Green Fields of the Mind

BoSoxLady

Rules Red Sox Nation with an Iron Fist
Lifetime Member
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Apr 24, 2003
3,358
It’s been a tradition on this site for many years that after the final game of the season, I post a poem written by former MLB Commissioner (and diehard Red Sox fan) Bart Giamatti. The end of the season sucks.

—A. Bartlett Giamatti
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.
 

Fratboy

Mr. MENsa
Lifetime Member
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Nov 29, 2003
16,908
McCarver Park
Not ready for this season to be over, and quite terrified of this offseason.
We survived 2014 and 2015, knowing the fruits of the farm would be arriving soon, and frankly, we may be due for a few lean years here. This is the end of the success cycle, and we begin anew. This team doesn't suck, but it's not good enough to get into the playoffs.
 

brandonchristensen

bad at game threads
SoSH Member
Feb 4, 2012
33,543
You post it.

I copy and paste in an email to my brother and dad. Been doing it for years and years.

Found the first one, 11 years ago:
876271F4-F369-4643-BC8D-34FBF9B3EA10.jpeg
 
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Papo The Snow Tiger

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 18, 2010
961
Connecticut
Every year, even in the World Series winning years, I get an odd empty feeling inside around 6:30/7:00 at night for about a week after the Red Sox season ends. I feel like I should be putting the pregame/game on NESN, but I end up channel surfing and watching some random crap instead. Mr. Giamatti got it right when he wrote about counting on baseball. I can't wait until spring.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
It’s been a tradition on this site for many years that after the final game of the season, I post a poem written by former MLB Commissioner (and diehard Red Sox fan) Bart Giamatti. The end of the season sucks.

—A. Bartlett Giamatti
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.
Thanks Cheri. Every year when I read this I hear the voice of James Earl Jones. :)
 

notmannysfault

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
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Dec 15, 2002
487
I know that this is somewhat unpatriotic of me, but the only year this post didn't hurt was 2004. I went to Cheri's party at the Lantana (iirc) and the group joy kept me warm all winter. Complete satisfaction and joy with my friends (specifically from SoSH) kept me warm for all of the offseason months.

Every year before and since, which have included marriage, two births, some passings and all of the standard October to February occurrences, I simply feel...worse...or certainly less-at-ease, at a minimum, because day-to-day...we're all done, nothing to see here, come 630 PM.

Every fucking year, I try to remember that eventually it starts to get warmer.

Still, I knew this was going to arrive tonight...and it always wrecks me, same as ever, almost as if I didn't see it coming...
 
Aug 11, 2019
3
Arizona
Thanks for posting - I shared it with many of my friends. This is the first time in a few years where I truly find myself "in the hole" with the season over. Here comes a tough winter...
 

santadevil

wears depends
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
5,603
Saskatchestan
Thanks Cheri,

We always try and have a family supper on or around my Dad's birthday each year. This year we held it a day early, today, for the family to get together and remember him. He was the one that put in the time with me while I was growing up, he was my coach, teacher, mentor and Father. I miss him greatly.
It's been a rainy, windy, generally cold day. September 29 really sucks this year, but this poem helps put things in perspective. Things will get better, it just takes some time.

Cheers all, this site is consistently great, because of the members
 

AlNipper49

Huge Member
Dope
Apr 3, 2001
41,782
Mtigawi
I know that this is somewhat unpatriotic of me, but the only year this post didn't hurt was 2004. I went to Cheri's party at the Lantana (iirc) and the group joy kept me warm all winter. Complete satisfaction and joy with my friends (specifically from SoSH) kept me warm for all of the offseason months.

Every year before and since, which have included marriage, two births, some passings and all of the standard October to February occurrences, I simply feel...worse...or certainly less-at-ease, at a minimum, because day-to-day...we're all done, nothing to see here, come 630 PM.

Every fucking year, I try to remember that eventually it starts to get warmer.

Still, I knew this was going to arrive tonight...and it always wrecks me, same as ever, almost as if I didn't see it coming...
maybe it didn’t hurt because you were about 25 beers in!

#witnessedtheaftermath
 

WheresDewey

lurker
Nov 18, 2007
92
Taiwan
This is tough to read this year, even as I've found my attention stray from the Sox to the Pats. Let's hope we can read it a month later next year with Mookie still in a Sox uniform.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
32,326
AZ
Green Fields doesn't really resonate this year.

Giamatti's message, as I've always understood it, is that when it breaks your heart you need to remember that's because it worked. You are only sad because the illusion -- that we can slow time down to a beautiful summer day with a pitcher staring in to get the sign with the Monster gleaming behind him -- happened. Baseball did its job.

I don't think baseball really had a chance to do its job this year. I just hope it gets its chance next year, because we could really use that illusion.
 

Earthbound64

Member
SoSH Member
Yeah, it didn't exactly "begin in the Spring," or "Blossom in the summer." You definitely didn't "count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive," and we definitely didn't have "The aisles are jammed, the place is on its feet, the wrappers, the programs, the Coke cups and peanut shells, the doctrines of an afternoon; the anxieties, the things that have to be done tomorrow, the regrets about yesterday, the accumulation of a summer: all forgotten, while hope, the anchor, bites and takes hold where a moment before it seemed we would be swept out with the tide."

Looking at it that way, this "season" is even more depressing...
 

richgedman'sghost

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May 13, 2006
1,642
ct
First time in a long time that Cheri did not print this. I miss her. Is she still on this site? I don't remember seeing any of her posts
 

BroodsSexton

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 4, 2006
10,607
guam
Bump. (would not have bumped but for the prior message in the thread, which went unanswered. what gives?)

As much as this didn’t really resonate last year I feel it this morning. The full piece is here (not posting, just linking for tradition).
 
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pk1627

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May 24, 2003
1,991
Cambridge
Cheri’s very much around. She’s liked several of my Twitter posts where I disagree with Shaughnessy. (That’s an easy like)
 

The Talented Allen Ripley

holden
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Oct 2, 2003
12,306
South Shore, MA
I don't see why anyone would prefer Facebook, with its checkered history, information selling, ad placing, etc. to Sosh. Can someone enlighten me?
A significant number of SoSHers from the 2000-10 era became very good friends in real life (I'm talking 100+ people), even second family in some cases. Which naturally led to us all becoming FB friends with each other. A lot of those people don't come to SoSH anymore for one reason or another, but as someone who still posts here, I can speculate with some level of informed knowledge that the sense of community this site once had is no longer there, at least not in the way it used to be. That group was a pretty special cohort.

As a result, many of those people have moved on from SoSH, but not the friends they made while they were there.
 

Return of the Dewey

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 17, 2001
2,809
Pants Party
A significant number of SoSHers from the 2000-10 era became very good friends in real life (I'm talking 100+ people), even second family in some cases. Which naturally led to us all becoming FB friends with each other. A lot of those people don't come to SoSH anymore for one reason or another, but as someone who still posts here, I can speculate with some level of informed knowledge that the sense of community this site once had is no longer there, at least not in the way it used to be. That group was a pretty special cohort.

As a result, many of those people have moved on from SoSH, but not the friends they made while they were there.
Too bad. As a longtime member, but not FB user, I miss the old regulars. I always enjoy when I see one of their posts. It was a pretty special cohort
 

Bergs

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
16,700
Bump. (would not have bumped but for the prior message in the thread, which went unanswered. what gives?)

As much as this didn’t really resonate last year I feel it this morning. The full piece is here (not posting, just linking for tradition).
the last paragraph is absolute perfection.
 

Earthbound64

Member
SoSH Member
I can speculate with some level of informed knowledge that the sense of community this site once had is no longer there, at least not in the way it used to be. That group was a pretty special cohort.
I suspect much of it was the change to allowing everyone and their crazy uncle to post, and giving people far too long of a leash.

Signed, someone who posted as a lurker, and has been given somewhat of a long leash.

It used to be fun to read here (thinking 2001-2005 or thereabouts, when I lurked). Now you get too much of a call-in show vibe.
 

InsideTheParker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
32,490
Pioneer Valley
I have a very different view of the evolution of Sosh, from the point of view of someone who's been around since '03 (joined '05). I think Sosh has grown so much more enlightened, especially with regard to how members refer to women, that it actually blows my mind. And I am grateful. Perhaps my "more enlightened" is someone else's "too long a leash," I don't know.
 

Earthbound64

Member
SoSH Member
Perhaps my "more enlightened" is someone else's "too long a leash," I don't know.
Definitely not – in fact quite the opposite, that stuff never should have been tolerated.
But, to be fair, my time spent lurking was just the main board, and occasionally the MLB board, and had no access or idea of what was going on in P&G (JohnHenry: "What's P&G?"), V&N, etc.
 

The Talented Allen Ripley

holden
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 2, 2003
12,306
South Shore, MA
I have a very different view of the evolution of Sosh, from the point of view of someone who's been around since '03 (joined '05). I think Sosh has grown so much more enlightened, especially with regard to how members refer to women, that it actually blows my mind. And I am grateful. Perhaps my "more enlightened" is someone else's "too long a leash," I don't know.
The board is much more socially enlightened, and I am grateful for that as well.

I'm not going to get into whether the quality of discussion here (baseball or otherwise) is better or worse than that era, because it's unquantifiable, and also because there've always been similar concerns raised here: when SoSH left ezBoard behind (c. 2005) there was a great reckoning that the site had gone downhill from the Good Old Days of 2001.

But I will say this: the significant bloc of posters from that era who became friends in real life were just that... we've been to each others' weddings, kids' birthdays, mourned with them at funerals, we've even buried a few SoSHers, sadly. The Bash forum was once rife with random meetups between folks here, anytime there was a big Sox game or if someone was visiting another town, you could be certain there would be a thread about it and tales to be told the next day. And new posters kept getting added to the mix, usually through Cheri's annual Sox Game Bash; it was always great to welcome a new face into the family. We'd raise tens of thousands of dollars each year for The Jimmy Fund, or for ALS research/awareness, or for a mobile clinic/truck to fight AIDS in Africa.

Sometime around 2010, that dynamic began to slow, in the sense that there was no new blood that seemed interested in actually meeting people or becoming "real life" friends. Membership exploded, but the family grew no larger. Most of the newer folks seemed content to use the board as a dumping ground for their thoughts, but no interest in anything beyond that (I'm fully prepared to admit the reason for that is because The Old Guard are a bunch of cranky assholes). Charitable drives stalled. The original crew remains friends to this day, and we still see each other, but we're so embedded in each other's lives that our interaction is no longer dependent on this board; we simply text, call, meet up in person, or yes, use FB to keep in touch.

A lot of those old-timers don't post here anymore: life gets in the way. Kids, maybe a new job that blocks SoSH (or takes too much time/attention to allow for surfing here), a new relationship/significant other, or maybe *gasp* baseball and the Red Sox don't seem so important anymore, especially after the embarrassment of WS riches we've experienced the past 17 years. Different priorities. But we've still got each other.
 
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Sille Skrub

Dope
Dope
Mar 3, 2004
5,369
Massachusetts
Good points, Rip. Life happens.

I will say... to a smaller extent that sense of community continues to exist and it will always exist. I have remained friendly on an "off-board" basis with a lot of the SoSHers you are alluding to above. However, just over the past 18 months, I saw some of that same communal spirit in our poker group. Except for Zomp and Denzera, these were all SoSHers I didn't know before we started. I don't think I would have survived the pandemic without those guys. We were playing poker over zoom sometimes 4-6 nights a week. Nobody was in an office, so the games would go late into the night and sometimes into the early hours of the morning. With the restrictions loosening these days and people getting back into offices, the games have become much less frequent. Thankfully, there is still a weekly codenames game and we still play poker on the second Friday of each month. This group has also evolved into real life meetups and friendships which has been pretty cool to see.

As for your general point though, I do agree. I also think it is a function of age and that the average age of the board has probably gotten older. We were the "messageboard generation" and now there are so many other different outlets on social media where people can connect. I feel quite lucky to have been a part of this place for so long and I will continue for as long as I can log in. The vast amounts of knowledge I have gained and the friendships I have made here have been invaluable.