I write this with the full knowledge that there are countless fans of other baseball teams that would kill just to have their team make it to the post-season once, let alone six times out of the past seven years. I do realize that we in Boston are especially blessed with an outstanding, talented team that's run by an excellent manager, and owned and operated by a smart group of men who are dedicated to putting the best team on the field that they can.
That being said...
The 2009 ALDS showdown between our beloved Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California Jinglehiemer-Schmidt has ended not with a bang but a whimper, as the Halos finally stepped out from under the oppressive post-season dominant thumb of the Olde Town Team, and swept us in very convincing fashion.
Face it...the Angels earned that. They deserved it. Hats off to them.
But the Red Sox? Oh, where oh where to begin...
Submitted for your approval...one Jonathan Papelbon. He of the "no earned run in 20+ innings of playoff ball". That's the one. The one who wants to angle for a bigger paycheck when negotiating time comes round. Yeah, let us know how THAT works out for you, Paps!
Now, I'm not tossing out all the greatness of Paps in past games, but like a lot of other things in life, baseball's all about "Yeah that was nice what you did in the past, but what have you done for me lately?". And lately, Paps, you fucked up BIG time...blowing a 2-run lead and pretty much losing this game, this series, and all our playoff hopes, in one steaming turd of a half-inning.
Yeah good luck with that trying to hold out for a bigger payday. Enjoy NASCAR, you hillbilly. Buy yourself a few Hot Pockets while you're at it.
But you know what? This game wouldn't have been so do-or-die if OUR FUCKING OFFENSE SHOWED UP IN GAMES 1 AND 2!!!!! In Games 1 and 2, our offense managed ONE RUN. ONE. This group of talented hitters scored ONE. DAMNED. RUN.
You know what? We didn't deserve to advance. Really. We didn't. Hideous is as good a word as any for how they played. "Shit" is another good word.
So, to the Angels, I say "Well played. Hats off. You did good. Now please, please, please, kick the Yankees' asses in the ALCS."
And speaking of the Yankees...
In a development that surprised no one, including people who don't follow baseball, the Yankees simply glared at the Minnesota Twins in a menacing fashion and the Twins pretty much just crapped their pants and died, resulting in a sweep. Beating the Twins was no accomplishment that either the Yankees or their fans should take even the slightest iota of pride in. The Twins had no business winning the AL Central in the first place. In fact, the Twins didn't so much win the AL Central as the Tigers lost it.
This is why the Angels must win. The Angels must win so that we Sox fans don't find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of rooting for Manny to beat the Yankees (although wouldn't it be sweet if the Dodgers played the Yankees, and JOE TORRE wound up beating his old team? The answer is, "Why yes...yes it would"). Personally, I think it would be hilarious if the World Series ended up being an all-West Coast series. They could call it the Left Coast Series. Or the Laid-back, Mellow Series. Or the La-La Series. Or the Nobody (including most Californians) Gives a Rats-Ass Fuck Series. Fox will drop a big load in their collective pants if they have to air a Series that doesn't include either a) the Sox, b) the Yankees, or c) the defending champion Phillies.
Just so long as the Yankees don't win it all. Seriously, the last thing we need is to have the new Toilet christened with a World Series win. No one will ever hear the end of it, especially from those sycophantic, pinstripe-fellating hacks on Fox and ESPN. I don't want to see that billion-dollar boondoggle of a stadium EVER have a World Series banner from the 21st century. I want to see George Steinbrenner eventually slip off quietly into eternity without seeing another Yankee World Series win. I want to see his two sons, the Bozo Brothers, also eventually slip off this mortal coil at their appointed time, without seeing a World Series win.
A-Rod? Nope. No ring for you. Mr Leah Texiera? Nope. No ring for you either. Joba the Hutt? You should be so lucky, you brain-dead thug.
OK, let's face it....if you're reading this, you're reading the words of one seriously hacked-off Sox fan. However, I'm a Sox fan who maintains enough of a nodding acquaintance with Mister Reality to know that the Sox weren't going to win it all this year. No, the frustration, the sheer pissed-offness, is there because of the way the Sox lost. It just feels that they didn't put up that much of a fight.
I have to say, kudos to whoever it was, a columnist on boston.com, or a sportscaster, or some blogger, or a raving wino in the subway, who went on record as saying that the Sox batters couldn't hit quality pitchers. Whoever it was that said that, they were right.
There you have it. Rant over. Sure, I still believe the Red Sox totally rock, and I will eagerly be looking forward to next year (something tells me there'll be some personnel changes in the lineup). Considering the tumultuous year they had, they did pretty well, all cons thingsidered.