I understand why Carlton Fisk's home run was a big deal when it happened. Game Six, extra innings, walk-off home run, and all that. It must have been absolute mayhem. But the next day, the Red Sox lost the World Series when a reliever gave up a leadoff walk, a sacrifice, and a bloop single in the ninth inning. No championship. No joy in Beantown. They'd have to wait about 30 more years. Yet for those 30 years, we've all had to watch a decades-long loop of Fisk trying to wave the ball fair. In isolation, it was a great moment. In the context of the series, it just set up a deeper pain.
Even if the Red Sox lose the ALCS or World Series, Jed Lowrie's walk-off dribbler will always have a proper place in Boston lore. It won a playoff series. See, there's a hierarchy here, from greatest to lamest:
- Walk-off homer that vaults the Giants into the World Series (Bobby Thomson)
- Walk-off homer that wins a World Series (Bill Mazeroski, Joe Carter)
- Walk-off hit that wins a playoff series (Jed Lowrie, Kenny Lofton)
- Walk-off homer that wins a single game in an eventual series win (Kirk Gibson, Kirby Puckett)
- Walk-off homer that wins a single game in an eventual series loss (Carlton Fisk)
- Two pigeons mating in a camera well during a regular season game
- A fourth starter giving a decent-enough performance (5.2 IP, 3 ER) in NLDS game.
- Home run that temporarily ties a game for twelve minutes, though the team doesn't win the game or series (J.T. Snow)
Yet for some reason, I'm still watching replays of Snow raising his fist in the air. When I left that game, my heart had melted into my toenails. Something called Timo Perez did something, an old friend Darryl Hamiton stabbed us in the soul, and Barry Bonds was called out on strikes on a John Franco breaking ball that crossed the plate by Bonds's neck. I died a little inside, and the Mets won the next two games, and I died a little more inside. I take the offseason to think about the Giants' place in the universe's latrine, and when I come back in March, the replay of Snow's homer is everywhere.
Lowrie's single last night reminded me of just how silly it is to celebrate that home run. The Giants need a couple of new "signature playoff moments" for Mays Field, so we can push the danged Snow homer into the footnotes of Giants lore.
Dang, I still hate Timo Perez.