April in Red Sox Nation was like the Battle of Lexington and Concord - a nice showing, but merely the kick-off of a long, hard slog. But General Francona and his forces were really called to arms this week, to do pitched battle in New York, and they didn't answer the call. When the fog and dust of armed confrontation cleared, The Nation's military forces had suffered the same fate in NYC as did the Continental Army 231 years ago.
General Torre, reinforced as always by a band of hired gun Hessian fighters in black pinstriped coats (yes, yes, I know, the Sox spend gobs of money, too, and they actually wear redcoats, which really screws up the metaphor, but still, bear with me), laid the city under siege and chased the patriots right out of town.
Once more into the breach, Manny. When it was over, the clean-up hitter only regretted that he had but one oblique to give for his Nation.
The Revolutionary War analogy -- and we all know how that one turned out -- is all I've got right now to keep me sane. Because if I look closely at what went down in NYC this week, I can't help but notice other analogies, the many wierd, bad omens, the Red Sox goblins, that rose to the surface.
Game 1, we're beaten by some amalgam of Aaron Boone and Babe Ruth in the form of Johnny Damon. Johnny "Looks Like Jesus, Acts Like Judas, Throws Like Mary" Damon. Uh, oh. Bad sign.
Game 2, and we get mowed down by Roger Freakin' Clemens? Another Judas. And this is the guy that started Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, isn't it? Say it isn't so.
Game 3, the bad karma is relentless. Summoning this blog's favorite Red Sox Curse, some young assassin named Joba, wearing a Yankees uni just a stone's throw over the Harlam River where The Polo Grounds used to sit, channels Carl Mays and fires two lethal missles toward the coconut of the Sox player who, in terms of scrappiness anyway, most resembles Ray Chapman. Moments later, at the precise moment the last out is recorded in The House That Ruth Built After Leaving Boston, 1500 miles away in a meaningless game, a rookie reliever for the Royals takes the mound ... his name, I'm not making this up, is Billy Buckner.
Hopefully, it's U.S.history, not the stuff of paranormal fables, that will repeat. Though routed in New York, Washington wisely got his rag-tag forces out in time to avoid being completely crushed. Then months later he staged an inspiring counterstrike.
See you in Boston in a couple of weeks, Yanks.