Future Ethics News From The 2018 World Series

Bulletin: When the opposing teams are announced before Game #1 of the 2018 World Series tomorrow night, the manager of the National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, Dave Roberts, will receive a loud standing ovation from the capacity Fenway Park crowd as he walks out to the third baseline.

There is no question about this. Anyone who knows Boston, Fenway, Red Sox tradition or the team’s fan culture has any doubts: it is a sure thing. That ethical gesture of gratitude and respect is as certain as the tide coming in on Cape Cod’s Wellfleet beaches, or the leaves turning gold in Concord this Fall. Red Sox fans have always maintained the tradition of recognizing excellence from opposing players, but the gesture and salute tomorrow goes far beyond that. For it was Dave Roberts, then a reserve pinch-running specialist in the twilight of his career and playing his only season with Boston—and only a couple months of that season at that—who was sent in to run for Kevin Millar, who had walked  in the bottom of the 9th inning of the potential elimination game in the 2004 ALCS.

The hated New York Yankees were leading the best of seven series three games to none, and no team in baseball history had ever come back from such a deficit to win. Pitching was Yankee closer Mariano Rivera, probably the greatest relief pitcher of all time. Everyone knew that Roberts had entered the game for one reason: to steal second base and set up the possible game tying run. And he did it—it was a close play, but he made it, and seconds latter, Red Sox batter Bill Mueller singled him home to tie the score. David Ortiz won the game with a home run in extra innings, and the Red Sox went on from there to sweep New York, and the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series as well. The team’s storied 86 year World Series drought was finally over, along with it the Curse of the Bambino, Pesky holding the ball, Lonborg facing Gibson on two days rest, Ed Armbrister getting away with blocking Fisk’s throw to second, Bucky %!^$! Dent’s cheap homer, the ball rolling under Buckner’s legs, Grady Little’s Great Choke, and more, as they all faded into irrelevancy like a long, horrible nightmare.

It would not have happened without Dave Roberts,  Boston remembers, and will never forget.

And yet, just now, I heard MLB channel analyst Steve Sax, a former player, say that while there would be a “smattering of applause” for Roberts, if you are playing the Red Sox, the fans hate you. No, no, no, Steve you ignorant slut. That is not what is going to happen, and that statement of yours shows you to be an incompetent hack unqualified to provide “analysis” of this World Series, and as far as I am concerned, anything else. You didn’t do your home work, you don’t understand the communities involved, you don’t understand ethics, you don’t understand baseball, or know your baseball history, or appreciate what it means to be a Red Sox fan.

Dave Roberts will get a standing ovation, because he earned it.


8 thoughts on “Future Ethics News From The 2018 World Series

  1. Thanks so much for posting that clip, Jack. I had forgotten just how dramatic, and how beautiful, that steal was.

    Roberts damned well BETTER get that standing O. If he doesn’t, our transition into a Nation of Assholes will be complete.

  2. This does not impress me much.

    They are cheering one of their own. The Twins often show respect for their former players, Knoblauch and Pierzynski being notable exceptions.

    Maybe you are right about Boston, but you need a better example than this. For example, if Babe Ruth we’re alive in 2000, or 1974, how would he have been received at Fenway. (Even that may be a bad example, as his greatness is hard to deny by any rational person.)

    • How does the manager of the team in town to take the WS away from them qualify as
      “one of their own”? You can’t use the Twins–what else have Twins fans got to cheer for?

      I have seen Fenway fans and stand and cheer for opposing pitchers who leave the game after shutting out the Sox. I saw Mickey Mantle get a standing O in his last Fenway Park at bat. They gave a long, long standing O for Nomar when he came to bat in another uniform, and Luis Tiant, even though he was pitching for the Yankees, against them. They often applaud great fielding plays by the opposition.

      • Those are better examples. Cheering a manager who beat the curse of the bambino; that us an expression of admiration and gratitude. Nothing special. Green Bay probably cheered Fabre when he played his last game at Lambeau (as a Viking (and he beat them, if I recall)).

        One of their own? If Dave Roberts goes into the Hall of Fame, what team will he represent?

        Other examples: Twins were happy Ortiz won a World Series (what team was that). They were happy Kevin Garnett could win a championship. (What town was that?). Hell, we were even okay that Tevarus Jackson got a Super Bowl ring. We even cheer on local hero Larry Fitzgerald, even though he got stuck with the Cardinals.

        In fact, in Minnesota, we revel in the successes of athletes once they leave.


      • And, Jack, if you want to get into a little pissing match, the Twins did win 2 World Series while the Red Six we’re immersed in their 86-year rebuilding period

        So, let’s not speak of this again until 2077. I give the Twins an even chance of besting the Red Sox recovery.

        • I always think of the Twins as the team that lost two games in Boston when they needed to win one to have the AL 1967 pennant, and then had their manager say that they were the best team anyway. Loved that.

          To be fair, Kirby, Rod, Oliva and Harmon are among my favorite non-Sox players of all time.

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