath one of those costumes might be the next Michael Wacha or a scientist that finds a cure for cancer. Under that costume might be the next great author of a best selling children’s book. Who knows? But I’ll be happy to greet them. It’s amazing the talents inherent in each of us. We just have to let it out.

I encourage you to do that. Let us see your best. Our world needs that.

I’ve enjoyed bringing you my experiences at the 2013 World Series. I hope you will continue reading this space for a glimpse into BERNIE’S BASEBALL WORLD.

I invite you to read my work at MLB.com and MLBPipeline.com. Bring your friends to talk baseball with me on Twitter @BerniePleskoff. And remember, everyone’s invited.

That’s it, I’m done.