Josh Beckett is fast becoming my new Derek Lowe: the man I love to hate, his demonstrable strengths notwithstanding. He is showing similar "Mental Gidget" tendencies--it's not even worth it anymore to yell at the TV for him to mix in something besides a 96-mph fastball for a change, or that 92 mph is not a changeup.
The most natural yet counterproductive thing for Sox fans to do in a season like this has been to try to find the one factor, the one thing to blame, the one thing wrong with this team.
Here's the thing, though: it's all of it. Our team is either too old or too young. Even if Josh Beckett were to settle right this minute, do you really, honestly think our bats are going to get us back in the game, after three straight hitters swung at the first pitch in the first? If Josh Beckett doesn't settle, who's out there to back him up?
Then we get into the logistical game, whether you want to throw Tito or Theo under the bus for it really doesn't matter; you can also throw teammates' nonperformance under the bus if you are so inclined, but either way, the fact of the matter is, Keith Foulke--whose relative effectiveness last night had been a bright spot for me, even if it was meaningless--threw forty-two goddamn pitches in his fucking debut off the two-month DL. I wanted to kill someone when I heard that. The guy has been struggling like a motherfucker just to come back, and then...ugh. I can't even talk about it anymore.
And then you get into the mental game. Gone are the audacious idiots and in their place are the Wily Mos and the Jon Lesters of the world. Right now, the Yankees are slicing through this team like a hot knife through butter, and the worst part is that I really cannot claim to be surprised.
No, scratch that. The worst part is that we can still vividly remember when the Red Sox played like the Yankees are right now--taking pitches, patient at the plate, slugging when they have to, playing station-to-station on the basepaths, hitting one-through-nine, and holding the line on the mound.
Granted, the Yankees this season have once again all but doubled our payroll to field yet another All-Star Team that probably won't go past the pennant series this year...but right now, that's small consolation indeed. As is the famous long-term plan...on the one hand, I can understand the logic and this season have clung to it like a life raft in rough seas, but this series has been so awful, the angst of my fellow fans so deeply palpable, that I have been wondering to myself if the assumption on the part of the FO that this town will simply change its spots in order to accept a fallow period was a foolish one, as well.
Ugh. Screw you guys, I'm going to Foxboro.