Last night's game 7 of the ALCS made me very happy. After the Red Sox showed what the Rays should have been doing - patiently waiting for the pitcher to throw a strike - they turned into flailers against David Price. That warmed my heart just a little.
You see, I'm tired of the Red Sox. I'm tired of seeing them on TV all the time. (The again, I'm tired of ESPN in general, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.) I'm tired of them infiltrating Peter King's otherwise excellent football columns. I'm tired of "Red Sox Nation" and every other "[Insert entity here] Nation". I am happy, though, that their fans - supposedly true fans who never give up - gave up and left during game 5. That amused me even as the Rays did everything wrong and the Sox batters did everything right. I'm tired of the Red Sox trying to be underdogs while having a $200 million payroll. You can be the 2nd highest spender in the game or your can be an underdog; you cannot, however, be both.
I have no illusions that the Red Sox will suck next year. Their pitching is too good. But they are, like every other team, eminantly beatable. The Rays proved it throughout the regular season and and again just now. The Rays won despite their atrocious fielding. They won because of their pitching, which saved them even in the games they lost (except, of course, the game 5 debacle). So the rest of the AL, esp. the East, needs to learn from the Rays.
But other than the Rays, I don't have much hope for the East. The Blue Jays, under J.P. Ricciardi, are drowning in mediocrity (and will remain that way until Ricciardi is fired; get on that Beeston!). The Yankees, under Hank, are on a one-way bus to Crazy Town, even with the level-headed and otherwise brilliant Brian Cashman in charge. The Orioles, under Peter Angelos, are the mayors of Crazy Town. So it's up to you, Rays, to keep beating the Red Sox. And maybe, just maybe, you'll get a game on ESPN sometime next year in between the before and after hype of Red Sox-Yankees.
EDIT: Apparently FN thinks "d o n g" is a bad word, even in the above context. That's ridiculous.