Earlier this season, walking home from our regular Sunday Dunkin Donuts* run, an older gentleman--perhaps noting Caroline's Ramirez t-shirt, or maybe spotting Jennifer's ubiquitous cap--called out, "Hey, what's going on with your team?"**
We said, as one does, that we didn't know. That we hoped they'd figureout how to do what they were doing at Fenway in the Metrodome, at Comerica, in the Trop. We talked about our pitchers, and Manny'sswing, and the persistent awesomeness of Tim Wakefield. We talked about Tampa Bay.
He said, "Do you think they're for real?"
He said, "Because I think they are."
He said, "They remind me of my '67 Sox. The Impossible Dream, you know? Young, talented, fun to watch. They play to win. I think they're for real."
He told us that 1967 was his favorite summer of his life, not becausehis son was born that year but because of the Red Sox. Because of Yaz. Because of Dick Williams' managerial stylings. He still remembered who was on a strict diet, and whose ass got kicked on the way to glory. When he talked about the summer of '67, he sounded the way we young whippersnappers feel when we come across, say, VH1's "I Love The New Millennium: 2004" and freeze in our tracks, hoping for a glimpse of Bronson Arroyo.
It was still fresh. It was still present.
We said our farewells and started toward our apartment. The season was young, barely beginning, and anything was possible. Maybe for us, but maybe for the Rays; maybe for Toronto or Baltimore or, god forbid, even New York. Our coffees were getting lukewarm. We turned the corner onto our street.
*Tangentially, this Dunkin Donuts is currently papered with Papelbons, from the lifesize cutout in the corner to the poster on the wall where he looks like he's about to throw an iced coffee fastball. We're not sure whether we're supposed to be amused or intimidated. Probably we're supposed to buy stuff.
**Timestamp: one of the hellish road trips. Pick a road trip, any road trip.