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Bill Buckner is my hero. He’s also responsible for immeasurable Mike Kanin childhood trauma. But this is not 1986; I am not 9. Brian Daubach’s mostly at first base for the Red Sox now. That gruff Clemens guy throws for the enemy, and the affable—even sweet—Pedro Martinez (pictured) is the ace now. Every spring, the citizens of Red Sox Nation swear this season will be different. And every October we’re left wondering how we could have been so wrong. It’s a little game we BoSox sufferers play. Manic-depression—hah! Nothing beats the emotional ups and downs of 162 Red Sox games. Which brings me back to Buckner. When he let the ball go through his bowed, beaten legs in the 10th inning of the sixth game of the 1986 World Series (with two down and aging Red Sox owner Jean Yawkey waiting to congratulate her soon-to-be World Champion Boston Red Sox—as even those morons at NBC, who really should have known better, called them), the broken first baseman brought us all down. Buckner made me cry. Buckner again showed the world that Red Sox fans love to lose. But Buckner also showed me that baseball isn’t just some game: It’s high drama, better staged and a lot more believable than that crap another Bill happened to pen. Macbeth? Bullshit. Give me a ’75 Fisk waving the ball fair. So complain about those salaries all you want—you may even be right. But just try and resist the game, our game. The Orioles play my Red Sox at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 333 West Camden St., Baltimore. $8-$35. (202) 432-7328. (Mike Kanin)