Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Top-Of-The-Stretch Rant

I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. Every day, some team finds a way to lose to the yanks. And I almost trash the apartment. Tonight it was a wild pitch, a guy somehow being thrown out by a mile at first on a double play, despite that it was a slow grounder, and that Jeter double clutched on the throw, and a guy throwing sliders until he gave up a home run (Steinbrenner's been using that bribing method since Game 4 of the '96 World Series). And the thing about the sliders isn't just one of my crazy theories. The manager actually came out to the mound and slammed his index pitcher into the pitcher's chest repeatedly, while telling the dude to throw fastballs instead of sliders, and then reamed out the catcher between innings. Watch for that pitcher to sign with the yanks in the near future. Also, look for him on the beach outside his mansion in the Hamptons next summer. He and Mark Wohlers will probably be neighbors.

So, here's the Twilight Zone part. I went to just about every Red Sox blog I could find, and no one mentioned Saturday's complete choke by the Royals against the yanks. I mean, people said things like, "the yanks came back to win," and "the yanks scored five in the ninth," and "the yanks are breathing down our necks." But no one talked about how the Royals pulled one of the worst regular season chokes of all time. Maybe it was because the Sox blew a six-run lead the same day. But just imagine if the Sox had been up four, with one out in the ninth, botched an easy, potential game-ending double play ball, still got the second out with the lead, but still ended up losing the game. That's what the Royals did against the yanks.

I got an email from Reb in which she said that her anger about that game could have burned down a house. That I could relate to. But she didn't blog about it. So mine seemed to be the only blog to mention this travesty.

I think it's because the Boston-area people are totally focused on the Sox, and see all their problems. While I sit here, fuming over these yanks, just kind of assuming the Sox will win, and seeing the yanks play like shit, but reading about them on other blogs as if they're some juggernaut that's tearing up the league. I've always been positive about the Red Sox. Granted, I'd do the "here we go again" thing when they'd start losing in past seasons. But I always think I can will them to victory. After it worked last year for the first time, I think I've become even more positive about them. And after watching what happened to the yanks last year, I'm also that much more confident about them losing.

So this year, I look at everything and say, "The Red Sox will win. We've got a great lineup, I trust that our rotation will be fine for postseason series', and everything else, aka the bullpen, will iron itself out." And, "The yankees will lose. They are not a good team. Their good pitchers don't win, and they're sneaking by with crappy ones, who can't possibly keep it up the rest of the way, let alone in the playoffs. Their lineup is good, but with holes, and they're never going to move a runner over. And their bullpen would beat even ours in a give-up-home-run hitting contest."

The fact that we're ahead of them helps our cause, too, and shows that through all these bullpen woes and squanders, we've played two games better than the yanks overall. And better than every other team in all of baseball, save the ChiSox and Cardnillies.

The home games, the late summer nights, the whole month ahead looks positive to me.

If there are any of you out there who are fearing the yankees, all I have to say is that this is our century, not theirs. I never believed in a curse in any kind of supernatural way. But what was very real about "The Curse" was the fact that we as fans always knew that as good as things looked, there was a very good chance that things could go horribly awry. I know yankee fans have erased 2004 from their memories, but now I'm getting the feeling that Sox fans are falling into the same old pre-yankee-choke trap. This is a different world, a world where only a few teams can possibly win anyway. A world where even if we do blow a lead to the yanks, and they end up having a better year than us, well, at least we know we have won the World Series, very recently, and can do it again soon, without having that whole "86 years and counting" thing on our backs.

Which doesn't mean I would ever take a season lightly, or say "So what, we won last year." I'm just saying, we all spent our lives getting all the practice we'll ever need to deal with losing. If we took all that abuse for going 86 years without winning, I think we'd be able to handle one or two.

I remember reading a post on Finy's blog where she talked about yankee fans coming up to her, "warning" her that the yanks were starting their comeback. Ooooh! The chokin' yanks are coming! You gotta stand tall and tell 'em what's up. Isn't this what we've been waiting all our lives for? To be able to see a yankee fan on the street and laugh at THEM, because it's their team who will almost win but still lose? If only for this one year?? (You know, so we don't turn into them.) You don't have to be arrogant, but be confident and proud of your World Champs, still led by Theo, and still featuring some of the best players in baseball, many with recently acquired rings.

I guess what it comes down to is that the Red Sox are just going to have to beat the yankees themselves. Again. Because no one else seems to want to.

Moving on, I'm hearing rumors of Trachsel to the Sox, which could be good. And as soon as we DeeFah'd Bellhorn, I told someone, I'm guessing Chan, that the yanks would be smart to snatch him up, and now I see stories where this might come true tomorrow. Of course, with a headline, by someone who forgot about last season's down 3-0 comeback to the yanks, that says "Curse of the Bellhorn?" Do these papers have editors? Anyway, Chan was all, "Nahh" when I said that. But who knows if it will happen.

In Canada-related Sox blogger news: Within the last few days, Allan, who used to live in New England before moving to NYC, moved to Ontario. And Andrew, who used to live in NYC before moving to Ontario, is moving to New England.

So, check out their blogs from their new perspectives.

Allan, aka Joy of Sox.

Andrew, aka 12-Eight.

Also, I've learned recently that Biloxi is pronounced "Buh-LUCKS-ee." And I haven't seen "Katrina" and "waves" in the news this much since '85.

That Sat. Royals game infuriated me, as the only inning I listened to was the 9th. I let off some steam afterwards on Reb's blog. Funny how a pitcher has such trouble throwing to 2nd base. And last night Moosie was ineffective, but in comes twerp Small to shut them down in the middle innings. I hope Chacon proves he's human tonight. But look on the bright side. They get to play us 6 more times. May the better team win. With our pithing, it's tough to twll who that is on paper. But in our hearts..........
You ever get the feeling that if you got started on a subject, you'd be like a train off the tracks, no brake, pure firey momentum? That's me on the Saturday KC/ NYY game. I mean, the best I can do here is to keep it simple...

Bell saves (literally) his worst reliever for the bottom of the 9th as the game hangs in the balance? Does Angel Berroa HAVE to wear lead weights in his spikes? I mean, wouldn't a grounder like Sheffield's be easier to grab if he didn't wear them? Also, when receiving a throw at second to start a DP, Angel, wouldn't it be easier to expend a modicum of effort, to ensure at the very least a SINGLE out?

It was like a clinic on how to allow a team to win a game they're losing by 5+ runs in. It was an absolute CLINIC on how to blow a huge lead really late. If you told me Angel was paid off to blow the game... I'd believe you. Double that for Bell.

OK, I gotta stop. You understand.
Note: I did forget to mention that BS Memorial hadn't blogged since before the incident.

And that Small thing last night, he was Mussina to Mussina's Clemens in Game 7 of the '03 ALCS: Starter is getting shelled to the point where the game seems over early, but somehow the score doesn't get too out of hand, and new pitcher keeps team in game, allowing a comeback later.

And I still don't know why that guy was out by SO much on that double play. They never showed a replay, and we had the sound down at that point, so I don't know if Kay even brought it up. (Chan was trying to keep me sane by cutting off my Kay intake. Even to the point of playing the classic game of "Let's see how long you can be quiet for." So we sat there in silence watching the game with no sound." As soon as he unmuted it, we heard Kay's voice, literally in the middle of the phrase "...interlocking NY..." and all I'd saved up over the "quiet time" just came flying right back out.
My crack on my blog about KC Royals, was that it was a Charitable donation to DFYankees.

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