Tuesday, July 19, 2005

No New Tale to Tell

Games 91 & 92 - Red Sox

Yankees 5, Red Sox 3
Devil Rays 3, Red Sox 1
Record: 50-42

"Fuck you, Jeter," I muttered at my television as I reached for the remote control. The Yankee shortstop was happily pounding his fist into his glove after the Sox fell on Sunday night, blowing a chance to salvage a series split. Talk about displaced anger. I had no beef with Jeter, it was the sorry, no-account Red Sox at whom I was livid.

The Sox had the bases loaded with nobody out, trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the 9th after a series of hits against Mariano Rivera. I silently implored Alex Cora - not exactly the optimal choice in that situation - to do no harm. "Just make a productive out," I whispered under my breath, figuring that a fly ball would make it a 1-run game, or a bouncer to the right side would only yield 1 out with Cora's speed. Instead, a rally-killing 5-2-3 double play, followed immediately by my bellowed, "That was not a PRODUCTIVE FUCKING OUT," followed equally quickly by the unmistakeable sound of my older daughter opening her bedroom door.

Cora was a goat, but the fact that the Sox only got 1 run on 3 hits in 6+ innings against Al Leiter means that every man in the lineup did his share of bleating. Al Leiter, who had more walks than K's coming into the game, struck out 8 Sox batters while walking only 2. Al Leiter, who averaged less than 5 innings per start with a 6+ ERA, made the AL's best offense (in name only, at this point) look like the Washington Nationals. Al Leiter, Exhibit 34903 for the people's case against the half-assed Boston Red Sox.

The Sox are 6-12 in their last 18 games, and losers of 4 of 5 at home since the All-Star break. They've relinquished first place in the division to the Yankees, and are at this very moment making Casey Fossum look like a world-beater. The good people at SoSH are working hard to contain the Chicken Littles, but this little outpost of the Nation couldn't be any more disgusted. The only, only silver lining at the moment is my certainty that the team the Sox are running out to the field every day right now is markedly different than the one we'll see in less than 2 weeks. Theo Epstein's not a whiny fanboy, but even he's got to be more than a bit nonplussed about the way his team's performed this season. Of note though, is the fact that the Sox were 51-41 at this point last year. I guess that worked out okay.

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