On Hyperbole

…what Yankees achieved in the eighth inning Friday could have enormous October implications, because regardless of whether the Red Sox win the division or not, there is no getting around the fact that New York drew mental blood.

–  Buster Olney, ESPN Insider

I know Buster Olney wrote this in the bleary-eyed dawn of Friday night/Saturday morning, and I am reading his script with the privilege of an extra day of baseball in the aftermath of yesterday’s dismantling of the supposed blood-drawers from New York.  But I can’t help but think that Olney was writing more about the stereotypical Sox fan than he was about the actual Sox team.  Players, it is clear, don’t have the emotional swings that us fans do.  They are trained to play long seasons, to endure ups and downs, to battle through slumps, to get kicked in the crotch in the late innings and have to play the next day, to remain sharp enough and focused enough to get clutch hits off world-class pitchers despite having failed miserably just hours earlier.  It was clear yesterday that the Red Sox didn’t play as if the Yankees were in their head, and the Yankees didn’t play like they owned anyone.  Ownership, for the players at least, is as weak as the amount of break on any given Chien-Ming Wang Slider or as strong as the location of Josh Beckett’s fastball. 

Yesterday’s game was something of a lesson, at least for me.  As harrowing as Friday’s loss was at the moment (and yeah, it was disheartening as hell), the players are really good at shrugging these types of things off, especially veteran ballclubs seasoned by many games of a very tense rivalry.  The point being: a blowout yesterday and a convincing throttling of the Yankees’ best starter will probably have about as much impact on tonight’s game as Friday’s did on yesterday’s.  Or October, if both teams are lucky enough to get to an ALCS.

13 comments… add one
  • Yeah, Buster’s comment is trying to force a nonexistent issue. Since the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ franchise is dead, sportswriters are grasping at straws.
    If anything, what I took from Friday’s game is the Red Sox got to Pettitte and DiceK held up after a couple blatant disasters. They saw Pettitte and hit, went into the 8th with the lead.
    If anything it was more a gutpunch to see Oki have a meltdown and Paps brought in cold to try and save it. My positives of having our starter go strong and hold off the Yankees line-up and getting to one of their aces remain the same.

    no sleep til brooklyn SF September 16, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • Yeah, different result entirely, I feel, if Gagne’s starting the eighth instead of Okajima. Or even if Gagne is brought in after Oki gives up the two jacks. Really have no idea what Francona was thinking there.
    Ah well. At least the Sox won yesterday. Makes tonight a whoooole lot more stress-free.

    Paul SF September 16, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • So if the “Curse of the Bambino” franchise is dead, does that make it the “Red Sox Nation” franchise now? Ugh.
    Too many “I hate the Yankees!” fans, not enough hardcore fans.

    doug YF September 16, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • I should add that the Yanks have a lot of annoying bandwagon types, too, but it’s the sudden emergence of so many “2004 ALCS” Red Sox fans that irks me.

    doug YF September 16, 2007, 2:43 pm
  • I’ll make a personal deal with you. You fanatics stop using statements like ‘100 years of excellence!’, and instead admit that you only jumped on their bandwagon recently, not being a fan when they sucked in the ’80’s and ’90’s, and I won’t continously bring up the greatest choke job in major sports history.

    BostonRAW September 16, 2007, 3:04 pm
  • Oh, please, RAW. This site is not populated by those types of YFs. Can you ramp down the antagonism a little, for heck’s sake?
    As for yesterday’s impersonator, we were at the game and unable to delete those posts. We don’t tolerate it, and if it happens again the person doing it will be put on warning; we have no double standards here.

    SF September 16, 2007, 4:08 pm
  • Ric September 16, 2007, 4:31 pm
  • We have no double standards here.
    SF, this is a good blog, and that was a great ad lib you made after Friday’s game, but puhleeze! – you, SF, are the king of the double standard. Don’t be self righteous.

    BostonRAW September 16, 2007, 5:18 pm
  • Just got in from the Giants game, what a debacle. Makes the day better when I sign on and see Raw doing his normal firestarting. You are a moron and you make the Sox fans here look bad.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 16, 2007, 5:32 pm
  • Detroit won today.
    I tried to post a longish screed without success, on the topic of “hating.” The gist was:
    It’s a freakin’ rivalry, what does anyone expect?
    When the Sox and Yanks are playing other teams, we just root for our guys. When we play each other, we taunt and tease and point fingers and enjoy watching the other side fail in addition to our side succeeding.
    We don’t “hate” in the sense of “Hulk crush skull of anyone wearing other team’s colors.” We hate in the sense of a sports rivalry. And I for one am cool with that.
    Sure, it adds depth if one occasionally tips the hat and recognizes, say, when the rival side makes a stellar play. But if we’re just going to say, “Well played, fellows, good show, now let’s all shake hands and repair to the drawing room for cigars and brandy,” well, that’s not what I look for in a sports rivalry.

    Hudson September 16, 2007, 6:57 pm
  • RAW and Jim Dean should hook up. It would be the Godzilla v. Mothra of asshole fans from both teams.

    bloodyank78 September 16, 2007, 7:41 pm
  • “Well played, fellows, good show, now let’s all shake hands and repair to the drawing room for cigars and brandy,”
    LOL! Nice Hudson. Agreed.

    bloodyank78 September 16, 2007, 7:44 pm
  • P.S. regarding the link posted by Ric above, that should be filed under “CLASS — YANKEE.”

    Hudson September 16, 2007, 7:46 pm

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