Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why All The Angst?

Why is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? That’s an easy one. Because from your angle and distance, you can’t see all the holes. Or, it’s because it’s artificial turf.

That’s what’s happening to Red Sox fans this season. Up close, you see the dead patches in your lawn. Looking at your neighbors, it all blends together to look much better than it really is. That’s why last season a 5 game lead in the Wild Card wasn’t enough in September, but this season a 5 game deficit in August is insurmountable. Isn’t it obvious how crazy it is?

I’ve heard all the complaints. For the most part, they’re ridiculous. “They’re in fourth place in the division!” So? Somebody has to be in fourth. Check out the Olympics. Every event has a fourth place. Does that mean those athletes are crap? Nope. Even if they finished fourth out of five, they’re still pretty good. The ranking is irrelevant, unless there are numbers to go along with it.

That’s when the other complaint gets tossed about. “They’re below .500!” That’s, obviously, true. They’re playing .491 ball right now. How are the wild card leaders doing? They’re playing .540 ball. Yup. It’s better. 5.5 games better, in fact. But, and it’s an important “but,” they’re not playing well. Remember that “terrible” 2011 Red Sox team that missed the playoffs? Remember their winning percentage? .556. How about the 2010 team that finished out of the running? .549. So, why on earth would we be worried about chasing down a WC leader that’s not even playing well enough to have made the playoffs the last two years? Shouldn’t they be the ones who are worried? Shouldn’t the Tigers be looking behind them? After all, as I’ve mentioned, the Sox finally have health on their side. Bailey and Ortiz are days away. Shouldn’t the Detroit papers be killing the team for not taking advantage of the Sox injuries? They had their chance. Now it’s over. The Sox are healthy, and only need to beat a team on pace for 88 wins. The Sox are better than that.

Then, people thrown in the other crazy problem. “There are more than just the Tigers!” There are three other teams between the Sox and the WC lead. Plus, they tend to play each other a lot. Strangely, this is seen as a bad thing. “The math doesn’t work. Somebody has to win!” they shout. True. But, and it’s another important “but,” somebody also has to lose. Isn’t it a great thing that they all play each other? Doesn’t it mean that nobody can break away? Doesn’t it mean that all the Sox need to do is take care of themselves, and the other teams will cancel each other out? Especially since the Sox, too, play mostly teams in front of them for the rest of the season?

The other teams have been plodding along all season. They took too long. The last time the Sox were healthy was the middle of last season. That’s when they were the best team in baseball.

The rest of the AL better listen to Satchel Paige. 


  1. Agreed. I don't understand it either. I think the pink hats are just freaking out because they don't understand. They don't understand because they just started paying attention to the team in 2004. They don't remember the 80's, and 90's, and every other time they've done this. Anyone remember '94? They won 54 games TOTAL that year, .470. The next year? 86 wins and a spot in the playoffs. Everybody just chill out. lol.

  2. I'm not even a Sox fan and I like that post!

    Can you write me one so I can feel better about the Royals? Oh, sorry, no I suppose you can't.

    Great writing!

  3. "Anyone remember '94? They won 54 games TOTAL that year, .470."

    I totally agree with the rest of your comment and the post in general, but in fairness '94 was a strike year and the number of games was considerably fewer than a regular season. 54 wins that year translates to a 76-86 season over 162 games.

  4. "last season a 5 game lead in the Wild Card wasn’t enough in September, but this season a 5 game deficit in August is insurmountable. Isn’t it obvious how crazy it is?"

    This is the exact proof that people aren't basing their thoughts on what's going on, but on their own pessimism. It IS obvious how crazy it is.

  5. What a nice point of view. Most people aren't content with a team that started the season as a legitimate world series contender and finds itself with more losses than wins and in fourth place in mid August. I understand that your point is that the season is not over yet and anything can happen but to me the journey they are taking is below them and the expectations of fans that really care about the team.

    The Red Sox are like that underachieving college student who slacks off all year then crams at the end and hopes to pass. They can do better.

    And it's not the injuries. That excuse is what's ridiculous. The production that they have received from replacement players has been all that anyone could have asked for and more, from Aceves to Ciriaco to Posednick to Miller, they couldn't have asked for more.

    But hey, Hooray for fourth place! Trophies for everyone!

  6. Well, now I just feel silly. I was watching the Sox all season, and missed the replacement for Ellsbuy put up a 30-30 MVP season of his own? I missed the Sox left fielder stealing 30 bases on his way to the all-star team? Aceves was an all-star too? I must have missed him. How could I be so blind?


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