I didn't start to watch baseball, much less sports, until I was maybe 12 years old. I was always outside playing them, not caring about watching them. I vaguely remember the 2001 World Series. In 2002, I became more interested in baseball. I decided to choose a team, and naturally Boston was my team. It was weird, whenever I picked a team on my video game "High Heat", I'd pick Boston. I naturally hated the Yankees. I just naturally became a Sox fan. I've never lived anywhere near the New England area, but I still was attracted to them.
In the few years of my loyalty to the Sox, I've endured some up's and down's. I followed the 2003 season lightly, and then I watched the ALCS. I remember thinking that Pedro needed to get pulled in Game 7, and remember wondering why Grady Little didn't pull him. Then Wakefield came in, and Aaron Boone shattered all of Boston's dreams. From then on, I was an avid follower of the MLB and my Boston Red Sox. I was officially part of Red Sox Nation. In 2004, I followed my Sox instensely. I stayed up into the wee hours of the night watching the ALCS between Boston and New York. For some reason, I didnt even watch the 1st 2 games. No clue how that happened. But I sure as hell watched Game's 3 through 7. You should have seen me when the last out was recorded in Game 7. I was jumping up and down in my room. Then the World Series sweep over St. Louis, that was great. Then last seasons "Boston Massacre". Ugh, my 2nd taste of defeat at the hands of the Yankees. I then realized what it really felt like when the Yankees went into their "Spoiling Everyone Elses Fun" mode.
I try to monitor Boston's progress as much as possible. I follow a lot of other sports. So my times is always split. I come home to check the scores, both of Boston's and New York's. I celebrate when Boston wins, and throw things at the wall when they don't. Boston losing can ruin my day, and it has many times.
Boston just got swept by the frickin' Blue Jays. This is happening while the Yankees are beating up on the Orioles. It is now down to 1 1/2 games in the AL East. Tonight's loss was what sparked this blog. This is killing me. First, Dice-K and Wakefield start to struggle. Manny gets hurt. Youkilis gets hurt, and we lose 2 out of 3 to the Yankees. And then Eric Gagne continues to blow games. And tonight, the Blue Jays complete a sweep. Mike Timlin gave up 3 runs in the 8th, and the Sox gave up a total of 4 to break the game open. I'm just at a lack of words right now. I'm even wondering how Im able to type up this blog. I sit at my computer, with the song "Sad But True" playing from my speakers. Damn, irony sucks. Of all the songs from Metallica to start playing, "Sad But True" is it.
The Boston Red Sox are limping into the playoffs. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games. They are on a 4 game losing streak, and are only averaging 2 runs in those losses. And we're doing this against a team that is a sub .500 team. They were under .500 before the series started, now they are 2 games over .500 due to our crappy and lackluster baseball. What once was the #1 starting rotation and bullpen is now running on E. They are pulling a choke job at the worst possible time. Okajima has gone from a sub 1.0 ERA to a hittable 2.28. Gagne is blowing saves, Dice K is running on fumes, and Wakefield is getting shelled. Manny Ramirez has been on the DL since the 29th of August. David Ortiz is still aching from his knee and shoulder. Its become evident that Curt Schilling will more than likely not be in Beantown next season. And while all of this BS is happening, the Yankees are still winning. Its sad but true.
The Yankees suffered through their own injury problems early on this season. At one point, they were 14 1/2 games back. And since the All Star break have been the hottest team on the planet. The Yankees we saw in the 1st half was a bruised and battered team. The healthy and streaking team we see now is the real New York Yankees. This team is capable of winning a World Series. And due to the way the Red Sox are playing right now, they aren't.
I guess it was just a matter of time before the Yankees caught up. It's just by habit. They aren't capable of sitting the playoffs out. I remember watching "Mike and Mike In the Morning" a few months back. It was right around the time when the Yanks were getting guys healthy and still weren't making a surge. I remember Mike Greenberg saying emphatically that the Yankees were done. And I remember hearing Golic agreeing wholeheartedly. And at the time, I bought it. Most of us did. Whew, aren't we stupid. I guess I'll blame my ignorance to the fact that Im still pretty fresh in this whole Yankees/Red Sox rivalry. I haven't had to wait 50+ years for a World Series. I never had to watch my father die knowing he never got to see his team win a title. That makes me think of that Nike commercial. The one they played right after the Sox won in 2004. It was a dad and his son at the ballpark, and it had at the bottom of the screen the dates. It would start to change like on a speedometer. And it started to signify time passing. The son eventually got old, and even elderly. And it showed him in 2004 sitting at Fenway. It was basically, a "FINALLY" add. And Nike had the gaul to put "Just Do It" at the bottom.
I don't care if the Red Sox don't win the AL East anymore. They haven't won since 1995. I don't care if we don't win until 2095. As long as we make the playoffs. But the problem is, this team doesn't look like they are gonna' do anything once they get there. They will either get the Indians or Angels. And by the looks of how Boston is playing, they might get swept in either of those. If Boston can get swept by Toronto, they won't make it out of ALDS. But to me, there is hope. There is ALWAYS hope. And right now, Jacoby Ellsbury is hope in the flesh. The pop in his bat, the reliability in his glove, and his track star speed on the base pads is a sight to marvel at. When he steps into the dish, I feel much better. I so desperately want Francona to give him a shot in the playoffs. He is a spark that the Sox desperately need. And I also wouldn't mind if Francona ripped his team a new earhole in the locker room. Tear them to pieces, do something to light a fire under their ___. Just find a way to get guys like Jason Varitek and JD Drew hitting. Find a way to get Wakefield pitching well again. Find a way to get Eric Gagne to close out games again. Find a way to get this team going again like they were in April, May, and June. For God's sake Terry Francona get your team in gear. All of Beantown hinge their lives on your team, and I bet you already know that. Just know, that people in Duson, Louisiana also hinge their lives on your team. I'm down in Louisiana ignoring my English IV homework, so I can write this blog. I'm waisting precious time writing a blog that will become just another lost code in the FanNation database. As lame as it sounds, please get your team in gear.
I'm in for the long haul with the Boston Red Sox. There ain't no way to pull me away now.
RED SOX NATION FOREVER