These are bad times for a sports fan in Boston. First, there was the Bill Belicheck scandal. Now, the hated N.Y. Yankees have put on a late surge to close within 1-1/2 games of the Red Sox with 9 games left. To read the Boston newspapers, both the Sox and their fans are undergoing a crisis of confidence.
The Boston Herald reports that the Dalai Lama is coming to Boston on October 30th but that it will be about a month too late. His message (” Feelings of anger,bitterness and hateare negative…they are of no use) would have been a very timely one for the Sox and their fans.
After being swept by the Toronto Blue Jays and having dropped five of their last six , the Sox are understandably feeling down. To add to their woes, Manny Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Hideki Okajima are all hurting and the bullpen is shaky. Eric Gagne, a relaible closer elsewhere, has been horrendous ; Sox fans have begun to spell his name Gagme.
Funny how things change so quickly. At the beginning of the season , the Yankees were doing horribly and their GM Brian Cashman was being reviled in New York. Daisuke Matsuzaka, the $ 104 million Japanese pitcher acquired by Boston, was going great guns and Sox GM Theo Epstein looked like a genius. Now, the tables have been turned. The young guns from the Yankee farm system (Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy) have been spectacular and Cashman is rightly being praised for his courage in standing pat and not mortgaging the future. As for Epstein, a Boston correspondent said it all :” Heads must roll !”
Perhaps because of the memories of past years , Red Sox fans are very pessismistic. It ‘s no surprise that Yankee fans are cock-a -hoop . In a N.Y. Daily News poll, 81% felt the Yankees would win the AL East. What surprises me is that in a Boston Globe survey, with about 11,000 responses in: 44% said they were ready to crawl out on the ledge ( and jump off), 25% admitted to feelings of panic, 14% said they were ‘worried’ and 7% said they were ‘ concerned’. Only 10 % said ” It’s only September.. wait till the playoffs start.”
C’mon, Sox fans. Don’t give up on your team so early. After all, your team still leads by a game and a half ( one game in the loss column). Just one win tomorrow night coupled with a Yankee loss could completely change everything.With so few games to go, anything can happen. And, barring a monumental collapse, both the Sox and the Yankees will be in the playoffs . Once there, it’s a whole new ball game.All four teams ( Angels, Indians,Red Sox and Yankees) have almost identical records and as the last few years have shown a wildcard can make it to the World Series and even win it all.
As a fervent Yankee fan, I hope the Yankees win the division and go on to win the Series. If they don’t, I hope it’s the Sox going all the way. But whatever happens , let’s enjoy the moment. It’s only a game…. though it is sometimes difficult to remember that.