We had our differences. Manny Ramirez was becoming his designated object of scorn. But Manny remained one of my favorites, along with Pedro, of course, and now Papi Ortiz. I cringe to think what my father would have made of Manny's 2003 season, the one that resulted in his being humiliatingly offered on waivers to any team that would take him. I wonder if he would have recognized Manny's extraordinary transformation this year, the lack of resentment, the good humor and class he showed all season, the Red Sox' Ernie Banks. I wonder how my father would have endured last year's Grady Little game in Yankee Stadium, the most painful blow in Red Sox history. He would have been disgusted with Pedro for tossing old Don Zimmer to the ground a few days earlier in Game 3, and I would have defended Pedro and shared his wounded pride.
I've seen some newspaper stories in which last Wednesday's victory was described as something that might wake the dead. Well, wake someone from a coma, for sure. But an e-mail from a friend in Wyoming got it just right: "Cheers for the Red Sox and for your Dad, who is surely taking note from a puffy cloud with a red lining." Cheers for all our daddies.
Francisco Goldman's latest novel is The Divine Husband, which was published in September by Grove Atlantic.