So the Sportsmen of the Year are the 2004 Boston Red Sox? Big freakin' beans. You want to know who deserves the Sportsman urn more?
Bill Buckner, that's who.
Bill Buckner, for never having taken out a Boston columnist with a hunting rifle. Bill Buckner, for not having choked one of the thousands of drunk accountants from Providence who've come up to him over these last 18 horrible years and said, "Gotta get that glove down, Billy Buck!"
Bill Buckner, for not having holed up in a Tuff Shed in East Nowhere, Mont., and started a letter-bomb delivery service.
Oh, now you want to make nice? Now you want to carry around your We Forgive Bill Buckner banner at the Sox' sweep of St. Louis? The Red Sox even wanted to bring Buckner back to Boston for the victory parade--"to give him his moment of glory," according to their spokesman.
You know what Bill Buckner says to all of that? Forgive what?
"My first reaction to that sign was, That's not very nice," says the perpetually polite 54-year-old Buckner, who is retired and living in Boise. "It really bothers me that people think that somehow I lost the World Series."
Buckner doesn't like to talk about it. He doesn't like to think about it. And he doesn't want to be reminded about it. "I'm talking to you," he says, "but that's it. I'll never do another interview on this again. Ever."
You think he sounds bitter? Wouldn't you be?
Wouldn't you be a little torqued off that of the thousands of ground balls you fielded--99.2% successfully--fans only want to talk about that One Ground Ball? Over and over they remind you of One Ground Ball that no-hopped through your legs in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, allowing the New York Mets to beat the Red Sox that night and go on to win Game 7?