I’m Not a Traitor; I’m a Realist

Anything but the darkside. Looking at the calendar, September is upon us. The Sox are 7 games out. Nothing against Al Michaels, but, generally, no–I don’t believe in miracles. So I am changing alliance for the rest of the season from my beloved rebellion to this upstart movement in opposition of the dreaded empire.

In other words, go Rays.

Back in May a few people mocked me for dismissing the Sox’s chances after a terrible April start (11-12). So, like, not to say “I told you so” or anything. But, um, well…

Of course, on top of that inexplicable slow start, this year’s club was decimated by injuries. Hence the 12-13 July. But had the Sox put up an 18 win April, like their May and June (when they were somewhat healthy), they would be 7 games better than there current 74-58 mark. Hey, seven games? Isn’t that precisely how many games they trail the Rays and Yanks. Funny stuff, this life we live.

If any team in baseball lost their #1, 2, 3 and 4 hitter, then they probably wouldn’t be 16 games over .500. Add to that the fact that the Sox were without there #1 starter (at least in name), starting center fielder, back-up catcher and you really have to give credit to Francona for keeping this team alive. Although I think he rides his starters a bit too long sometimes, I have really come to appreciate Francona as a manager.

I think its time to stop rooting for the Sox and start rooting for whoever is playing the Yankees. It is an emotional moment. Of course, there is still some hope left–but ultimately I’m already in mourning for the 2010 season. Here’s to hoping for a Ray of hope to crush the evil this October.

I’m a bit worried though. The Rays have great pitching, but too streaky of an offense. The Rays struggle to score runs against strong pitching (they are something of a whiff factory), and that could kill them against the Yanks. The Rangers look outstanding, but they are a young and largely unproven team; and it remains to be seen if they can score runs once Josh Hamilton gets walked every at bat. I don’t take the AL central too seriously this year–the very fact that the White Sox are still in it speaks to the division’s overall mediocrity.

So, in conclusion. Darn it. Wasted Opportunity. Somebody beat those Damn Yankees.

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3 comments

  1. dante14888

    You know I put it to any fans of the Rays, Yankees or Red Sox to cite injuries as an excuse this season. And there you go saying the only reason the Red Sox are in the toilet in 2010 is the injuries.

    I guess those injuries the Rays had to two starters (Niemann and Davis) and Pena and Bartlett don’t count. True, the Rays have not had as many injuries as some teams. But they have have had them.

    And it is not as if the Yankees have had any injuries, huh? Posada, A-Rod, Pettitte, Granderson, Berkman, Aceves, Marte, Thames etc. You win with what you have and, if you don’t, you are just not that good.

    For five straight seasons (2004-2008) the Yankees suffered through an incredible amount of injuries. In 2004, their pitching staff fell apart and they rescued their season with pitchers like Aaron Small, then-rookie Chien-Ming Wang and Shawn Chacon.

    In 2005 they lost two-thirds of their outfield when Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield missed most of the season and they still won the division that year.

    In 2006, they couldn’t keep anyone healthy. Matsui hurt his knee and missed most of the year. Giambi and Cano also got hurt. There was turmoil in the bullpen too and the Yankees had only three decent starters. But they won the division.

    In 2007 they used like 12 different starters to begin the year with injuries to Pettitte, Wang, Pavano etc. Yet they came from way back to beat the Red Sox to win the division.

    2008 was wrecked when Posada bit the dust and Wang blew out his arm and basically ended his career. The Yankees did not come back to win that time.

    But I never used injuries as an excuse for the fact the Yankees did not win the division in 2008 or did not advance in the playoffs in the previous years.

    Never!

    Odd, though, that when the Red Sox fail to make the playoffs like they did in 2007 and they are going to again fail in 2010 that their fans start crying about their injuries.

    Choke back the tears. Injuries are part of the game and if your team does not the depth to overcome them, they are just not that good a team. Period!

    If you want to blame anyone blame Theo Epstein for bringing in brittle old guys like Cameron and holding on to relics like Varitek and Wakefield too long while discharging guys with some game left like Damon had after the 2005 season.

    He also overpaid for Mice-K and the team has not been the same since they divorced from Manny. Letting Bay go didn’t help either.

    So there is plenty of reasons why the Red Sox lost. It was not the injuries that finally did them in though.

    You and RSN need to realize that.

  2. santosis

    The “injuries are a whiny excuse” trope is irrational. Injuries, and their arbitrariness, are a major factor in the success of every team.

    Sure, every team has injuries every year. The Red Sox had significant injuries in each of their recent championship seasons.

    But few teams could survive the deluge the Sox have endured this year. Think if the Yankees lost:

    Cano (Pedroia 50+ games), Texeria (Youkilis 30+ games), Posada (Martinez 30+ games), Granderson (Cameron 75+ games), Gardner (Ellsbury 100+ games), Cervelli (Varitek 75+ games), Sabbathia (Beckett 11+ starts), and Vasquez (Dice-K 8+ starts) this season. That’s the starting 1-4 hitters, the starting centerfielder, both catchers, and the 1 and 5 starter.

    At some point, its not an excuse, merely an explanation.

  3. bklyntrolleyblogger

    AAaahhh! I love the chaos. Instead of going off on a rant of my own I’ll just pluck one…just to jerk the chain so to say. ~ When Sheff got DL’d, they replaced him with Bobby Abreu? Who can do that outside a very few teams? Who can banish $40Mill to AAA? Who’s spending a halfBillion in one winter? They said they were done spending..then purchased TEX. Who’s spending top dollar in free agency, spending top dollar for their core player retention, outspending their every mistake, increasing payroll with every trade, all at the same time? There’s a bunch of teams that spend a lot. But they can’t spend enough to encompass ALL the aspects I threw out; maybe some.

    This is turning into a rant isn’t it?

    OK…I like the Sox and I’m a Yank antagonist. BUT, Dante, your closing was on point. What you say is fair. All of it. I get both sides of the coin as a Met fan…and our injuries last year. But my problems are a horse of another color.

    Baseball…the debate is grand!

    mike
    http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

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