RSN: The Choke’s on You

Actually, we’re not big believers in the whole “choke” concept. Certainly it’s an amorphous and ill-defined entitiy. What is a choke? Where is the line of demarcation between “choking” and losing to a superior opponent? Where does the game’s inherent randomness fit in, and where the regressions to the mean that are statistically probable, if not inevitable over a seaason or series. These are questions to ponder, especially for Sox fans of both varieties. Because there teams would appear to be choking. Big Time. Yeah, Red Sox fans. Your lead is essentially vanished. Zero in the loss column. Thanks, last night, to the stellar work of Bubba Crosby and Chieng-Ming Wang.

16 comments… add one
  • Call it what you want, pick a fight, but we’re not biting. This isn’t a choke, though it is clearly a big time fade. As early as June the makeup of the Sox, their injuries, their disappointments (hello, Edgar!) have been shielded by their bats. Though I picked them in April to win it all, it’s been visible for a long while that the Sox are incredibly flawed, and that their division lead was a pleasant surprise, and I have been on the record a few times saying this. There is no surprise at all in their shrinking lead, and not really any tremendous disappointment from this blogger – I am a realist.
    So call it a choke, but I reserve that term for blowing 6th game World Series leads, or 3-0 ALCS leads flushed down the toilet while holding the home field advantage.

    SF September 20, 2005, 11:05 am
  • As the Church Lady would say, isn’t that convenient. It’s a choke when SF says its a choke. Otherwise, it’s a fade. Right.

    YF September 20, 2005, 11:18 am
  • So is it a timeframe thing?
    If it’s less than a week, it’s a choke, but if it’s comprised of the second half of a season, it’s a ‘fade’?
    You so ugly, that ain’t a fade; that’s yo hair runnin’ away from yo face.

    Knuckles September 20, 2005, 12:25 pm
  • Whatever. We know chokes in Boston, as you have never been shy to point out. This is no choke. Last year, in the playoffs, the Yankees? THAT, my friend, was a choke.

    SF September 20, 2005, 12:26 pm
  • If you want to talk about chokes, go look at the southside of Chicago. What’s going on there constitutes a HUGE choke.
    The Red Sox never had a double-digit lead in the AL East this year. It’s hard to call a lead that topped out at 5.5 games a “choke” when that lead disappears. A disappointment, yes. A regression to the mean? Well…maybe. The truth is that both the Red Sox and the Yankees are very flawed teams, and I don’t see either of them making it very far into the playoffs. Cleveland is the team to beat now, and I don’t see anyone out there that can slow them down.

    Sox Fan in VT September 20, 2005, 1:02 pm
  • What is a choke more than losing 4 games in a row when you can’t even beat a pitcher with a half a leg….the yankees are the defintion of choke look it up in dictonary

    mark burry September 20, 2005, 1:18 pm
  • geez louise
    SOME sox fans have the longest memory in the world, and TRY to make up for it by pretending to have the shortest
    SOXVT, it is part of the myth of the Sox that they will break your heart. It is part of the myth of the Nation, that there are Sox fans who expect the Sox to break their heart. In what screwed up universe is this made better by saying, The Yankees Choked, The Yankees Choked.
    You know better than I do that in 1978 the RED Sox had a double digit lead. You know better than I do about Billy Buck, Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone and all the rest.
    Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t bring these up if you didn’t say such silly things first.
    YF and SF are friends and take the piss out of each other. For others who don’t know each other that becomes, Let’s shit on the other team — somehow two wrongs will make the Red Sox right. C’mon.
    If you remember 78, you remember the Sox battled back in the last week to force the playoff. There is a lot of baseball left, and nobody knows who is going to win the East.

    john yf September 20, 2005, 1:27 pm
  • geez louise
    SOME sox fans have the longest memory in the world, and TRY to make up for it by pretending to have the shortest.
    SOXVT, it is part of the myth of the Sox that they will break your heart. It is part of the myth of the Nation, that there are Sox fans who expect the Sox to break their heart. In what screwed up universe is this made better by saying, The Yankees Choked, The Yankees Choked?
    You know better than I do that in 1978 the RED Sox had a double digit lead. You know better than I do about Billy Buck, Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone and all the rest.
    Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t bring these up if you didn’t say such silly things first.
    YF and SF are friends and take the piss out of each other. For others who don’t know each other that pissing becomes Let’s shit on the other team — somehow two wrongs will make the Red Sox right. C’mon.
    The 04 Sox and Schilling turned in some of the great clutch performances of all time. It genuinely astounds me that a Sox fan would turn that into “what is a choke more than losing 4 games in a row when you can’t even beat a pitcher with a half a leg.”
    If you remember 78, you remember the Sox battled back in the last week to force the playoff. There is a lot of baseball left, and nobody knows who is going to win the East.

    john yf September 20, 2005, 1:31 pm
  • If there´s a team that can take preassure right now and come out clean it´s the yankees. I bet that more than one in the red sox are pissing their pants because of last night´s crosby´s blast.

    vic September 20, 2005, 1:34 pm
  • my man bubba!

    john yf September 20, 2005, 1:43 pm
  • keep counting your chickens before they’re hatched, YF. hope to see you eat your words…again.

    beth September 20, 2005, 2:01 pm
  • I’m not sure what words I should be prepared to eat (and again?). I’m not the big believer in chokes on this site.
    But seeing as we’ve moved on to Bubba, I had the pleasure of listening to Suzyn Waldman interview him on WCBS last night after the game (driving home from perhaps the all time greatest meal, at Peter Luger, but that’s another story). Anyway, despite the usual softball’s from Ms. Waldman, it turns out Bubba is, or at least appeared in this interview, as bright, thoughtful, and courteous, and that he had approached his at bats in this game, and especially the final one, with a serious and well considered plan. That was really refreshing. It was also nice to hear his effusive praise of Don Mattingly. Now I know there are folks out there who might question him strategically (plate discipline being an issue), but it’s hard not to be impressed with his incredible work ethic, and his willingness, as Crosby noted, to put in endless time working with a guy who for much of his time on the roster looked like a bench player, and not one with great prospects at that. That’s admirable, and it just might be paying off. We wonder if a guy like Reggie, who’s often hanging around the team, would put that kind of effort into working with a non-star. So good Bubba and good for Donnie. Hard work deserves a reward.

    YF September 20, 2005, 2:27 pm
  • did you go to the peter luger in brooklyn, or the fake one in great neck? and did you have the schlag?!

    tom yf September 20, 2005, 3:14 pm
  • Hi all, more fuel for the fire. If the Yanks had been 5.5 up on the Sox 2 weeks ago and were now tied, Sox fans wouldn’t be calling this a choke?
    Yanks fans who are celebrating now with the Sox half a game up, WTF? Chill out I’m not celebrating until this current Sox team is dead, 4 games out with 3 games to go.
    Beth, you’re a fine one to talk about counting chickens, a couple of weeks ago you posted that we should really be talking about who the Sox would rather face in the post-season, looks like those chicks may be still born.
    Enjoy the race people it just got a whole lot more interesting and fun.

    Bozo September 20, 2005, 3:39 pm
  • Brooklyn. (Though I’ve been to the one in Mets territory.) Becks–check. Tomato and onion–check. Steak for 4–check. German fries–check. Spinach–check. Cake mit schlaag–check.
    The whole nine hundred yards. Still feelin’ it, too. And will be for some time. It just stays with you, a constant reminder of past greatness. Just like…..

    YF September 20, 2005, 3:45 pm
  • it just stays with you
    Yes, but your gall bladder might not (JUST KIDDING, but speaking as one who no longer has his, because of too much BBQ, too much juicy steak, too many Freedom Fries…)
    And are you sure should’ve been driving?
    The best meal I’ve had
    • In New York: Blue Hill Stone Barns, better than the partner restaurant in the Village
    • 2nd best in America: a late August heirloom tomato salad at a now gone restaurant in Montague, Massachusetts
    • Best Meal: Lucas Carton (now closed by the chef for a less formal, less expensive restaurant) a different wine with each course, chosen by the best sommelier in France for what might be the best wine cellar in France

    john massengale September 20, 2005, 5:18 pm

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