So what do I write? I’m not one of those humor blogs like Surviving Grady that will come up with something humorous to help folks get through the pain and I’m not a jerk like the guy at Boston Dirt Dogs who takes pleasure in pointing out the shortcomings of the team and, especially, the more popular players. So how do I come home, after spending almost 12 hours in the Fenway area, and make things feel better than they actually are? I can’t. I know I can’t.
But I can at least try.
I don’t pin all this on Jonathan Papelbon, so I hope no one comes here looking for my version of Pap-bashing. Yes, he’s the one that gave up the hits that led to the runs that caused the team to lose today’s game – but he has 24 other teammates who had two other games to make their mark and they didn’t. Every game this team won this year they won together – and they lose together too. I don’t blame any one player and it annoys me when others do. So there will be none of that from me.
See, I understand my place in the universe when it comes to this blog. It took me a while but I get it now (especially thanks to many comments and email messages I received about this). I want people to come here and know that they don’t have to deal with the same bull that they might have to deal with at other blogs and message boards. It isn’t my desire to make any fans feel worse than they already do after a loss – especially a loss like this one. I get no happiness from picking on players when they struggle or making someone feel terrible – so I sometimes go out of my way to make sure the tone here, while not being falsely optimistic, has a good balance. Sure things suck but they could be worse.
I made this list today while sitting at Fenway after the game (we spent a long time just sitting in the stands after the game. We didn’t leave until well after the organist had stopped playing). Before I start feeling too sorry for myself, I should remember that instead of a Red Sox fan I could be a fan of the Mets, or the Reds, or the Pirates, or the Royals…or the Tigers or the Cardinals. Now I don’t mean this to insult any of those fan bases. I have a lot of respect for them, especially the Royals and the Pirates and, this year, the Mets. You watch your team struggle and hope for the best and come out the other side with the absolute worst. My team was in either first or second place for the better part of the season. They went three games into the post-season. They won 95 games in the regular season. There were many more good days than bad this season. So am I sorry that it’s over? I am. I’m deeply saddened that until next year I have no more Red Sox baseball to enjoy. Am I mad? No. HELL no. I’m proud of this team and what they’ve accomplished. The Angels are a good team and there’s no shame in losing to a good team. Disappointment, sure, but not shame.
So here’s my promise to you…you aren’t going to see comments from the likes of “Lou the Yankees fan”. If you do, they’ll be gone soon thereafter. As I’ve mentioned many times here, Toeing the Rubber isn’t America…it’s my own little part of the world where you don’t have freedom of speech or the right to say what you want. I get to decide what gets said. If you want that freedom, start up your own blog. There is no way I’m allowing people to post here just for the purpose of making our fan base feel badly about their team. We already are bummed and we don’t need the asswipes of the world rubbing it in. I’m not big on moderating comments but I’m willing to make an exception now and then. It’s more important to me that folks can come here knowing they don’t have to deal with the crap that you have to deal with in other places. If people feel like this is the place to go to get away from the negativity, I’m going to make sure it stays that way. (Doesn’t mean people can’t comment negatively, mind you. I know there are times when folks need to vent and I hope they feel comfortable doing that here. But I’m certainly not leaving the door open for Yankees fans – or others - to come here to rub our noses in our disappointment.)
So the Red Sox lost. The fellas have four months to shake this off and come back fresh. I think they’ve earned the time off and I hope they all get to enjoy it.
Me? I’m going to be bummed out for a while more but my spirit isn’t broken. I love this team, I love this fan base and I’m here for the good and bad.
One other thing…I haven’t begun to give solid thought to which teams I’m hoping make it through to the World Series but I’m still watching the playoffs. For the time being, all I ask is that, at some point, someone takes the Yankees down and takes them down hard. I want them to lose and I want it to be ugly and painful for them.
I’m not proud. :)