Wasn’t 2004 supposed to lift the weight off of Red Sox Nation? After winning for the first time in 86 years, weren’t fans expected to halt their whining when things stopped going the team’s way? Maybe it was the second World Series that did them in, that got them too comfortable with being on top, because it has become clear that the Nation is more panic-ridden than ever.
Reaching the playoffs in baseball is more difficult than in any other sport, and if the season were to end today, the Sox would be heading to Los Angeles as the American League Wild Card winners despite…
*A pitching staff once considered the deepest in baseball that now runs thinner than any team over .500 in the sport.
*A top slugger who picked 2009 as the year he wanted to go clean for the first time since he was sitting the bench in Minnesota.
*A catcher who last year didn’t have the bat to break your beer-league softball lineup and this year doesn’t even have the arm. No one is talking about his game-calling ability this year, by the way.
*The 2008 AL MVP hitting the sophomore slump in his junior year in baseball.
*The closer allowing more base runners than he’s ever allowed before.
*The 18 game winner a year ago that won just once before the team realized he was too out-of-shape to even bother using.
*The combination of Julio Lugo, Jed Lowrie, Nick Green and whoever else played shortstop this season.
I could go on forever, but the fact remains if simply getting to October should ever be good-enough for Red Sox Nation again, 2009 is that year.
- You can slam Rick Pitino all you want. Call him an embarrassment to his family. Label him a baby killer. But if he walked into your house to recruit your kid, you’d melt for him the way Turtle did for Tom Brady on Entourage last week.
And if you did actually hold your ground and spit on Pitino, he’d just go right to the next kid on his list and chances are it would be your son that loses in the end.
- Notice that you hear nothing about Vince Young when plays well, as he did last night in the Titans second preseason game. It seems to me Young has been labeled in such a way that he will actually have to be a Hall of Famer to ever be liked in the NFL.
How unfortunate. Young isn’t a puppy-killer or worse yet, a drunk-driving murderer like other guys in the NFL. He’s not getting arrested three times a year or shooting himself in the foot in night clubs. He’s simply the victim of overhype, much like two other prominent players in his draft class, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart.
- It’s crazy to think that 89 years after a ball player named Ray Chapman died from a pitch to the head, we still have players getting hurt the same way today. In the last century, we’ve figured out how to juice the balls, the bats and god knows the players. Why haven’t we juiced the helmet yet?
- I’m not Tiger Woods’ biggest fan by any means. But I enjoy dominance in sports and there is perhaps no more of a sure-thing than when Tiger heads into Sunday leading a Major. I hope that continues today and forever so that I can say that even though I grew up in a time when sports was littered with cheaters and drug addicts and criminals, I got to watch the single most dominant athlete in history.