Good Morning America: Starter Number 4 is Here!
So here I am, ready to roll. I am Anthony CinQue (pronounced sin-kyoo) Carter. This is my first post to The Starting Five. How’d I get here? My man, J.A. Adande set me up with the founder, Mizzo, and the rest was history. I’ve done a little bit in my time; written for a few papers and magazines and sites. But this is EXCITING! I’m really looking forward to a long-lasting relationship with America through The Starting Five. Mizzo told me to just be myself on this site. He told me not to pull punches and not to sugar-coat anything. That’s just my style.
Before I go any further, I need to give shouts to those that directly paved the way for me in journalism: the legendary Brad Pye, Jr., Leland Stein (The Michigan Chronicle), Haywood Galbreath (HGSTAR1NEWS), J.A. Adande (ESPN / ESPN.com), Scoop Jackson (ESPN.com), Howie Evans (The New York Amsterdam News), and others. Thanks fellas. It’s been a long time coming. Big ups to my man Ben Osborne (formerly of KING Magazine), new EIC at SLAM! I used to write for him at KING. Big ups to my man Mizzo for bringing me onboard. Big ups to Michael Smith (ESPN / ESPN.com) for being down to earth and cool when I hung with he and J.A. on Miami Beach during the festivities at Super Bowl XLI. By the way, J.A. had me walking the red carpet at a particular very private affair that weekend. He’s always looked out for me though.
So, here we go.
How about those Red Sox? There aren’t many members of Red Sox Nation in Los Angeles; even fewer of color. Well, I’m both. Now, of course, I’m not a life-long suffering Sox fan, but I experienced my share of let-downs before 2004. Picture this. It’s Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series. The REASON I became a Red Sox fan in 1998, Pedro Martinez, is on the mound. I’m ready. We’re going to smash the Yankees this time around. True indeed. All I need is peace and quiet and I’m good. So I turn the ringer off on the home phone and put the cell on vibe and I hunker down. Doorbell. It’s the fiancee. Cool. I’m glad she wants to watch it with me. But she didn’t. She came down to the crib to let me know that a videographer was on the way to my house to discuss packages for our upcoming (in four months) wedding. I thought she was joking and I surely didn’t think any male on the planet had time to bypass Game 7 of the ALCS to go pitch another man and his future wife.
She WAS serious and he really showed up. As I diverted my attention from the game, too superstitious to pause the game with TiVo, Grady Little left Pedro in and that was all she wrote. Sox up 5-3 with one out in the eighth. 115 pitches in. Pedro was tired but, “..wanted to stay in there,” according to Little. I’ll never forget those words. I didn’t blame Pedro. I didn’t blame Little. i didn’t even blame Trot Nixon for misplaying the Bernie Williams single that made the score 5-3. I blamed The Curse. Yep, my sixth season as a fan and I believed in The Curse. How else could you explain it? The Red Sox would always tease you. For example, the bullpen shut the Yankees down when Pedro left and a 5-5 tie led to extra innings. There was hope in the 10th and the top of the 11th. But after the Sox failed to score, Boston’s Tim Wakefield gave up a solo shot to Aaron Boone in the bottom of the 11th. Game. Set. Series.
On October 17, 2004, everything changed. They fired Little, hired Terry Francona, traded Nomar Garciaparra, picked up Dave Roberts, Orlando Cabrera, Keith Foulke, and Curt Schilling. And after trailing the Yankees 3 games to none in and 4-3 in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the ALCS, Roberts stole second. He scored on a a Bill Mueller single, David Ortiz knocked himself and Manny ramirez in on a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th, and by October 27, the Sox had won eight straight and were World Series Champs. Thanks St. Louis.
Three years and a day later, the Sox completed another World Series sweep in the midst of a 7-game winning streak, and it’s a completely different feeling. I expected it this time, I’m no longer superstitious, and I had Yankee fans congratulating me on the “Boston Dynasty.” My, how things change in a short time. Sure, Boston is the Team of the Century so far and the only team with two World Championships this decade/century and the only team in forever to win two World Series by sweeping. But, a “dynasty?” That’s a tall order to live up to.
Whether it’s true or not, I just want to tip my cap to Red Sox Nation and the Red Sox themselves and say, “Keep it coming. Go Sox.” Oh yeah, and I definitely did not hire that videographer that jinxed my ’03 Sox.