Friday, August 6, 2010

Death's Door: The Boston Red Sox

6 games out in early August. Youkilis done for the year. Competing against the two best teams in baseball. Hemp necklaces. A beautiful woman in a red dress. Two men in derby hats, each with a briefcase attached to their wrist via handcuff. A sunny afternoon. An empty bandshell. Munich, Germany. The day when everything changes.

Josef Stalin. A red velvet cupcake. Morgan Freeman. A chubby Mexican man playing a violin on a river boat. The ace of spades. Darkness in Vienna. A pervert with a machine gun. Ladies' night at the Hooters in Biloxi, Mississippi. Stickball. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's illegitimate son. A cool wind in Dallas.

Mayhem. Calm. Alternate moments of mayhem and calm. A yellow balloon in flight at a 4th of July parade. The world's largest cauliflower farm. Africa.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. STOP. Just STOP.

My bad, guys. Sometimes when I'm writing I go off in a reverie and start writing those weird, stilted descriptions you see on the back of spy novels. It can get really bad. One time I thought I was writing my final paper in a lit class in college, and after pulling an all-nighter it turned I just had pages and pages of random, incomplete sentences. I turned it in and got an A.

But here's my point: the Sox are in trouble. They've had a bit of a nightmare year, with almost every significant player on their roster going down at some point. I've been comparing their injury woes to what the Yanks faced in our own year from hell, 2008, but I have to admit that the Sox have had it even worse this year. On ESPN today, JP Ricciardi makes the point that Francona has done an amazing job keeping them within sniffing distance of the division lead. To be only 6 games out, after missing Beckett, Buchholz, Ellsbury, Pedroia, and V-Mart for significant stretches, is nothing short of a miracle.

But it's a miracle with a limited shelf life. The Sox have a rough schedule to end the year, and they have to actually improve in order to catch the Rays and Yanks. Unfortunately for the greatest rivals in sport, the boys from Tampa actually finish up with the easiest schedule. Of the three teams, they're the best bet to make the playoffs. But really, it's difficult to imagine the Yankees falling either.

Still, this weekend means a lot. Boston is visiting the Bronx, and it's one of those wrap-around 4-game series' that culminates on Monday. In the odd event that Boston sweeps, they'll have a wonderful jump-start on a task that will suddenly seem far less insurmountable. Even if they take 3 of 4, they'll find themselves only 4 games back and with a jolt of confidence for the herculean trial ahead.

But in the event of a 2-2 stalemate, a very unfriendly status quo awaits. And if the heavens are smiling and the Yankees win, I'll be ready to make a pronunciation:

The Death of the 2010 Red Sox

Let me talk schadenfreude for a moment. Last night, dropping my pal Nick off after some brews, I caught a piece of sportscenter. On the bottom line, I saw the news about Youkilis' thumb surgery. "Whoa," I said. "Youkilis is out for the year!"

How did I feel at that moment? First, I'm going to tell you how I felt a moment later, which is sorta guilty. I actually like Kevin Youkilis, and I never want anyone to get hurt. If it was in my power to magically cure him, I would, even if you told me it meant that the Yanks would miss the playoffs or something. I'm not into winning by default, or seeing rivals fail just for the sake of their failure.

But back to the initial moment. Roughly, here was my internal reaction:


Or something. Look, there's a few things we all know. First, Boston is a horrible city. I'm not talking about the infrastructure or the sights or the culture or whatever. Those are also total crap, but I'm talking about the people. Everyone in America agrees on this, and it has nothing to do with which sports teams you support. The people in Boston are rude, entitled, arrogant, drunken dicks. Am I stereotyping? No. This is the one time where it's not a stereotype, but a flat fact. Maybe now you're expecting me to be like, 'of course, this isn't true of everyone in Boston.' Nope. Not gonna say that either. Everyone in Boston is an asshole. There isn't a single exception to the rule. Even the babies are pieces of shit. I think it started back in the 1800s because they were all miserable Irish who had been kicked down for their entire history, then they came to America and were kings, at least in one city. A lot of them left and started lives and had their own struggles and were discriminated against, but in Boston the Irish were all in the majority, and let's face it, Irish people are not meant to be in power. The single biggest problem with America is that too many people with Irish origins have too much power. I include myself in this, being Irish. I deserve nothing more than to be kicked around in a potato field by some fat English guy with a creepy mustache who will reap the profits of my labor. Instead, I have an apartment and a girlfriend and a sports blog. The world is on its head. This was never meant to happen. And these kinds of situations exist everywhere in our country, but are concentrated in Boston. It's just a critical mass of undeserved arrogance, an unshakable stronghold of people with a little power who don't know how to handle it. Deep in their hearts, they're monumentally insecure. But they don't want to admit it, so they become instant douchebags. They teach their kids to be douchebags. Trivia: what do you call the sweet old ladies in Boston? Answer: you don't call them anything, because they don't exist. Boston is the only city where people hate their grandparents 100 percent of the time. If Boston went to war with Germany, I'd have to root for Germany. Even if they were Nazis. And believe me, I'm not a Nazi guy. Never liked 'em, and I don't care who knows it. But between the Nazis and Boston, I'm with the krauts all the way. Ideally, Obama would turn a blind eye while the Germans were defeating Boston, and afterward he'd be like 'what?! The Nazis had the gall to annihilate an entire American city??" and then he'd nuke them out of existence. That way everybody wins, except people from Boston and the Nazis.

What I'm basically saying is that my initial reaction to the Youkilis thing was some form of pleasant surprise. And that's a shame, because I like Kevin Youkilis. But Boston made me do it. If you agree, please send me an e-mail and I'll sign you up for my militia.

It's Buchholz and Javy tonight. We'll be facing Clay, Lackey, Beckett, and Lester over the four days. I don't expect the Sox to score many runs, but I can see the good guys faltering at the plate too. I'm expecting a weekend of low scoring affairs. I might check in at some point Saturday or Sunday, so stop by if you think of it. Happy Friday. Let's end this weird blog post with a weird video.


  1. I really like Boston and its people, but based on the strength of that rant, I could probably be coerced into joining the militia.

  2. Thank you. You'll have to sign a piece of paper that contains a lot of ideas and excerpts from that rant, though.