Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Raining and Pouring

Games 20 & 21 - Red Sox

Orioles 8, Red Sox 4
Orioles 11, Red Sox 8

Record: 11-10

There may have been more disgusting losses than last night's over the past 2 years, but I bet I could count them on 1 hand. Mike Timlin was the only pitcher who remotely did his job, and it wasn't enough to prevent the suddenly reeling Sox from blowing 5-1 and 8-3 leads to the Orioles.

As if that wasn't bad enough, this morning's Boston Globe reports that Curt Schilling is headed to the 15-day DL with a bone bruise in his ankle. This right on the heels of David Wells' 4-6 week shelving for a sprained foot. The John Halama Era will commence Tuesday.

I just found out about the Schilling news as I began to type this entry. I was fully prepared to come in here swinging, dropping f-bombs about the Sox' underachieving, about their laissez-faire attitude, about how Keith Foulke is toast, and about how gut-level infuriated I am right now that I spent $160 on the MLB Extra Innings package to watch the Sox lay turds all over the AL East. Instead, I find myself strangely possessed by the thought that the Wells/Schilling injuries could be a net positive.

Mind you, 'could' is the operative word in the preceding sentence. Logically, though, it would be hard to conceive the Sox having a more sluggish start to their championship defense. Whatever the reason, be it lack of focus from an offseason spent hobnobbing with the glitterati (I'm looking right at you, Johnny Damon - though your .350+ start is nicenice), or some sense of entitlement borne of the greatest 2-week stretch in baseball history, the 2005 Sox have to date ho-hummed their way to a record that defines underperformance. (I mean, hell, they have the same record as the Mets, for chrissakes.)

Now, the twin injuries to the Sox' overweight, overaged aces may serve to catalyze the squad's heretofore slumbering competitive instincts. Now, nothing less than full committment and grit gets this team through mid-May with anything better than a .500 record. Now, Foulke and Embree and Mantei (cripes, throw a strike, will you) and Clement, et al can't give away a game knowing that Schilling will pick them up tomorrow. Now, Terry Francona has to manage as if the games in April and May matter, because they do. Now, blowing a 5-run lead at home to the motherfucking Orioles isn't something to be shrugged off under the 'it's a long season' rubric, goddammit. And one more thing. Mark Bellhorn, you bat-holding ninny, if I watch you look at another meatball down Main Street for strike 3 with runners on 2nd and 3rd, I will not be responsible for my actions.

Ahhh. That felt good. Make me a genius, boys.

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