Well, today I headed to Kristen's for taco dip (TACO DIP) and the rubber game.
Turns out I should have just stayed home instead, and given myself a radical appendectomy with nothing but a pair of rusty scissors and some embroidery thread.
Look; there's the tongue-in-cheek way we talk about being upset and depressed as sports fans. There's the often humorous way we express what is often admittedly inconsequential frustration. This is different. I am genuinely angry; my blood pressure is measurably up. My stress level is entirely too fucking high.
This game reminded me of last year when the Sox and Yankees met on July 1; this soon afterwards I really have no insight, no hopeful spin, nothing really to offer for anyone coming here looking for optimism.
There was nothing good about this game. At all. Tim Wakefield put up twelve strikeouts and got the loss. Why? Because Jason Giambi scored the game's only run, a homer into the short porch in right in the early innings.
I don't know about you, fellow Sox fans, but the fact that an admitted steroid user--who we're expected to actually believe has just spontaneously started recover his home run stroke and power this season, and find his way back to a starting spot out of nowhere-- is what gave the Yankees the edge in this game (with a home run, no less!)...it just isn't something I can understand or accept. There is simply no excuse for the fact that he's still playing.
In fairness, there's also no excuse for the fact that, as Wake spun another futile beauty in Yankee Stadium, his own offense couldn't come up with even one measly run on his behalf.
The crap doesn't end there, either, and with the exception of the Giambi issue (as well as the fact that today was the first time I've seen the Arizona version of Randy Johnson take the hill in pinstripes, and it was every bit as scary as I had previously supposed--credit where credit is due there), all of it rests squarely on the Sox .
The offense today was absolutely...what's the word. Disgusting? Close. Woeful? Too mild. Despair-inducing? Too awkward a phrase. Miserable is probably closest.
Why in the name of all that is good and holy was Kevin Millar playing fucking right field? Not that it ended up really making that much difference...but fuck.
Gabe Kapler in the lineup? Really.
I say we should start staple-gunning signs to telephone poles around the country in an effort to find Manny's bat. I'm ready to declare it officially missing.
And there's really no reason for that, either. No excuse. No justification for the way this team has played two out of the last three days.
So, I'm sorry; if you're looking for a calm, even-handed perspective, you won't find it here. I'm just too angry and frustrated and dismayed by what happened today, and yeah, despite the admittedly poor performance on the part of the Sox, much of my anger still rests with Giambi. Given current events, I've had about enough corruption and ineptitude among people who are supposed to be in charge of things. Finding it in baseball--my chief escape--too, is enough to set me completely off. I'll admit my own team's shortcomings, yes, but this can't, and shouldn't be ignored: a race as tight as the AL East right now is no place for a cheater. Period. I'm dumbfounded by the fact that a league still trying to extract itself from a PR nightmare like the MLB steroids scandal is allowing this to continue.
But ultimately? It's games like this that make me sit back and think: why do I do this to myself? It isn't good for me, mentally or physically, to become this frustrated over something that is, essentially, peripheral to my life--even if other underlying frustrations and exposed nerves are responsible for much of my consternation. It's still not right, and frankly, an insult to people with real problems, for me to find myself so utterly enraged by the failure of a baseball team to win a game.
It's times like this that those thoughts lead me to the conclusion that I should take a break. Don't get me wrong. I'm not quitting; I'm not off the bandwagon. I haven't lost the Faith. After all, as it was pointed out to me, the Sox leave the Bronx in much the same position they went in, and I'm sure that given about 48 hours to reflect on that, I'll be back on an even keel.
In the meantime, my reaction to this game shows me that, as with last July 1, I've lost perspective. As with last July, then, I'm going to be taking a break. Just a few days. Just long enough to remember what's important.