Now wait a minute, I thought as I was driving home from my parents' house after spending some more QT with my visiting grandparents, as the Sox fell three runs behind the Devil Rays on the radio and I began to curse. Now wait just a minute.
Let's get in our little time machine, shall we? We'll see I don't have a post for July 5, 2004. And why is that? Because I was on self-imposed sabbatical from the Sox, after their devastating July 1 loss to the Yankees at the Stadium to complete the sweep, put the Yanks 10 and a half games up on the Sox, and, I thought, seal the doom of the season.
Last year at this time, I was lamenting the disaster that was Keith Foulke, and grieving a truly awful one-run loss to Texas. Things were terribly bleak. In typical over-dramatic fashion, I posted an image I ganked off GIS of Icarus, meant to represent Foulke, because really, I am that dark.
It's a phenomenon I've also noticed reading, say, Red and Denton's book (Ding! plug! I expect my cut in the mail, boys) about the 2004 season, when we were all shouting apocalyptic predictions and rending our garments in the streets mid-June. And looking gift horses in the mouth. And understimating our team.
Where we weren't wrong in the negative, we've been wrong in the positive, too. All our sanguine hopes for Nomar's return in 2004. Sometime in the April timeframe last year I was in awe of Curt Schilling's remarkable return to start the season, and his beautiful performance in his first start at Fenway. I was sure he was riding in on his white horse again to save another season--sure we'd found the goose with the golden ankle.
This year, as every year, we got all puffed up while our team beat up on National League clubs, and I, for one, completely (and conveniently) forgot that I had already written this whole season off as a "transition year" just a week or so before the run began. You know...both reactions are, in retrospect, overblown. Of course.
So now we're back to uncertainty. And what we bloggers do with uncertainty is try to fill the silence with our own mad bluster about our team either being the space shuttle or the Hindenburg. Sometimes I wonder if there isn't a little masochism there, or at least an immunity to what is sure to be our later public embarrassment at having left a record of the stupid things we did and said as the season went through its smooth stretches and rough patches.
But here we go again. This year, as every year, there are already people certain that the only way the Sox will make the playoffs is to win the division, despite the fact that the last time the Sox won the division was...when? And the last time they made the playoffs was...? And yet still, that same lament--the Sox will not win the division at this rate, the only way the Sox can make the playoffs is to win the division, ergo, the Sox will not make the playoffs and so we should all drown ourselves.
This, of course, not a week after I heard people with my own ears talking already about a Mets-Sox World Series this year.
I'm not saying I'm all lily-white in this at all. In fact, I may be the guiltiest party, given there are not actual, you know, baseball facts and statistics appearing on this blog anywhere, and I traffic in the emotion, good and bad, the Red Sox engender. But I'm beginning to notice, through experience, on this blog and everywhere, that the emotion tends to move in a fairly predictable sine wave.
Some people feel that if you take too philosophical a view of the peaks and valleys--if you're not caught up in them, screaming along with the ride--you're not really into the game as much as you should be. But as I started freaking out again about a third bad game against the Devil Rays, I have to admit I sat back in that one moment and felt kind of silly.
Yes, the Devil Rays suck, and yes, we should beat them. But one dropped series in Tampa does not a season make, any more than four sweeps in a row. I hate to bust out the cliches here, but it is a marathon. I'm attempting to remain focused on that tonight.
Lest I end up chewing on myself.
Because holy fuck, when Crawford stole home I really wished I had someone to throttle. Talk about pwnage.
Right now, I am taking deep breaths and thinking happy thoughts. But I make no guarantees, of course, that I will sustain this Zen mood through to tomorrow. So if the Sox know what's freakin' good for them, they'd better at least salvage a game. I'm trying to keep my cool, but it'd help if those guys could throw me a bone for once this week.