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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 28, 2011 10:57 PM. The previous post in this blog was Blast from the past. The next post in this blog is Wim's paying Condi -- but you can't know how much. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Unbelievable

Both the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves have blown seemingly insurmountable leads in their respective league standings -- including choking on their last games of the season -- and find themselves not making the playoffs. It's always gratifying to see the Braves go down, but we feel for the long-suffering Red Sox fans. Ah, the curse of the Babe...

Comments (31)

I love the Sox, I really do, but, ya know, to collapse this way they didn't deserve it. Relief pitching epic fail, or something.

It's long past due for a sarcasm font. At least I hope that was sarcasm.

Long suffering Red Sox fans? The curse ended in 2004 and they won the World Series again 4 years ago.
I thought the Bucky Dent homer felt worse - maybe because baseball mattered more back then.
You want long suffering? Try being a Philadelphia Eagles fan with everyone in your division but you winning a Super Bowl.

Tonight definitely cancels one World Series win.

You said it, Bill. Or the Detriot Lions. Or the Sacramento Kings (Royals). Or the St. Louis Blues. Cubs fans, yeah. we know.

It should be noted that the Os won this series, 2-1, with the Sox and last week's series in Fenway, 3-1. While Sox fans may wallow in their misery, it has been since 1983 that Os fans have been able to cheer their team in a World Series.

Please -- World Series?

Tom Yawkey was a big reason not to like the Sox. His obvious racism and all that. But Yawkey died in 1976, and those days are gone. They are a regional team, all of New England follows them, and I love that kind of devotion.

As for Philadelphia, I love the Eagles. I believe Michael Vick has sincerely reformed himself, and I believe he still has a target on his back. It's too bad. Vick I believe is entitled to redemption. And, unrelatedly, the Phillies are my favorite team headed into the playoffs. I just wish they had held onto Jason Werth.

As a longtime (and four the past 14 years long suffering) O's fan, it has been painful to watch hordes of Sox fans invade Camden Yards and treat it as "Fenway South." Earlier this season I was at a Red Sox-Orioles game at Camden Yards where a Sox fan threw an Orioles homerun ball back onto the field. I said then that the baseball gods wouldn't put up with that kind of obnoxious behavior and that at some point karma would come around and bite the Sox. Perhaps that time has come. After this past series, maybe Waterloo is a more appropriate nickname than Fenway South.

I, for one, am glad the Red Sox lost out on making the AL playoffs. As a long suffering Seattle Mariners fan and season ticket holder until moving out of the NW, I have always found Red Sox fans to be the most obnoxious blowhards in all of baseball. They make even diehard NY Yankee fans seem tame in comparison. Even at this year's MLB All Star Game in Phoenix, most were telling everyone within earshot of how "great" their team was and how they would one up the Yankees in the AL East.

As a lifelong Sox fan I am almost relieved. Their play down the stretch was atrocious. The Rays deserve to go on- they always hustle, have a great manger, and they do it on a small payroll. It's a shame they play in the worst "stadium" and have the worst fans- rarely a sellout at the Trop.

Me, I look at the half-full glass. Namely, the Texas Rangers clinched the title again this year. (It's not local loyalty that makes me giggle: it's that the Rangers finally started playing the way they should have once former owner Tom Hicks was sent packing. If there's an afterlife, and justice in that afterlife, Hicks will spend his time in Hell surrounded by gigantic flatscreens playing Rangers wins over and over and over.)

Long suffering Red Sox fans? Didn't they win two Series in the last decade.

I guess you don't know too many Red Sox fans. They suffer. Two years out of how many? And as I say, last night was enough to cancel out one World Series win.

I see it more as a respite from suffering followed by the arrival of a new curse. In other words, it wasn't trading Babe Ruth. It's them.
Tom Brady throwing 4 picks against Buffalo? That all could have blown in on the same ill wind.

The Red Sox fans have a right to feel bad about this, but they shouldn't go too crazy or they get into the area of entitlement. In other words they become Yankee fans.

Re: "Tom Brady throwing 4 picks against Buffalo? That all could have blown in on the same ill wind."

Bill McD,

The Pats saga has nothing to do with the Sox. Each Boston regional team is separate from the others. Remember which squad won the Stanley Cup last June. The Celts have their own mythology: it is not one of suffering although it is not without pain.

Sox fans revel in the magnitude of their misery:

"They are the first team in baseball history to hold a nine-game lead in September, then fail to make the postseason. This makes them worse than the ’64 Phillies or the ’78 Red Sox. They are the poster boys of the Heimlich maneuver.

The humanity!"
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2011/09/29/sox_make_unwanted_history_with_historic_collapse/

BTW, Ortiz may have lost last night's contest when the greedy DH challenged the arm of Adam Jones. No "ill wind" there; just foolish risk on the base paths by a player not known for his speed.

It is disappointing to have no more games this season with Tacoby Bellsbury. Wait 'til next year.


Not sure I get the antipathy toward the Braves. That's a very smartly run organization which has been successful without simply buying their way to titles, ala the Yankees and the Red Sox.

Cub fans lost me with their behavior toward Steve Bartman in 2003, for which they deserve another century of suffering.

Watching them in September, I believe Terry Francona, Theo Epstein and Carl Crawford are the most to blame for Boston not making the playoffs.

Francona rode his starters too long into games and should have switched to relievers earlier in games. After 3 earned runs, you should yank the starter. Instead Francona kept them in.

Francona needs to go.

Epstein needs to go like Francona. Epstein is an overrated good ole boy who has put together the most expensive failure in the history of the MLB. The price he made the Red Sox pay for Carl Crawford and that bullpen that sputtered out is unforgivable.

Finally, Carl Crawford needs to be traded and/or dumped entirely if for only dropping the play, which allowed the go ahead run last night.

I don't see what Boston sees in Crawford. Sure his stats are above average, but if this years stats are any indicator, then what I garner is that he was putting up those stats to land the $100 million dollar contract.

Just like professors working for tenure, Carl Crawford did his duty, but once he made tenure ($100 million contract) he like 99% of college professors put effort and results on the back-burner.

Yeah the poor Sox. In 1975, I was still in college in Mass. And I am normally an AL fan, but well Johnny Bench was the greatest catcher ever and Pete Rose had not yet fallen from grace. So I was a Reds fan for that Series.... and man, did the locals hate me.... but I picked the winnah.

Gardiner - wasn't that Scutero that was thrown out at home? And the next inning, Ellsbury beats out the tapper in front of the plate, and Pedroia gets a clean hit to right field, both before an out is made.

On the other hand, last night, at the local sports watering hole, with two front TVs showing the AL games, and one in the back showing the Phillies/Atlanta game, was amazing. Three meaningful games, extra innings, plots galore - ya gotta love it!

Re: "Not sure I get the antipathy toward the Braves."

Roger,

It's not really antipathy toward the Atlanta team, just "the old ennui."

By not earning a playoff spot, they have mooted the possibility of being targeted in an international boycott against all GA products.

Re: "Gardiner - wasn't that Scutero that was thrown out at home?"

umpire,

The big guy's miscue occurred earlier in the contest, when he tried to stretch a single: he pushed a man to third but that runner never scored.

The Sox have been sloppy on the base paths throughout September. The Os have lost a lot of games on fielding errors, but not during the last few weeks.

Did Showalter derive double delight from last night's victory?

Meanwhile, a review of Boston teams' memorable losses:
http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/bruins/gallery/05_17_10_heartbreaking_losses/

Gardiner,
I just brought up the Brady stat because I enjoyed it so much.

P.S. The Tacoby Bellsbury thing was lame.

It was a great night for modern baseball. This is why the wild card was added, and it's an overall plus. The tension in those games, the clutch hits, the extra innings, the walk-off homers. That's what sports is all about. Even my wife started paying attention when the drama was near its peak.

With the NBA getting ready to cancel its season, this was a great night to remind people how fantastic baseball can be.

Ah, Tacoby Bellsbury. What are the odds his name fits like that AND he steals the 1st base in the World Series

Re: "P.S. The Tacoby Bellsbury thing was lame."

Bill McD,

Surely you did not imagine I am responsible for TB:

"With his stolen base last night, Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury earned everyone in the country a free taco from Taco Bell on Tuesday, Oct. 30, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. (thanks to Taco Bell's "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion)."
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2007/10/tacoby_bellsbur.html

I don't make it up. I just remember it.

Re: "I said then that the baseball gods wouldn't put up with that kind of obnoxious behavior....'

Tim,

Os fans may well remember last night longer than Sox fans, for whom it was only coals to Newcastle:

"Snark is an excellent way to deflect misery. But for me, the Orioles’ joy was actually a bright spot in a miserable night. Maybe that’s because watching grown men hug with glee is one of my favorite things about professional sports. (Unless those men are Yankees. I draw lines.) But really, the pile-on was proof that playing hard has its rewards, even when there’s nothing real at stake. Take it from the Orioles’ Robert Andino, who hit the game-ending double off Jonathan Papelbon. 'Everybody wants to walk off,' he told the Associated Press. 'It's priceless man, you don't have any words for it. Just enjoy it, and there's no tomorrow, so next year.'

Yes, there might have been a smidge more than pure joy at work here. The Orioles clearly have lingering resentment toward the Sox after that bench-clearing brawl in July. (Andino also said he was glad 'to make Boston go home sad, crying.') Still, it was striking how hard the O’s fought all night, how much they refused to quit, unlike a certain team that managed to give up a 7-run lead last night. The Orioles played the 162nd game of the year as if it were a season in itself. That’s baseball. That’s sportsmanship, too."
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/blogs/the_angle/2011/09/in_praise_of_th.html

Robert Andino, it should be recalled, also hit the three-run, inside-the-park homer -- the first by an O in Camden Yards -- that made the difference in Monday's contest. Wait 'til next year.

If winning two World Series since '04 makes for long-suffering, I'll take it. Plus, that whole Red Sox Nation thing is obnoxious.

Gardiner,
Sorry. I thought you made it up.

Re: "...that whole Red Sox Nation thing is obnoxious."

SF Giants fan,

Rather than dismiss "that whole Red Sox Nation thing" entirely, why not study it, beginning with this submission from Obnoxious Boston Fan:

"The greatest story in baseball (the Braves tried to steal some of Boston's thunderous thud with their collapse, too) wrapped itself around the most excruciating Red Sox season in memory. Back in 2004, the Red Sox became America’s Team. They’re now America’s Joke. This is worse than 2003 Aaron Boone pain and approaches Stanley/Buckner pain. I witnessed Game 7 in 1975 and the 1978 playoff game at Fenway. This equals Bucky F. Dent pain, Lou Piniella sticking-his-glove-up-in-the-sun pain, Tony Perez moon-shot pain and Yaz ending-both-of-those-games-at-the-plate pain."
http://www.boston.com/sports/blogs/obnoxiousbostonfan/2011/09/this_should_set_red_sox.html?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed7

One might well inquire: If the BoSox have proved such a distraction from healthy and productive existence, why have they not been asked to leave the Boston ecosystem? Could they satisfy some leftover Puritan need for self-flagellation? Consider OBF's assertion:
"This what [sic] happens when you root for the Evil Empire – even for a few hours. Our Faustian bargain backfired. The Devil made us pay and we're in baseball hell."

Cotton Mather, up on Copp's Hill in Boston's North End for most of the past three centuries, lives on.

San Franciscans, meanwhile, living always with the possibility of unanticipated, sudden annihilation, long ago learned to love the moment, to forget disasters past and future, to relish the good years and forget the painful ones. How can they comprehend Red Sox fans? It will not be without effort.

Had, among other events, the Os not prevailed on Wednesday, we would not have been provided this gallery of RSN memories:
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/gallery/02_13_09_OT_worst_breakups/

Bill Lee is still missed.


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