As this 2011 season implodes on our beloved Red Sox, it seemed like a fine time to explain our sentiments on what has been transpiring, what might transpire, and our connection (or lack thereof) to this real-time athletic cataclysm. In the absence of a brilliant historical piece from Paul, we’ll air some thoughts on the current plight of the Olde Towne Team.
In no particular order:
1. About a month and a half ago, prior to the clusterf*ck of a September, work got INSANE. Hence we have (despite the occasional rant-ish comment here and there) been mostly detached from what has happened. Thank goodness for that. The total innings of Red Sox action we have seen over the past 45 days may be below 20. So we never had to pick the wrong time to stop sniffing glue, so to say, since we never started.
2. Despite not paying attention or posting here much, there’s certainly some pain in seeing the scores every night, reading game threads (at SoSH, especially), and trying to comprehend the horrible end to this season.
3. Despite that pain, being an adult has never come in more handy. Emotional maturity is an asset, and though we came in possession of it late we are grateful we came in possession of it at all.
4. 2004 and 2007 might have made a wee contribution to the acquisition of said emotional maturity, we aren’t naive. Those titles may have been 4 and 7 years ago, but I am still in the “house money” phase of my life with regards to Boston sports. I can’t imagine engaging in anything like self-pity because the Sox blew a lead this year. Those who want to make a big, personal deal out of this are short on memory and long on arrogance. We have had it good, still have it good.
5. While one may subjectively bandy about the term “choke”, the Sox most certainly are collapsing. But they are collapsing for a whole host of rational reasons: bad signings, bad performances, bad injuries, combined with bad luck. Such is sports, frankly. So it goes. Were the Sox healthy and failing this would be exponentially harder to take.
6. Moving forward, assuming this season goes no further than Wednesday (a safe assumption, we think), there will be changes. The Sox will HAVE to make changes. That doesn’t mean they should fire the manager or the GM. But they should change something. Conditioning coach, bench coach, pitching coach, players (Ortiz and Paps are free to choose their future to an extent), who knows. One cannot pin failure on a single reason, or blame injuries alone. Something will change. Many things may change. We advocate a new third base coach. Beyond that we hope stability and reason reign, combined with a LOT of re-assessment of organizational strategy – any good business would assess why failure happened without blinders. We hope this September isn’t chalked up solely to bad luck, though we do hope the front office is able to recognize that rash, reactionary moves aren’t the right thing either and that there is some accountability, even if it only means something non-personnel-based like a change in talent assessment methodology.
7. There’s always next year.