Farewell to "The Streak"

Farewell to "The Streak"
April 11, 2013, 11:15 am
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I always thought the Fenway Sellout Streak was a little like that movie Weekend at Bernie’s, with Larry Lucchino and John Henry parading around with a dead 100-year-old stadium, trying to play it off like everything’s kosher.

Of course, in this version no one fell for it. The comedy wasn’t in all the ways that people bought into the manipulation, but in how dedicated and delusional Larry and John were in keeping up a farce that no one believed and/or cared about.

It’s like if the original Bernie movie contained dialogue like this:

Andrew McCarthy: “Welcome to the party, folks! Bernie and I hope you have a great time!”

Guest: “Umm, Bernie is clearly dead.“

McCarthy: “Haha. Good one! Now I’ve heard it all!”

/Bernie’s head falls off.

McCarthy: “Ha! Good stuff, Bern. Man, I tell you, this guy never fails to entertain!”

But now that the streak is REALLY dead — and I mean TRULY and OFFICIALLY dead — I’ve found myself getting a little nostalgic. Even if the last few years have been a complete joke, it’s still fun to reminisce about where and when it started, all that’s happened in the since.

I loved going back to Fenway’s last non-sellout before Wednesday night — May 14, 2003 — looking at the box score and seeing that the game started with Casey Fossum retiring Carl Everett, Mark Teixiera and Alex Rodriguez in order. That the bottom of the first featured a two-run home run by Nomar Garciaparra. That the Sox' third run was courtesy of a single by “28-year-old” David Ortiz. That it was only the 11th RBI of Papi’s Red Sox career, and came off R.A. Dickey, who at the time was still a struggling run-of-the-mill pitcher who had yet to discover/embrace his knuckleball.  Juan Gonzalez played in that game, too. So did Hank Blalock. So did Ramiro Mendoza, Shea Hillenbrand and Robert freaking Person.

ESPN Stats and Info compiled a few other interesting pieces of . . . um . . . Stats and Info on “The Streak”:

For instance, the Sox were 486-308 at Fenway during over those 794 games, which gave them the second best home winning percentage (.612) in the league over that time. You can only imagine how much better the percentage would have been if they’d called it off before last year’s disaster.

Also, David Ortiz had the most hits (792), runs (490), homers (163) and RBI (587) at Fenway over the streak. Boston’s record against the Yankees was 45-47. The Sox delivered 66 walk-off wins and recorded two no-hitters. When the streak started, Jackie Bradley Jr. was only 13 years old!

On May 15, 2003, the No. 1 movie in America was X-2 (the X-Men sequel). The No. 1 song in America was “Get Busy” by Sean Paul. The phrases “Sox Appeal,” “Buy a Brick” and “Fever Pitch” inspired shrugs instead of extreme projectile vomiting.

Yup, it was a great run. I guess. But through it all, there’s no debate over what is and will always be the best part of the longest sellout streak in professional sports history:

That it’s over.

That the owners can finally stop pretending it’s alive. That rest of us can finally stop screaming about how it’s dead. That we can all move on and just focus on what’s happening on the field and . . . wait, what? Hanrahan blew a save?!

Eh, forget it.

How about that streak?!