Sleep brings perspective, and for the miserable denizens of this particular company, that’s a much-needed balm. If you’d said to me on Thursday last that the Sox would go 4-3 over the next 7 road games against the White Sox and Yankees and would retain their 5-game edge in the division before heading home to face Baltimore, Toronto, and Tampa Bay, I’d have gladly signed up for that result. And that’s exactly the result the Sox got.
In hindsight, it seems plausible, even likely that the Sox got caught up in the same rush to deemphasize the Yankee series that spread through the Nation like wildfire after the sweep in the Windy City. We’re conditioned to treat each and every Sox/Yanks series like an epic battle for the One Ring - with all the attendant drama, stress, and scar tissue. In this case, the 8-game lead gave everyone on the Sox side - player, fan, and manager - an easy excuse to relax and deflect the psychological trauma, even if none of the principals would ever admit to that. Meanwhile, the Yankees had no such choice, as they entered the series chasing the playoffs from the wrong side of the table. Couple those divergent psychological approaches to the series with the injury that sidelined Manny Ramirez for the final 2 games in the Bronx, and the result is nearly preordained.
The question now is how the Sox rebound, given that they just took a 3-day vacation and that Manny remains sidelined for at least the near future. And that, my friends, is a question for which I haven’t the answer. The offense looks extraordinarily middling without No. 24 in the cleanup spot – the Manny Being Manny detractors would do very well to remember that the next time they’re inclined to call for his job.
As for my colleague, well, this little blog probably couldn’t be more aptly named at the moment.