Thursday, May 26, 2005

Stink. Stank. Stunk.

Games 44 through 46 - Red Sox

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 6
Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 1
Blue Jays 8, Red Sox 1 (in progress)

I leave open the possibility that I've been more disgusted with the Sox at some point over the past 3 years than I am now. I also leave open the possibility that I might grow wings and fly, or that Bill Frist is anything more than a nakedly ambitious shill for the religious right.

I'm watching the Sox go through the motions against the Jays, on their way to a sweep at the hands of a team that dropped 14 of 19 against the Sox in 2004. I'm watching the Sox drop to 3rd place in the AL East after 46 games - and possibly slide to 4th if the Yankees (the same Yankees that started 11-19) come back from an early 1-run deficit to beat Detroit. I'm watching the defending world champions (and recently mis-described inexorable offensive machine) made to look utterly ordinary by Ted Lilly and Gustavo Chacin. No slander intended to those 2, but the Sox offense has pieces of corn in its stool with more talent.

Worst of all, I'm watching a Sox club that is characterized right now by nothing more than its indifference. Since the season's high-water emotional mark - back-to-back games won by walkoff homers against Oakland - the Sox have simply not been competitive, in the most damning sense of that word. They're 4-8 over that span, 2-7 against Seattle, Oakland, and Toronto.

Red Sox Nation celebrated the loose chemistry of the Idiot Champions in 2004. Today, the Nation is experiencing the downside of that laissez-faire makeup. One season's calm intensity is the next campaign's blase lack of fire. Last year, Terry Francona was a stabilizing influence, now the Sox' even-keeled skipper twiddles while Millar (trims his side)burns. Hangovers are a bitch when you get to my age - little did I know that the post-series cottonmouth would last this long, or feel this disappointing.

A Memorial Day set against the Yankees looms, and all I want is for the Sox to show some heart against the suddenly resurgent Bombers. I want Varitek to pop A-Rod in the mouth again, Papi and Manny to rub heads, and Eeyore to smile. I want Millar to rake, Trot to rage, Johnny Rockstar to run wild. I want Mueller to frustrate Mariano Rivera, Arroyo to buzz Jeter and Foulke to find his mojo. I want Timlin and Embree and Mantei to ride tall in the saddle, Wake to continue his Yankee-killing, and Renteria to earn his pay. I want most of all to see just a little evidence that these guys care as much as we do - naive and pollyannaish as I know that sentiment may be. I want someone to break some shit in the Sox' dugout. Is that too much to ask?

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