Monday, June 21, 2004

Games 66 through 68 - Red Sox
The Gang at Arnold's is Going Bonkers

Red Sox 14, San Francisco Giants 9
Giants 6, Red Sox 4
Giants 4, Red Sox 0
Record: 39-29

I simply cannot get a handle on this team. When I rant and pout about their poor performance, they blitz somebody. When I fill my head with positive vibrations, they shit themselves. One minute I think they're stacked, and with any luck at all will cruise to the inevitable ALCS showdown with the Yankees. The next breath finds me crawling along the floor looking for fissures in the foundation that I'm certain exist. And nearly every waking moment finds me decrying interleague play, if only because the Sox suck so miserable against the Senior Circuit.

After all the soul searching, and the doubt, and the True Sox Fan passion plays, I keep coming back to this: these Sox are wicked talented, and despite losing 4 of 6, only going 24-23 over the last 47, and all-in-all not playing to nearly their full potential, they're still only 4.5 behind the white-hot Yankees and on top of the Wild Card standings. The question that's on the table, then, is this: will the real 2004 Red Sox please stand up?

18 games until the All-Star break, including 12 at home and 3 in the Bronx, and all 18 against contenders (MIN, PHI, NYY, ATL, OAK, TEX). This could well be a defining stretch for this team. 12-6 isn't out of the question, but neither is 8-10 the way the Sox seem to be indifferent for annoyingly long spans this season. I just don't sense any fire in this team, led as they are by another mild-mannered, kumbaya-singing sort of guy. Then again, it's a long season, and they are positioned right where they need to be to make a playoff run.

Cripes, if I flip-flopped any more about this team I'd be John Kerry. I need a slogan, a rallying cry, a fifth starter, and somebody to kidnap Cesar Crespo, but as Stewart Elliott learned to his dismay in the Belmont, going to the whip too early is a sure recipe for disaster. So the Express remains in the garage, and the faint echoes of targets, and "lotta ball" whisper aimlessly around the ballyard, to be collected and harnessed as needed, but not any time soon. Until that time, how 'bout you win a few games in a row, huh?

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