Red Sox

McAdam: A night, and a game, for the ages

McAdam: A night, and a game, for the ages

Everything's disposable now, here one minute and gone the next. There are too many distractions, too many other things that catch our eye, grab our interest, and then are gone.

We're spoiled by the sheer number of choices presented to us. We channel surf, use second screens, keep track of three things at once.

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But nights like Wednesday night, games like the one that was played in Cleveland, deserve more, deserve better; a night that deserves to be savored, enjoyed, then savored again for all time.

Game 7 between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs serve a sharp stick in the eye to people who maintain that baseball doesn't matter anymore, that it's hopelessly passe.

Too slow? Tell that to the people who reveled in a game that lasted four hours and twenty-eight minutes.

Not enough action? Tell that to fans who reveled in the countless lead changes and swings of momentum.

A lack of personality? Tell that to Anthony Rizzo, holding his head in disbelief, mouth agape at third base following Ben Zobrist's tie-breaking double in the top of the 10th inning.

Too reliant on history? Tell that to the generations of fans -- Indians' and Cubs' alike -- inextricably bound together Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

Baseball has a past like no other game. That's to its credit, but lately it's been used as a weapon against itself.

We hear that baseball is too old, too rooted in the past. It's not fast enough. It requires too must of an investment of the one thing we don't seem to have enough of -- time.

But the payoff can be glorious, as Game 7 reminded us all. No other game can create the sustained tension evident in a great contest like Wednesday night. No other game can, at once, provide so much room to breathe, and then, with its suspense, make it impossible to do so.

No other sport has built-in periods, perfect opportunities to reflect on what just happened and what's about to happen next. Together, that time can prooduce an agonizing ecstacy for fans hanging on every pitch.

Try having that feeling watching a Super Bowl or a game in the NBA Finals.

Every micro-manuever can be analyzed, every decision second-guessed. Again, these options don't apply to a football or basketball game.

Everywhere you looked in Game 7, there was a story line. There was David Ross, playing in his final game, delivering a home run, his thoughts racing as he rounded the bases one last time. There was Aroldis Chapman, willing himself through the ninth inning, as if on fumes. There was Rajai Davis, so close to World Series immortality and then a mere footnote two innings later.

Argue, if you'd like, that this was something of a one-off, and now that the Cubs have ended sport's longest championship drought, the next World Series can't possibly match that for drama and interest for the casual fan.

Argue that the same conditions can't be replicated, now that the Cubs and Red Sox and White Sox have all, in the last dozen years, ended their decades of futility.


But the beauty of the game is its ability to surprise us, time and again.

And at the very least, the memories of Game 7 will last a long time. And for those most invested, a lifetime.

Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

File photo

Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”

The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

NBC Sports Boston Photo

The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

0:21 - With less than two week before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Red Sox don’t have all of the answers for their rotation. Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich project their Opening Day rotation and discuss the lack of depth in it.

4:39 - Will Boston’s version of the ‘Killer B’s’ return in full force this season? Lou and Evan analyze the performances of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.

10:07 - Buy or sell? John Farrell will find another managerial position this season; J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton; Dave Dombrowski has put the best possible team out there for 2018.