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World Champions


Al:
The Red Sox triumph.

 

Mike:
And the rare unity between spectatah and team is inspirational and total.

 

Doug:
It is paradise.

 

Al:
But before I enter the crackah-jack gates I feel compelled to confess a couple of sins...

 

Al:
Forgive me John Lackey for that nasty things I said and thought about you.

 

Doug:
Let me join you in this communal avowal in saying I am so so sorry David Ortiz for daring to think during one or more of your slumps ovah the past few seasons that the game had passed you by.

 

Mike:
And what about poor Ben Cherington? Were we evah wrong about his ability to replace Theo or what?

 

Doug:
But despite the moments that tested our faith, we were were always there, always fans...

 

Al:
Through the beer and chicken and the circus clown on his circus bike and other now forgotten tragedies and tribulations our hearts remained Red Sox hearts.

 

Mike:
The familiah resonates within us.

 

Mike:
And in this preciouse time it glows.

 

Doug:
Our resplendence is never quiet.

 

Mike:
Our resplendence ravels out into time, forevah...

 

Comments

It is a great championship. Not all are, you know. But this one, this one is intense, radiant rays shining through a impossibly-white cloud, an image of righteousness and glory.

Watching Ells beat the rundown was so sweet. I'm gonna miss that guy.

Bob,
So true... this one feels especially intense... looking back it was such a fun season because we all had absolutely no expectations other than "it'll be better than 2012" and I think that, for me at least, gave me more enjoyment on a daily basis.


And to have it end in absolute triumph? Wow. I just can't stop smiling.

Somewhere Mister Nelson is smiling.

Now about those Patriots...

That was beautiful.

So, pointless debate time: which team was more fun to watch over the course of the season, 2004 Dirt Dogs or this team? It's a hard one for me. I mean, '04 was special for a bazillion reasons, but there was something really amazing about this team.... Thoughts?

For pure joy standpoint, everything after 2004 is better for me simply because I no longer have the "curse" thing in my mind nor since then do I have any particular fear of the Yankees...


But, of course, 2004 was more passionate and intense because I did have the fear and all that.


I don't miss the fear. Not at all.


It was so nice during this Series, and all season actually, that when the Sox got into a jam I never thought "Oh fuck here we go again, why does this happen to us?!?!!?!!? Arghhhh!!!" But instead I just though, "Oh, they are in a jam, they prob will get out of it... and if they don't, well, it's still OK, tomorrow is another day."


That is how I felt about baseball and the Red Sox when I was a kid... and I'm so glad to have that mood back.


"Three little birds" indeed.

So good.

@hb. Thank you, thank you, for keeping the embers burning thru our cold, lonely winter.

It could not have been easy. "No strip on Friday if Sox are below .500" seems quaint, now.


Speaking for myself, this creepy strip continued to be the voice of verisimilitude during The Dark Time.

In the interest of closure,here's an optional diversion.

Saw you in the Series, and liked it.

lc

2004 will always hold a special place for me just because it was the first, and the whole getting through the MFY and the 0-3 hole etc. I agree though, this was just a damn fun team to watch. And my kids were old enough this time to really get into it, so that made it even more enjoyable to celebrate with the whole family.

HB, thank you again for an outstanding season of laughs, poems and creepiness. You are our MVP.

H.B.,

I'm a longtime lurker here who just wanted to say I'm glad you decided not to hang 'em up last fall. This strip made this wonderful season just that much more delicious. Great work!

H.B., you captured my feelings on this team perfectly. I know the last year or two were a trial for you keeping up this creepy blog, but I'm so grateful for you and your talents. Hope it's been worth it for you. Sure has for all of us. Thanks, man!

Never felt the 'warm glow of victory' as much as this. As Papi said, maybe not the most talented but probably the most cohesive team.
The big step forward for me was reading the CHB and Glob doom and gloom through the playoffs, and being able to go..'meh'. These turds feed the insecurity of true Sox fans. They need to find a different muse, we got ours.


Just heard-3 A.M. Ryan Dempster was throwing batting practice to anyone still at Fenway and wanted to hit a few. How cool is that?

The butler is happy.

Pouring a jeroboam of "Belle-Epoque" all over hb, lc, nat, sdu, the whole creepy lot of you.
Thank you, Baseball God. Amen.

I went to bed in the 8th inning in game 4. Not because I was so tired I couldn't make it one more inning. I went to bed because in Koji I trust.

That could not have happened in 2004. Even with Foulke on the mound with 2 outs in the 9th I was waiting for it all to fall apart.

There was never any doubt last night. I was calm, relaxed, and was just able to enjoy the game.

And now my son has watched 3 World Series victories with me. Something I was never able to do with my dad, or he with my grandfather, even once.

From those miserable mosquito bait nights listening to the Sox on my little radio by Rangeley Lake, until now, it has been quite a ride. Thanks, hb, for saying it for all of your creepy followers. FWIW: Take off tomorrow and get revved for the Duck Parade.

Harwich- that may be the most awesome thing I have ever heard. Damn, I love this team.

Ha...I was expecting another Mahty NOOOOOOOO panel but this works just fine. Lackey, warts and all, has indeed redeemed himself to some degree. It doesn't fully erase past sins but it helps.


Well played on an awesome season. Now for the Pats and Bruins.

Colin- "to some degree"? Really? That's crazy talk. For that Game 6 performance and bringing home our first WS at Fenway since 1918 I'd say he has pretty much absolved himself of any sin and is next due for canonization. :)

What a season, what a series, what a team! Thank you hb for providing us a forum.

Natalie - He still had that bogus move with his ex-wife when she had cancer. I get what you mean and he did redeem a lot of his past transgressions but it's not like I can make Lackey an automatic saint. I like how he's turned himself around absolutely but that was still a dick move.

Fantastic and excellent. Thank you H.B. for helping make last season tolerable and this one even better.
Bliss.

FROM LEAST TO BEAST!
Wow! The Mojo on this team was absolutely jinx free and I never once feared the inevitable epic collapse was at hand. Curse? Pfft.
Not enough has been said about ownership. They put the pieces in place and deserve so much credit. Every one was piling on them for the previous mistakes but like Lackey, they have redeemed themselves beyond all recognition. Hey Theo, thanks for Lackey. I thought you were kicking us in the ass on your way out the door but turns out that he gave us one fine parting shot.

I can't stop smiling! 2004 was more a relief than the Happy Happy Joy Joy I feel today. Thanks h.b. and to all you creeps for making just that much more enjoyable of a ride.

h.b.- another great strip, another great year. See you at the parade!

It took a while to fall in love with what early on was a bunch of strangers I couldn't tell apart from each other. But being "surprised by joy" made it even sweeter. Meanwhile, am I just caught up in the MVP moment for thinking one day 34 will be up there with 1, 4, 8, 9 and 27?

Random thoughts.


1. I picked the team to win 70 games. Did not get an MLB package and came late to embracing the team. An Irishman holds a grudge for a long time.


2. Victorino at the plate and the crowd singing Three Little Birds. Reminded me of a Euro Cup match. Wow.


3. I felt the on field celebration was a bit muted. Probably the Fox effect. But MLB does it wrong. They parade out the owners, the GM, and the manager at the start. Who cares about those guys? It really pales in comparison to the end of a Stanley Cup final where the emphasis is solely on the players.


4. A sign of old age. Not imbibing beyond the customary weekday amount.


5. Once the team grabbed the lead, it really felt fait accompli.


6. Thanks for another great year HB. Love this place.


7. SDU. I am not even going to ask about your NSW posting. That's beyond creepy.

Big ups to you, HB. Thanks for staying with us this year.

This strip is just right.

Our replendence is resplendent. I am so happy today. Thank you, h.b. Thanks all you creeps. And thank you Ben Cherington and John Farrell.

Bob Marley sales must be through the roof-thanks Shane ;)

Thanks H.B. I'm a longtime lurker and it's time for me to thank you for summing up the collective nations mindset so beautifully and comically for all these years.

Thanks for another great year, h.b.


In my mind, '04 was slightly more special for the many reasons we all know. But this post season was super-intense. Many very close games against very good pitching. This certainly wasn't a foregone conclusion. If Papi hadn't hit that grand slam in game 2 vs. Detroit, we'd have been down 2-0 and facing Verlander. If Jonny Gomes doesn't hit that 3-run bomb in game 4 (remember it was 1-1 at the time) and we lose game 4, we're behind 3 games to 1. Having said that, there we're just too many magical moments (the 2 afore-mentioned, Victorino's slam and 3-run double last night, Lester's brilliance) for it all to have gone for naught. This was very, very, special.

Thank you HB for keeping the strip alive this season and for everyone posting their thoughts, creepy or not. I also appreciate the literature references and the pop culture references.

2004 was nervous, intense and looking up to see when the piano would fall on our heads or the next aaron boone, Bucky &^*(# Dent moment.

This year was like house money. Not going to loose my shirt and a "we aren't supposed to be here" attitude.

I too need to atone for bad thoughts about Lackey and I'm very thankful that the ownership realize that they made a huge mistake last year and were able to bring in John Farrell.

I remember in April thinking "holy shit, this team is actually likable and they obviously give a damn and are having fun! - WTF happened?"


This season was the most enjoyable Red Sox season in my lifetime (born in 1978), hands down. Sure '04 was incredible, but there was still a lot of Red Sox baggage then and it was taxing. This season was just good, fun baseball played by mostly fresh faces, but most importantly they were exciting to watch and easy to root for.

And our resplendence certainly has no bitch. Unless you count that Wacha guy. Certainly made him a bitch last night.

Thanks, h.b. for continuing this strip through thick and thin. I've enjoyed reading for a while now. It was a bright spot in the muck that was last season. This year, it's been like watching this team with friends.

Man, what a ride.

Longtime lurker, too. Thanks hb, for keepin' on keepin' on and summing up all my feelings on the Sox ever. Trying not to cry my tears of joy all over the place.

Here's to next season.

Is BigBri ever going to show up again?

h.b. - love the Soxaholix! Who would have thought from last to World Champion?! This team has so much heart and even as winners they remind me of the underdogs they have always been portrayed of in the past. From the rallying songs, to the beards, to the city...."this is our f*cking city! Boston Strong!

He will show up in 2015. Because my Yankee friends assure that next year is a rebuilding year and they will take the WS in 2015.

Let me add my thanks for a place that makes every (strip) day more interesting.
04 will always be special for me because, well, you only get to see something for the first time one.
Love the way this team kept beating The Best Pitcher on the Planet. Today we all pull the whole world over ourselves with a smile.

Rejubilation!

Fox decided that the "hook" was "first WS win at home since 1918." That was silly and made us seem petulant. I don't recall Boston being a muted place in 2004. For me, the real story was David Ortiz. This completes his career arc*, from upstarts in 2004, to elite performer on an elite team in 2007, through his 11-12 struggles to the dean of the team in 2013. He was anointed Big Papi long ago, but now the label really fits.

And Papi led the team in embracing "our f***ing city." I loved Hart's strip today, because it unapologetically made the fans the center of the story. Maybe this season and this team felt so good because they cared about the city of Boston (thanks to the marathon bombing, thanks to Ortiz being here for 10 years, thanks to them being good guys).

The team had chemistry with the city.

*not saying i'm not greedy for 2014.

On Lackey: when he said "This is my guy!" in the seventh, it dropped into place the missing piece in the puzzle of his persona.

Lackey was sour, Lackey was harsh on his teammates, Lackey was throwing batting practice to opponents.

Now that Lackey's effective again, the tortured need to perform, to win, is compelling. His entire life is "Give me the ball!"

That's selfishness, and it's not a team attitude. He'd be a terrible soccer player. But a city that wants to win too badly, that has a neurotic need to beat NY, that needs constant affirmation... we can embrace the Lacken.

Loved this team from the beginning, but didn't think they had this in them. Wonderful. H.B., thank you so much for gutting out another year and keeping this place for all us creeps. This place makes each morning down here in the Dirty Jerz a little brighter. And lo, how the light makes the MFY fans scuttle like cockroaches.

Good Christ, Bob. That CHB article from the way-back machine is priceless. None of us (esp. me) could guess the season's outcome, but The Hack's column is too awful for words. Thanks for the chuckle.

Gomes talking about WAR. Me thinking 'hey it's a game and has nothing to do with conflict'. Just old school and clueless, that's me.

@Bob. Thanks for posting that link. CHB should put some Sriracha on his crow dinner tonight.

Speaking of sriracha...had myself the Boston Strong Breakfast Sandwich: Egg, pepper jack cheese, roasted red peppers, and Sriracha aioli.


As powerful as a Papi home run.

HB, in your case being in sync with the Sox means being the very best. Congratulations on a fantastic year, and quite a run of your own over the years, on these fine and very funny pages.

Late for the post, but a couple of thoughts on the Series. Item #1- I am soooo happy and proud that when I watch a game at Fenway that OUR fans don't need any stupid props when they watch a game. I hate those towels and the dressing the same color crap.
#2 - McCarver is Done!

Hell yea, this season and playoff was sweet.

HB, I am sooo glad that you continued to stick it out after that lull during the crappy times. This season has been as great as when you first started out. Thanks for always helping me get throught the day with a great thought or laugh. Been creeping since 04.

Gratefully, Jeff Mason in Chicago

In my first 50 years I saw the Red Sox go to 3 World Series and lose them all. In my last 10 I've seen them go to 3 and win them all.

McCarver is done but unfortunately Joe Buck remains.

Long-time lurker, occasional poster here....the last time I posted was probably the 2008 season (sometime around the last appearance by BigBri? I think the carbon monoxide leak in his mom's basement must have done him in for good, after all). Anyway, I just want to say thanks to you, h.b., and the gang of regular posters for this little place on the interwebs to share in that unique bond of being Sox fans. Good riddance, Tim McCarver. I think you soiled your Cardinal boxers after Wong's blunder in Game 4. And for a postscript, I sincerly hope that Bobby Valentine's ego clamors for a microphone in the next few days to somehow take credit for the 2013 success. I just know that the Soxaholix strip and its gang would have a field day in the aftermath. What a ride and a joy this team and season have been. The pinch hitting heroics of Gomes, Carp, the redemption of Lackey (still a dick move re: his wife), Koji's brilliance (can you imagine Hanrahan or Bailey as our closer? Tampa would have buried us in August), Papi, Pedey, Drew not being his brother, Xander, the unsung middle relief of Workman, Breslow (yes, don't negate his ALDS and ALCS), the list goes on...

Ahh. Break in work.. My turn!!


04 v 13? Teenage sex and losing our virginity v Making love for 6 straight months. I'll take em both! Cant have 13 without 04.


04 was all about the Yankees - thats what I remember far more than the actual series beat down of the... Cardinals!

13 - wow what a battle to get through the postseason against scary pitching staffs. Each step felt like completing a tough leg on a really hard 5.10.


This team was payback to us.
This team was ownership getting out of the way.
This team was an organization remembering that good baseball comes first and all else falls in line.
This team gave us the most perfect story arc for the sequel to the disaster.
This team had the good grace to lose 2 so they could end it at home (it gets lost that you kind of have to fuck up a little to win at home with home field advantage).
This team has lasers and young kids and veterans and ballers and a GOD OF A SUPERSTAR and a manager who works FOR the team.
This team has the total "today was a good day" vibe.
This team was about resurrection - I too have never been a Lackey fan but I absolutely tip my hat to the Lacken of 13. I felt more comfortable with him on the mound this season than anyone else but 2nd half Koji.
This team was cathartic for a city - again, on their own, with no curse as a foil.
This team will go down as one of my favorites of all time - baseball the way it is supposed to be, the way, yes hb, the way we saw it as kids.


Soxaholix gang - I would rather bullshit with y'all about baseball than with the finest people in the world.


REDSOX + JEFF
FOREVER!!!!

God how I loved this team.

Another clap on the back for H.B. I think it was one of his finest years, and that's saying something. Here's to ten years of excellence, and to at least a few more?

Thanks for all the thanks! And like the how this season ended, totally unexpected, really.


I just showed up each day and tried to grind it out, but didn't feel especially witty or clever on any given day.


Guess that just fit the vibe for 2013.


And holy crap this *was* the 10th season!!!


Unbelievable. This project started as a one off "experiment" that I thought might last a season.


Couldn't have done it keep doing without this creepy community around it. Thanks.

Good on ya, hb. Your'e the best. Well, the best after the David Ortiz. Oh, and Koji. And ... well you know, amongst out weaponary are such diverse elements as surprise, fear and ruthless devotion to the pope.

In any event, you're very very good. ONce again this year I had lots of fun meeting with a bunch of people fromthe other side of the world (Natalie, Buck, Mrs Buck and the simply lovable LC) who I would never have met but for this site. THANK YOU.


I shall return with haiku in due course.


sdu

So, show of hands, how many saw shades of Grady when Farrell left Lackey in the game? I almost shat myself before I jumped in the air when Tazawa got the out.

And thr 10 year old 'Sox fan is UTTERLY insisting on a trip to Fenway next year so let your loins be girded*

*I have no idea what Luke was getting at there. I think he was probably a bit weird.

Oh, and Ells... he may not come back but I do believe I will always remember him stealing home on the MFYs and beating the rundown in game 6. Beating the rundown against a WS caliber team!

Just need to add another thanks, HB. Again, your prose and the inter-workings of poetry with OUR team continued to be a bright spot in my day.


Ditto what Jeff in NC said. Sums it up for me just fine.


But '04 made me and still makes me break down and cry. '13 is more full smiles and smiles.


With two strikes last night I told my boys (6yrs & 7yrs) to do their best to remember the next pitch forever...would not have done that in '04. Glad to have had that moment.


Jonny Gomes' brother is coaching a local independent team here, the Prune Packers (yeah, great name). So fingers crossed I see Jonny a few miles north of his hometown and thank him.


At least the locals out here paid attention and asked me questions as if Boston were some foreign town with odd cultural habits...Happy to explain though!

Grady Little Redux! Right down to the pitcher not wanting to come out of the game. I guess Farrell is not up on his Santayana.

Thanks for the last ten years, h.b., but especially this one.

I have to apologize. In August I wrote something like, I love these guys but late-inning heroics and mediocre pitching won't get us far into the post-season. Glad to be wrong. A great year. Don in NH

Thanks hb, great strip all year. Did anyone else spot the moment when someone told papi his celebration helmet was on back to front?

Thanks for the Spring Training article from CHB. As if we all weren't hungover enough from the Bobby V. debacle, this turd had to pour it on. A few nuggets worth repeating in a future strip, h.b.

'This isn’t going to be a Pinky Higgins renaissance.'

'If, in fact, things go perfectly, the Red Sox actually could contend for a playoff spot'

'Finally, it’s tough to feel good about Ortiz'

'These guys could be really bad. And really boring. “Scrappy” doesn’t sell in Boston in 2013. Not after everything that’s happened. For $170 million, a little more prime-time talent would have been nice.'

It's good that CHB is around and it's our responsibility - ahem - to remind this smarmy dickhead that not only does he suck at prognostication, but he also sucks the life out of players and fans by taking a turd on them before they even get on the field.

h.b., you've done a better job tracking the pathos of the real fan during this fantastic tryptych, than these egomaniac broadsheet phonies. Keep writing, please.

Hope there'll still be something fun to yak about on Monday ;D

Thanks for another great season, h.b. You are the whiskers on my chin - sort of creepy, but much beloved by those in the know.

It's easy for me to remember that it's been 10 years for Soxaholix is that it's also been 10 years for my 10th man plan seats. What did they mail me to thank me for 10 great seasons as loyal fans? Nothing...but I'll take a World Series trophy.


Also, Koji's son: no relation.

Keep on creepin' on, Soxaholix.

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