Remember the horrific start the Sox had this season? 0-6, 2-10, etc.?? They then played like a team on a mission. Beating everyone in their path, thumping their collective chests, telling us we were idiots for worrying. Unfortunately, the season doesn’t end in the first part of September, as it does for their minor league counterparts. As we turned the page on August, Boston was 31 games over .500 and a lock for the playoffs, if not the A.L. East title. Faint and distant memories. Very faint and very distant. Now we’re supposed to be happy because they salvaged a game in a doubleheader on Sunday night. Boy, have we lowered our sights.
This week we heard speculation that Terry Franconas’ job was in jeopardy. A month ago, that would have been blasphemy. Two World Series titles and a team that had the best record in the American League?!?! Maybe it is time to go. Trot Tim Wakefield out there every five days. Go ahead. He got his two hundredth win, finally. Tuck him away somewhere deep in the bullpen and let his reign of terror be over. Theo? You want to go to the Cubs? Good luck. You are so fortunate that the Red Sox have such deep pockets. Certainly, 2004 and 2007 have bought you a lot of good will. That can never be taken away from you. If any of us wasted as much of our companys’ resources as you have, we’d have been lynched by now. Lugo, Drew, Lackey, Crawford. We did get a year or so out of Dice-K. Okajima made 1.7 million bucks pitching and snarling for the PawSox this year. Bedard was a great acquisition, too! Right? With the roster we have in Boston, it should have been a better year.
Quite honestly, I won’t be heart broken if the Red Sox don’t make the playoffs. I’d rather have it end in a couple of days than prolong this agony. After Beckett and Lester, then what? Is Clay Buchholz going to pull a “Willis Reed” and make a miraculous return? I have this platform to express my opinions, but I guarantee you, I am only one man. One irate man, who has rooted for the Red Sox my entire life. There are millions out there, just as ticked off as I am. I want to play the role of Howard Beale, a T.V. news anchorman, brilliantly portrayed by Peter Finch in the 1976 blockbuster, “Network”. Beale encourages his viewers to get up out of their chairs, open their windows, stick their heads out and yell. “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!!” Mad at whom? The front office? The Manager? The underachieving players? Maybe all of them! I certainly recognize the efforts and accomplishments of many on the Boston roster. Unfortunately, it’s guilt by association.
To put this season into terms that I can best identify with, let’s compare it to a delicious steak sandwich, or a lobster roll. The middle is beautiful, filled with flavorful, succulent meat and toppings. What good is it, though? On either end, there is moldy, stale bread that is guaranteed to make you sick.
The other day, David Ortiz said something to the effect of “No one is flipping any tables over. What good would it do?” Maybe someone should get a little upset and show some leadership. It’s probably too late for this year, but those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.