Mark Bellhorn Personality Watch: After hitting his tenth homerun of the season, we almost saw Bellhorn smile in the dugout, but it was a fake-out. Then later we got excited when he started to argue with the umpire, but were let down again when Tito came up and got in the middle of things and Bellhorn lapsed back into passivity just when it seemed as if we might have made a breakthrough. --RallyCuff
I'm so glad I'm not the only one to have noticed this about Bellhorn. Maybe he's like the baseball Rain Man. A walking savant. Definitely, definitely, that pitch was inside...
We are engaged in a similar personality watch with the team as a whole today, as we wait to see whether they'll continue making Oakland their bitch or collectively yell "PSYCH!!" and go back to stranding small villages on base.
With Curt on the hill, it's easy to be optimistic. Which is usually when the Sox take advantage of the opportunity to knee us in the collective, figurative grundle. So we'll see.
My best friend K is dating a Soxaholic and is friends with several more, including me. She's pro-Sox, we'll say, but isn't caught up in the drama like the rest of us. She rarely gets caught up in drama of any kind, though--that's why she's my best friend.
Last week I was on the phone with her doing my best to act like I wasn't focused almost entirely on the Sox game, which, of course, I was. Eventually I broke down and began my Sox Rant (tm) about why weren't we winning and what the hell was wrong with them and why weren't we playing like the team we were supposed to be and and and...
"They are playing like the team they're supposed to be," she laughed. "They're the Red Sox."
"Well, yeah, but..."
"They do this every year. Everyone thinks they're really good, and then they are for a while, and then they start sucking, and then they stop sucking and make the playoffs anyway."
"But--but--" I had a million arguments.
"Dude." She said in that end-of-discussion tone. "It happens every year. Everyone just gets upset about it because no one can figure out why it happens."
"Do you ever wonder why it happens?" I asked her.
"No," she said, and meant it.
Maybe we wonder. I know I certainly do. But do we care? Does it make any difference if the Sox were tanking in June because of friction between the team and the manager, or because of friction in the clubhouse with Nomar, or because they had a cocky attitude, or because there's a curse, or because aliens had yet to visit Billy Mueller and miraculously infuse him with DNA from Hank Aaron, or because Kevin Millar had yet to try the old head-shaving trick?
Let's say this is the start of the upswing--the long climb toward the post-season as usual. Did we ever really know what was wrong with the Good Ship Red Sox?
Would it have made a difference if we did?