Of course, not everything about last night was a bust. Jim Rice Day in the ballpark was 20 years overdue, and yet Mr. Rice was as humble and appreciative as if the Sox had actually treated him respectfully instead of unceremoniously driving him out of town in 1989 (oh, and fuck you, Joe Morgan-I notice nobody invited your ass to the celebration. Wonder where Spike Owen is today...?) Two decades, new ownership and a HOF plaque make up for a lot of bruised feelings, as Rice noted in his acceptance speech. He knows the new and improved Red Sox had a big hand in getting him over that final hump to Hall glory. I mean, how can you deny a guy with Rice's fashion sense, after all? Really, now!
My feelings about Jim Rice are well documented, and so I spent quite a bit of time listening to speeches and enjoying the moments last weekend (all the while noticing that Rickey Henderson did not once mention himself in the third person, or slight Muhammad Ali the way he did Lou Brock. Waaaah! Bring back the old Rickey!) And while last night was great and inspiring and all that, what kept coming back to my head was...Jim Ed and Dewey and Fred, oh, my! The 1975 Red Sox outfield has aged remarkably well, I must say. Evans especially, as I never thought he was a babe during his playing years, but like Sean Connery has grown finer with age (not really an apt comparison, as Connery was probably fine from the womb and is in a class of finery all by himself, but you know what I mean). Lynn with those shades? Cool like the other side of the pillow. Mid seventies outfield glam, folks-this is one area where the Red Sox will beat the Yankees (whose '75 outfield was compromised of such nonlookers as Piniella and Roy White) every single time.
The one damper on the night was the absence of Jerry Remy. I was wondering about him even before rice gave him a shout out. He must be a lot sicker than the Sox are admitting to have missed this night...
In any event, congratulations to 2009 HOF inductee Jim Rice and the Boston Red Sox. The inexcusably long journey just made the final destination that much more enjoyable.