The Red Sox are a team!
It’s a shock to the system to see the Boston Red Sox acting like a team again. After two horrendous years as the gang that couldn’t pitch (or hit) straight, they had become a major league embarrassment. But miracle of miracles, they’re back.
Last night’s game, which the Sox won 3-2 over the Twins in the 10th, was a perfect example of scrappy teamwork at its best. It took four pitchers and a key bunt from Will Middlebrooks who hadn’t even attempted a bunt since 2008, to rally the team and win. Even if the Sox tank the rest of the season, we’ll always have this game to remember.
The Sox have been quirky so far. They started the season with guns ablazin’ and went 18-8, tying the team’s all-time record for wins in April. But then May came and they started slip sliding away, blowing leads, making hapless errors, and looking more like the Sox of recent yore.
While their 5-10 record for May is pretty dark, they’ve won the past three straight, so the lights might be back on.
For the past few years, the Red Sox have been on a nasty downslide. They haven’t made post-season playoffs since 2009 and last year they finished dead last in their division.
Problems seemed to trickle down from the top. Beloved manager Terry Francona who led the Sox to World Series’ victories in 2004 and 2007 — thus ending the Curse of the Bambino — was let go in 2011 after the famous Fried Chicken and Beer in the Clubhouse Scandal.
Team owner John Henry seemed preoccupied with his soccer team and hiring sexy players, you know, like Dustin Pedroia, according to Francona. Henry then brought in Bobby “I Never Met a Camera or Mirror I didn’t Like” Valentine to helm the sinking ship, and Valentine led the team to a 69-93 record — the team’s worst since they went 62-100 in 1965.
But now, we have that thing with feathers flying around here. We have manager John Farrell taking the lead, and pitchers Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz have 6-0 records. Sox fans have hope!
So I may be getting into the baseball spirit again.
I have been a Sox fan FOREVER, going back to the time of Yaz, Reggie Smith, and my all-time favorite player — Rico Petrocelli. I usually spend every Christmas planning my vacation for the upcoming year and calling friends to see what games we all want to go to. I always plan a few trips to Fenway Park and road trips to watch the Sox play in great venues like Baltimore and Philly (Toronto eh, not so great). I also always go to a few Sox games at Yankee Stadium, if for no other reason than just to wear my Sox colors and annoy the New Yawkers.
But this year no advance tickets, no hotel bookings, no waiting online in that freaking Box Office virtual waiting room, trying for hours just to snag a few non-obstructed view tickets. If the Sox couldn’t play like a real team, I wasn’t interested.
Before anyone calls me a fair weather fan, I went to games when Fenway Park was nearly empty. I’ve stuck with them through crappy years and almost-great years (1967, 1986) — way before Sweet Caroline became the team’s unofficial bizarre theme song (I’m a Dirty Water girl).
Sigh. Never say never. Born and raised in Massachusetts, the Red Sox are in my blood. So I bought tickets for an upcoming game at Fenway Park. While I’d love them to see them win, if they lose that’s okay, just as long as they play like a team. Your move Sox.