All-Star Game at Washington

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Lost Weekend = A Lost Season?

I walked into Professor Thom's bar earlier tonight for Trivia Night and I ran into a few of my Red Sox fan friends. They all seemed to have that dazed look on their faces, and most just didn't know what to say. I'm still rather numb over what transpired this past weekend.

A promising season seems to be heading for oblivion right now. This entire month of August has been one monumental disaster. The Red Sox are now 6-14 for August. The injury to Jason Varitek will widely be accepted for the Sox decline, but it is much more than that.

The Red Sox pitching, especially the bullpen, has gotten lit up the last few weeks in no uncertain terms, and even before Tek's injury. Josh Beckett has been a miserable failure, and may need to learn how to become a pitcher again. The good young pitchers they have (Lester, Delcarmen, Hansen) just aren't ready yet, and were rushed to the majors too soon.

And the offense just wastes too many opportunities. Today the Red Sox left 10 men on base and could only score on Wily Mo Pena's homer in the eighth. I would bet the Red Sox are at the top of the AL in men left on base.

The hardest part about this past weekend was that four of the five games played could have been won by the Red Sox. (Only the first game was a total washout.) It is vastly different from what happened in 1978, when the Sox got their heads handed to them by the Yankees that September. But that club (one of the best in Red Sox history) found a way to bounce back and put up one of the greatest comebacks in the final two weeks of the season, and forced the playoff.

Can this team do it? I'm fearful they won't, as they are staring at a nine-game western swing. They must take at least seven of those games to hang close to the White Sox and Twins in the Wild Card race. The pitching must be far better, especially from guys not named Schilling or Wells. I said weeks ago, and I'll say it again: pitching will tell the tale of this season.

The tale right now looks like something out of a Stephen King novel.

But I will now, and always will support the Boston Red Sox. I have been a fan since 1977, and have seen some dark moments. But I have also been to the top of the highest mountain with them as well, just less than two years ago.

I won't abandon them now. Even if it appears the end is coming on rapidly.

I'll be at Professor Thom's with my other friends rooting them on later this week. We are all bonded by our love of this incredible club, in good times and in bad. We are like a family, a brotherhood. We're going through a tough time now, but we'll always be there for each other.

In the immortal words of the late Jim Valvano:

"Don't give up. Don't ever give up."


Peter N said...

And in '77 I read my first King book. A novel that scared the hell out of me. It was called SALEM'S LOT. And I did go back to his first book, Carrie. And the first after? The Shining. And we're still playing. Just as he's still writing. For better or worse. Never give up! Good job.

Peter N said...

I'm just about to fire up the DVR for the Court TV special. I cannot wait. I'll leave a comment here after I see it. And thanks again for the heads up!

WelshSoxFan said...

Anyone who is abandoning the team because they look finished for the year should be ashamed of themselves. Teams aren't there to be cheered for on a season by season basis and I know that most of our Professor Thoms crew will be still be there in late September, even if we're 20 games out - that's one of the things that sets us apart from Yankees 'fans'. This whole idea of stopping paying attention to and supporting your team for the rest of the season because they are out of it is ridiculous.

On another note, I'm trying to be positive about all this. Yes, we're down, yes the team looks like a mess, and yes the Yankees are on fire. However, there's a lot of season left and there's a 4 game series against the yankees in September. It's an uphill battle and I don't necessarily think the Sox can turn it around, but we looked down and out in 2004, Wake is coming back and Tek is coming back, the Yankees might be able to hit the stitching off the ball, but they can't pitch worth shit and October is still 6 weeks away. As bad as the weekend might have been to watch, it was just 5 games. The Sox have recovered from worse before. Put the white flags away and keep on cheering while the team keeps on (or maybe starts?) fighting. If we're 5 back on September 26th, I'll admit defeat. Otherwise LET'S GO SOX!!!!

Michael Leggett said...

I am not abandoning the team:

Rather, I am taking a few days & nights off, to prepare myself for my Foray To Fenway on 9/2;

I shall commiserate in a couple of places followed by the game itself;

I gotta do this 2 times next year.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Hope you liked the documentary, Peter. Please see my next post for my review of it.

The Omnipotent Q said...

I love your optimism, WSF! Glad to see your posts, Peter and Michael. Stay with the guys, they deserve our support always....

WelshSoxFan said...

It's not so much optimism - I just refuse to sink to the level of the Boston media and 'only when they're winning' fans and turn on the team and disown them as soon as things are not so rosy.

WelshSoxFan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.