Friday, October 25, 2013

The Great Post-Season Double Standard Dismissal.

Here's the thing: Every fan will react as they see fit, but I am just not personally buying the doom-and-gloom. Sometimes I get whiplash from the shift in attitude among my fellow Sox fans, it is so abrupt.

After the first two games of the ALCS, Boston made its way to Detroit with the same "series tied at one" record. Somehow that was ok. We were collectively pumped. cheering and chanting and dreaming big. But one-and-one, heading to St Louis, spells the demise of the Red Sox? The demeanor gives the impression that the Sox are facing elimination Saturday and it's already the ninth inning with a 25-run deficit.

I stand here, bewildered.

I'm not sure how this is so diametrically different from the same point in the ALCS with two games on the books. What I'm saying is: The Tigers were no slouches. Sure, their bullpen was suspect, but to reach that chink in the armor, you had to battle through arguably this season's most terrifying starting rotation in Major League Baseball, all while holding off a lineup that could put a hurting on an opposing pitcher faster than Jacoby Ellsbury can move from first base to second. When you consider that, even operating at fifty percent, Miguel Cabrera is still in the top three most dangerous hitters, Prince Fielder is as capable of a timely monster hit as Victorino showed himself to be, Victor Martinez is never a guaranteed out, and Jose Iglesias is proving to be a real pest, well, the task at hand was no smaller then than it is for the Sox right now.

So then...why is the sky falling *this* time?

I don't expect either team will have another game this series as sloppy as the Cardinals were in Game One or the Sox in Game Two. Which leaves two teams capable of pitching, both at the start of the game and the end, and certainly capable of putting baserunners on basepaths and plating runs. Two teams that had precisely the same regular season record--the only difference being the Cardinals won one more game at home and the Sox were one better on the road. So. Even-Steven then, yes?

All that to say: I never expected a sweep by either team. What I expected was for it to be a bitter fight to the end. Six games minimum. We're two games in. Truth be told, the Red Sox have nothing more to prove to me. They haven't since well before the regular season ended. The fact that they are playing deep into October, in the World Series, is a thick layer of sweet, sweet icing on the best cake ever. Do I *want* them to walk away the champions? Well *yeah*! But if they don't? This will be the furthest thing from demoralizing. I've endured "demoralizing" with a hefty side of "soul-crushing" (see: September 2011 through September 2012), and this season has dazzled me, left me awestruck and supremely grateful. I am so proud of what they've done this year, I may actually be giving off a glow.

Kenny Chesney sings a song, and it's about high school football, but a piece of the chorus rings through my head every time I watch the 2013 version of the Red Sox:
It's turn and face the stars and stripes
It's fightin' back them butterflies...
It's I got your number, got your back
When your back's against the wall
You mess with one man, you got us all
The boys of fall

Play on, boys. "Find a way," "win today," "Boston strong" and all that. This isn't over until someone manages to win three more and right now this is anyone's series!

If anyone needs me, I'll be front and center, believing my little heart out.

1 with their own thoughts:

Bickley Friday, October 25, 2013 11:43:00 AM  

I'm with you, Dawn. I don't see it that way at all. I was disappointed, sure, especially with this horrible errors. But, to quote a local manager, "That's the way baseball go." It was just one game. And I really didn't expect the Sox to sweep a third World Series! It would have been awesome, sure. But I didn't truly expect that. On to St. Louis!! Great blog!

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