Villains Vanquished

With an honorable mention to the Orioles for their part in the 2011 debacle (and pretty much owning the Red Sox since), it’s safe to say that the Yankees and Rays have dealt the worst blows to the Red Sox from 2008-2012 (2008’s ALCS loss to the Rays in 7 games and 2011’s ultra-squander to the Rays, completed when the Yankees folded late against the Rays in Game 162, being the biggest examples).

This year the Red Sox went 13-6 against the Yankees in the regular season and played a significant part in showing the Yankees the door in September…the Yankees got as close as 1 game back of the second wild card after the games of 9/12, but were 3 back after that weekend’s series at Fenway and never got closer than 2.5 after that. They went 1-6 against the Red Sox in September.

The Red Sox went 15-8 against the Rays this season, including postseason play (12-7 in the reggalah), and didn’t just show them the door, but grabbed them by the collar and kicked them through it. And all this after the Rays’ heroic efforts in what turned out to be three subsequent elimination games leading to an ALDS match with the AL’s best team (by record and run differential).

Honestly, I’d love to win it all, but coming in the wake of 2011/2012 and as redemption for those seasons and the painful loss in 2008…this has already been a supreme season. I look forward to seeing where it goes, but today I am utterly content. There’s a game each of the next three days to enjoy from our lofty perch (PIT-STL, DET-OAK, NLCS 1) while we wait for the show to continue on Saturday; Lester gets ALCS Game 1 instead of an elimination game this Thursday, while our eventual ALCS opponent will hopefuly wear themselves out on Thursday, and all is right with the world.

9 comments… add one
  • If the Rays can boost their lineup a little and get one or two good arms in that pen, I think they are serious division/World Series contenders next year. Starters are just ridiculous.

    Devine October 9, 2013, 1:01 pm
  • “…when the Yankees folded late against the Rays in Game 162…”
    ouch…saying they “folded” implies that they intentionally gave up late in that game…having watched the game live, i saw nothing in the yankees actions that would suggest they folded allowing the rays to win…the sox lost in ’11 long before that last game…in fact, it started a month earlier, when some of the players lost focus, became selfish, began to disrespect leadership, and apparently felt that with the lead they built they could simply coast to a playoff berth…

    i do agree with and share your sentiment that whatever happens the rest of this season, it has already been a successful one for the sox…a remarkable turnaround, but not necessarily surprising…this might shock you coming from a yankee fan, but i didn’t consider the yankee season a complete failure as some yankee and non-yankee fans have suggested…ownership may finally be coming to their senses that you don’t have to pay significantly higher salaries for past performance in order to be competitive… i say “may” because we still have to see what they do with cano…they once gave mo and jeter some years and big money, but we’re talking exceptions with those two…i’m also encouraged by hal s’s interest in how to make improvements in developing young players…we also found out how good joe girardi is…and we had an opportunity to let joba and hughes continue to prove the hype wrong in what will most likely be their last season with the team…i’m also encouraged by some of the younger pitching possibilities and less concerned about the age of the top of the staff…we’ll let the games sort out all that…this team with all of it’s issues kept me interested right up until the last week or so…

    i keep getting the question [followed by laughter] about how my team with it’s $200m payroll [it was actually $228m on opening day] couldn’t make the post season…fair enough, but it misses the point that at no time during the season did the yankees have $200m on the field at the same time…considering that the following players missed all or a significant part of the season, the $200m payroll argument springs a bunch of leaks: arod $28m, tex $22.5m, jeter $17m, granderson $13m, youk $12m…

    i’m not saying we get a different outcome with those guys in the lineup everyday, and yes, injuries are part of the game, and the team’s ability to absorb injuries was severly impacted by a thin farm system, but i haven’t run across one real baseball fan who didn’t concede that the yankees were particularly snake-bitten this season, and the constant mixing and matching that girardi had to do because of these and other injuries had a negative effect on the team’s ability to compete regardless of the payroll on the books…

    dc October 9, 2013, 1:47 pm
  • Girardi to remain with the Yankees through 2017. Probably good for the Yankees, probably also good for the Cubs, as I am not convinced he’d have been such a great fit in their present situation.

    Not sure watching a game actually allows us to determine whether a tanked it or not. But it’s totally on the Red Sox that they were in a situation where it mattered what the Yankees were doing in Tampa. And Papelbon should have same the final game which would at least have guaranteed us a one-game-playoff. And Crawford could have called the ball that did the final damage. And so on …

    Otherwise, as usual, D pretty much sums up how I feel about things at this moment. It’s all good (not in the real world, but at least in baseball).

    One further point though: I’m not sure about the Rays rotation next year. Price can expect a big raise in arbitration and this looks like the moment in his career where the Rays usually trade a player like him for prospects. If that happens the young guys coming up might not be good enough yet to replace him. We’ll see. Right now I’m not given to worrying about the Rays.

    pale blue eyes October 9, 2013, 4:28 pm
  • “called the ball” of course shoud read “caught the ball” …

    Mentioning Carl Crawford reminds me that we might get to see a lot of former Red Sox should we meet Oakland and later the Dodgers.

    pale blue eyes October 9, 2013, 4:30 pm
  • Eh, “folded” may have been the wrong word…I know that game meant nothing to the Yankees and they were saving bullets, but I’d have loved to see someone else in the 9th besides Wade. Rivera for the final out or two, for instance. Looking at that game’s box score, Proctor got effin’ Proctored in that game. And David Price came up small in a big game…now where did I see that recently…?

    Devine October 9, 2013, 4:37 pm
  • And I did call the Red Sox’ September 2011 performance an “ultra-squander”. Damn, that shit was awful.

    Devine October 9, 2013, 4:41 pm
  • Also, dc, I do think Girardi showed he is a pretty good manager by keeping the Yanks close to the WC right down to the end. If TB hadn’t flipped the switch from suck to awesome about halfway through the month, there’s a chance this ALDS is Yanks-Sox. Oh Jesus.

    Devine October 9, 2013, 4:53 pm
  • Happy to have Girardi back. I think he did a marvelous job this year. Seriously marvelous. He took them with their negative run differential – built not only on an unprecedented number of DL-stints and middling player call-ups throughout the year, but also on the back of CC’s worst-ever season and a horrid season by Hughes – into late September with a real shot at the post-season.

    I like your perspective dc. I find it hard to see a real light at the end of the Yankee tunnel in 2014 though. The farm system is mediocre at best and that takes years to turn around, age (and the injuries that come with it) will still be a real factor for them even after Pettitte and Mariano are gone (and in any event, those were two of the better 40+ year old deals you’ll see), and their financial flexibility will be hamstrung by A-rod. Even if the guy gets suspended for 2014, he still comes back for THREE more seasons unless they find a way to buy him out at a discount that the union will accept, see him get into further trouble that gets him suspended for life, or push him out of a plane.

    I am very curious to see what CC brings next year after such a rough 2013. I’d like to see if the rumors are true that Michael Pineda plays for the Yankees. And I’d love for Nova to keep proving my view wrong that the Yankees can’t develop starting pitching in-house.

    Regardless, congratulations Sox fans – a great year. I wish you a very long post-season, just as long as it ends with a Carl Crawford walk-off HR :)

    IronHorse - YF October 9, 2013, 7:42 pm
  • So long, Pirates, sorry you lost here, but glad you made it past the play-in. Dodgers-Cards NLCS…hmmm, I GUESS I’d pick the Cards if the Sox were to get that far. But there’s another Division Series game that’s a lot more relevant tomorrow night.

    Devine October 9, 2013, 11:47 pm

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