Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

We've been here before

It isn't hard to find good things to talk about in a bad game.  Kalish's catch was fantastic!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Highlight of the game? Kalish's catch was fantastic! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

I didn’t purposely skip over posting yesterday but I can only imagine the emails I would have received had I written something.

Because, had I written an entry on Saturday, it would have been about how good Friday night felt.  The Sox beating the Rays, the Yankees losing to the White Sox, the Red Sox gaining a game all around.  It was a great feeling and a wonderful way to end the night.

As good as Friday felt is as bad as Saturday felt.  But, really, Saturday doesn’t change Friday.  Friday was still great and the Red Sox are still in the position they were in before the game Friday night.  And while I get people being upset – hell the word to describe how I felt after the game was and still is “sad” – based on emails I’ve received today without having posted yesterday, I can only imagine how much worse they would have been had I shared in full-length format how happy Friday night made me.

I received a handful of emails from different folks regarding this weekend’s games thus far.  Here’s an excerpt from one:

You were so excited on Twitter Friday night and now you look stupid. Why bother getting excited about the Red Sox when you know they’re going to lose just like they did tonight? They suck and you’re wasting your time with them.

The kicker? This came from a Red Sox fan who follows me on Twitter.  Seriously?  I’m wasting my time?

Here’s the thing.  Last night was a tremendous kick in the ass.  Until Clay starting reverting to his old self by throwing over to first a million times, he was sailing.  After that errant throw that allowed Pena to take third from first and eventually score, the wheels came off.  We all saw it, we all felt it, we all new what was coming and couldn’t stop it.  I was upset in the moment but after sleeping on it I have one question for folks:

How is what happened last night any different than what’s been happening all season???

The entire season has been a flurry of great games, sucky games, great news, sucky news, lather, rinse, repeat.  If you’ve stuck it out this long…if you’ve decided that this team has enough guts and heart and energy that you want to watch every night to see what happens…if you don’t think 5.5 games out of first place at the end of August is the worst place they can be…then why the hell would one God-awful, gut punching game make you throw in the towel now?

I get the knee-jerk reaction stuff.  Hell, sometimes I think I’m QUEEN of the knee-jerk reactions when it comes to the actions going on during the game.  But, honestly, it didn’t even take me sleeping on it for me to remember that this seasons seems to be some sort of test by the Baseball Gods and last night’s game might have been one of the hardest parts of that test but it doesn’t mean you tear up your paper and storm out of the room.

In the American League, the Orioles, the Tigers, the Royals, the Indians, the Angels and the Mariners all are playing under .500 right now, yet they still have fans who go to the games and who try to enjoy the season for what it’s worth.  One game at a time, one play at a time, one amazing win or devastating loss at a time.  The Red Sox are 18 games over .500.  They’re 5.5 games out of first place and, really, still in the middle of a pennant race whether folks think it’s an impossible goal or not.  They’re still in it.

It sucks that they lost.  It especially sucks how they lost.  But don’t be sending me (or anyone else) messages telling me I’m stupid for getting excited about the wins because they turn around and have the nerve to lose as well.  I’m a fan.  This is my team whether they suck or they excel.  Now is the time for people to step back and figure out what they want from their team and what they realistically expect from the men who take that field.

I want them to win more than they lose and I want them to entertain me.  I want them to help make my summer and early fall interesting and exciting.  So far they’ve done all of that, so you bet your ass I’m going to be here and on Twitter proclaiming my happiness for and about them.  I invite you to do the same because it beats the heck out of the alternative.


August 29, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 | , , ,


  1. These wins and losses are part of the game, and at this point, part of the team tradition. I’ve never considered myself to be wasting time whenever I turn a game on. I’m in it no matter the outcome, cause without the comebacks, the wins just don’t seem as important. And to be pulling this all off with the amount of letdowns and injuries we’ve had this year? Its awesome that we’re still in it at all! Guess what I’m saying is simple : Go Sox!

    Comment by cassandra | August 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. How are the games this year any different from any other year? They win some and they lose some. Some of the losses hurt a bit more than others because of stupid mistakes (like last night) and some of the wins are more dramatic with walk off home runs or spectacular plays. A true fan watches the games from opening day until the last day of the season no matter where the team is in the standings.

    Comment by Brenken | August 29, 2010 | Reply

  3. I’m fine with losses…last night upset me because of the WAY they lost. Francona’s decision to underuse Bard is really what hurts. If Bard went out for the eighth and (hopefully) Pap for the 9th (like they’ve done in close games ALL SEASON), and we still lost, so be it. We put out the best guys we have.

    I certainly won’t stop watching the Sox–if I hadn’t watched last night, I would have missed Kalish’s ASTOUNDING catch and V-Mart’s emotional home run on his son’s birthday. But you have to admit, that when you watch guys like that who are so invested in the game (even though this season hasn’t gone according to “plan”), and then you see Francona make what EVERYONE knows are bad decisions, it STINKS.

    Comment by Liz | August 29, 2010 | Reply

  4. //You were so excited on Twitter Friday night and now you look stupid.//

    …but not as stupid as someone who takes out their frustration with a baseball team on strangers from the Internet.

    There were a few of these about last night.

    Comment by beth | August 29, 2010 | Reply

  5. That emailer is, to be quite honest, an idiot. (If he is really a Sox fan, he clearly came along in 2005 or later.)

    Brenken has it right. If you are a fan, you watch, you listen, you stay involved. In sickness and in health …

    Otherwise, you are nothing more than a phony bandwagon jumper who is always around when the team is flying high, boasting of his loyalty, but mysteriously disappears if the team loses three in a row.

    Comment by redsock | August 29, 2010 | Reply

  6. Totally agree, Cyn. Well said.

    I don’t get people who have such extreme reactions to being a “fan” of a team. I can understand having extreme reactions to losses and wins, but not such extreme reactions to the team in general.

    From what I can tell (because I don’t read sportswriters much any more), people seem to be questioning Drew catching the foul ball. To me, he was instinctively reacting to a play. He was in the zone…Clay misplaying the throw to first when the runner was not going anywhere annoyed me to no end.

    And tonight I don’t get to watch because of ESPN which I refuse to put on my teevee – so GO SOX!

    Comment by becks | August 29, 2010 | Reply

  7. Watching baseball, and your favorite team is never a waste of time. It’s about understanding the rise and fall of a long season.

    Howver, while watching Buchholz throw as much as Garza spits had me infuriated with Farrell. I was thinking, didn’t they work on this earlier in the season? Why didn’t Farrell, at the very least, come out and settle him by letting him know that Pena was not a steal threat? Jesus, it really got to me in so far as a mental lapse on the part of coaching last night.

    Despite the error and eventual run scoring, here comes Victor, load the offense on his shoulders, Martinez to take the lead back; got to love it going into the 8th knowing Bard is coming on to throw huge bolts of lightning. Except, Bard never started the 8th.

    I was up and ranting at the TV, screaming at Terry saying, why in God’s name did you look at Grady Little’s photo!?

    Buchholz threw not a good game. No, he threw a great game. And before Eck ever uttered a word in the post game analysis, I could not for the life of me explain how Francona had such a huge lapse. Get to the 8th and hand the ball to Bard; end of story.

    So I could care less about Buchholz throwing, or Victor asking for a breaking ball. It’s just that Clay hadn’t thrown any at all in the game and Upton made him pay. That should never have happened.

    Just for the record, I watched with such intensity last night, I’m still talking about it today. I know that by first pitch tonight, I’ll be settled and have this game and loss behind me, because that’s what is required in a season, especially if the guys who actually do the playing are focused. I have no choice bu to see how they follow up last night.

    I hated the outcome, but am all in when it comes to the game of baseball. It beats the shit out of reading Rob Dibble, or hearing how much Tiger’s ex is getting in the settlement.


    Comment by Tru | August 29, 2010 | Reply

  8. I really cared about last night’s game. How could you not? It was a big opportunity and we were so close.

    But I know I love this team and I always have and I’m going to love the heck out of Friday nights like that one. I’ll keep the video and look at it in the dead of winter. Every wonderful photo, every brave amazing play, every magical finish, I keep close. Not every game is going to be like that. The trick is to watch the game, not the standings. I’m not a fan merely because they won two WS this decade, I’m a fan because this is my team.

    These players are doing an amazing job. We’ve got a team right now cobbled together with surgical tape and kids just off the redeye from god knows where–and thanks, Cyn, for knowing who they are and filling us in. Do you think for a moment if we had just one more of our regulars last night would have happened the way it did? Pedey would have changed the outcome by force of will, Youk by being a brick wall. Look at the struggling infield guys. I’m loving VMart and he is a treasure but he’s not yet the Captain of blessed memory.

    I was yelling at Francona, begging him not to send the kid back out there in the eighth. Why take this game as the opportunity to push him on endurance. He doesn’t yet have the mental toughness and it is a rare ace who has it for very long before the body starts to go. Everyone could see he was through. Nobody even needs a complete game pitcher these days, if that’s what Francona was thinking. Whatever did he hope to gain? This game is very specifically demanding, damaging and painful. Pitchers, particularly, have a brief window to reach greatness and we’ve had some of those pitcher in some of those windows in Boston, but even a small injury can be fatal to a pitching career. We all knew where Saturday night’s game was going when Francona sent his starter back out.

    You have to pace yourself for the long run and remember that each game is a complete magical “island, entire of itself.” If you can’t love the game on that basis, and must twitter rashly and blow hot and cold with the wins and losses you’re still too childish for baseball. Same is true for people who leave hateful posts on some other team’s fan blogs.

    Comment by Anita | August 29, 2010 | Reply

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