General Baseball

Reading the Globe daily, and

Reading the Globe daily, and having spent a few weeks over the course of the summer and even a few more in Sox Country while teaching, I have had a reasonable amount of time to soak in Red Sox Nation attitudes. I think that the reason this whole playoff hunt is less “fun” (and I think there is definitely an aura of unfunness up in Boston, even a bit of it for me, too), is not the normal sense of Red Sox fatalism, but a hovering, yearlong cloud of disappointment. This sentiment is hard for me to qualify, so the best I can do is to contrast what I usually feel with the Red Sox (completely projected pessimism, the expectations of an impending failure), with this year’s psyche – a constant feeling that I am watching a failure in progress. I think there is a psychological difference between those two things. I also believe that it has something to do with the fact the Yankees really aren’t a very good team this year, despite their excellent record, and that however flawed the Red Sox are (and yes, they are flawed!), they are the younger, more dynamic and exciting team for once, but still can’t win, even as the Yankees appear like a team about to careen over the end-of-dynasty cliff. It’s actually (however masochistic) exciting to watch a team implode in real time, but it isn’t the same when “real time” is 5 months running. It’s incredibly frustrating. I sense that this season has been a real grind, in both cities.

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