By Andy Lindberg
I had to sit back and think on this one for a little while.
After the Yankees blew a 7-0 lead to Tampa Bay (which would most likely never happen if the Sox didn’t need NY to win) and the Red Sox kept stranding runners, I got that sick feeling of the inevitable. I went through all the stages of grief in about 3 minutes, finally culminating in the acceptance that my favorite baseball team was about to complete the most epic collapse in their history, and they were going to do so is stunning Hollywood fashion.
Seriously, if they made a movie about Moneyball, last night is already in production.
The Red Sox didn’t just screw up, they re-defined the word. From now on, a complete and total epic, disastrous let down should be known as a “Red Sox.”
Boston had the Wild Card in the bag and were very much in contention for the division in early September. Instead, Boston went 6-20 in the month. Try counting their wins on their schedule page. It’s heart-wrenching.
If you’re a Yankee fan–like my cousin–you now have fuel for the fire for decades of verbal torture. In all honesty, this even may trump the 2004 playoff comeback, because as big of a choke as that was for the Yankees, teams have won four games in a row plenty of times before. Blowing a 9.5 game lead in less than one month of play? Not so frequent.
I don’t know whether I’m really all that mad or if some small portion of my brain had me prepared for this. I’m in a a state of shock, no doubt, but angry, how can you be angry at this team? Extremely disappointed is the better term for how I feel. Massively disappointed, like if your kid jacked the keys to your car and went on a bender after dropping out of law school with a 4.0 GPA and a sure fire job offer at a top-tier firm disappointed.
I don’t have kids, but I imagine the feeling is comparable.
Red Sox fans should demand a shakeup. There is no question the Boston brass has made terrible moves in the last two years that have directly led to this collapse. Spending a combined $224.5MM on Carl Crawford and John Lackey being the most brazen of them.
On two players.
Are. You. Serious.
The Red Sox got away from what had made them a premier franchise in the first place. They once had a stocked farm system rated near the top every single year. Boston groomed studs far more often than they bought them and extended them for relatively cheap compared to market value. The Red Sox have tried to slug it out over the free agent market with the Yankees to flex their wallets. That is a fight few teams, if any, can win.
There is a considerable amount of money coming off the books for Boston, and there must be a rift in the clubhouse. Players know how each other performs. To the Boston brass, sometimes it’s better to cut your losses. You’re going to end up paying obscene money anyway, sometimes it’s better to pay these guys NOT to play, and I’m not talking about Crawford.
This post may be incoherent, but such are my thoughts on this Red Sox season. I can’t wrap my head around it. They came in with a whimper and left limping even worse. For a team that held so much promise, we may now realize that this franchise may be suffering for the long haul.