It was just one of those bad nights for the Red Sox at Safeco Field last night. They didn't hit, didn't pitch, made some bad plays in the field. Very much a "garbage can" game, a 6-0 listless loss to the last-place Mariners. (Take it, throw it in the garbage, come out slugging tomorrow.)
The hitters made the Mariners' Jake Woods look like Sandy Koufax. They had him on the ropes three times, having runners at first and second with one out. All three times they couldn't get anyone in. Both Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis sat out, and hopefully both will be back on Saturday. Curt Schilling was fine for the first four innings, but the Mariners hit him hard in the fifth, scoring three runs, which included the Sox making two errors on one play.
I was watching the game on FSN Northwest, the Mariners' outlet, with Dave Niehaus and Dave Henderson calling the game. The most interesting part of the night was when Niehaus asked Henderson about playing for the Red Sox, and was it the best place to play in his career.
Hendu said Oakland was. He said that in his time in Boston (1986-87), the organization played favorites and that the media was way to brutal on the Red Sox players (he sighted Jim Rice and Bill Buckner as examples). He also thought that Boston was too much of a fishbowl, and the passion of the fans was a little too much for him, as he's always been known as a pretty mellow guy."You'd better not go o-for-4," he said.
Niehaus then brought up the dubious racial history of the Red Sox, bringing up the fact that they were the last of the pre-expansion teams to integrate and passed on having a chance to sign Jackie Robinson in 1945. Hendu wouldn't bite on that, and the subject changed.
I always find it interesting when that subject of the Red Sox not integrating until 1959 comes up. It is true they were not at the forefront of racial integration and the Tom Yawkey ownership deserved to be criticized for it, and it damaged the franchise for years for being too slow to bring in minority players. However, the New York Yankees, the next-to-last team in the AL to bring in a black player (in 1955), get a pass on this subject. They weren't at the racial forefront of baseball either, but since they were winning championships in the 1950s, nobody seems to remember it. I guess like many other things in life, winning makes everything else all right.
However, another thing that is rarely talked about is the inroads the current Red Sox owners have made to Boston's minority communities to try to heal the old wounds of the past. It doesn't excuse what happened years ago, but it always for the best to move forward and not dwell too much on the past.