A sad farewell

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. — A. Bartlett Giamatti

I’m glad I waited for three and a half hours in the sodden chill yesterday. It was worth it.

The weather was perfect, in a way; the half-filled park seemed intimate, full of rain-soaked diehards.

There was strange sense of weary accomplishment, a solidarity borne of a season's hard struggle.

And what do you know? We got a great game, even if it was only five innings long.

We got to see Devern Hansack pitch a no hitter (sort of).

We got to see Mike Lowell and Eric Hinske and Mark Loretta go deep.

We got to say thank you to David Ortiz.

And we got to cheer Trot Nixon long and loud. (Yeah, I teared up. When he doffed that pine-tarred helmet, when he laced a single up the middle, and when he jogged in from that huge right field for what probably was the last time. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.)

It was an emotional day. The mood was wistful and sad, even with the blowout win.

I won’t miss this woe-filled season, but I’m gonna miss this team.

There will be no baseball in Boston this October.

It’s going to be a long five months.

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