Saturday, May 9, 2015

Did ESPN and the Boston courtiers spend the winter drinking Redsocks' Kool-Aid?

In this millennium, ESPN's broadcast booth has been a virtual Hebrew Home at Riverside - (I've been there; it's like a college campus!) - for homey and verbose ex-Redsock lug nuts.

Terry Francona (2012) practically switched seats with Bobby Valentine (2011), and then there was Nomar Garciaparra (2010-13) and now the eternally bloody-socked Curtis Montague Schilling. Let's not forget the original Gammonite himself, Peter, who never suited up for the Redsocks, so as not to blow his cover. And Pedro Martinez and Kevin Millar might at any time drunkenly breeze into the love-fest to announce some crisis, such as the last free bourbon about to be consumed in the press room.

Long ago, this MacArthur Foundation-level brain trust achieved a Borg-like hive mentality on two basic premises: 1) The Yankees would continue to crumble, and 2) the Redsocks would thrive. And hey, let's say it: That pretty much sums up the first 15 years of this rotten Millennium. Boston continually develops young players, while the Yankee farms produce methane.

All of which made it easy for the mind trust last winter to a) overlook the Redsock pitching staff, a collection of number three starters, at best, and b) assume that Boston's rookies would all become instant stars.

Before continuing, let's return to the ground: It's a long year. Nobody wins a pennant in May. Nor does anyone, not even Minnesota, get eliminated. There. That's said.

But the AL East looks as appealing as Buffalo in February. Last night, Boston lost its 6th game in 7 outings, and the O's are as unbalanced as the peace on their city's streets. We have two more games with Lord Baldemort's (Buck Showalter's) minions, and then four against the Alex Cobb-less Rays. If we could take 4 - go 3-1 against Buck, then 2-1 against Tampa, we'd a have a four-game bulge, which would mean... Exactly nothing. Dammot, it's too early to start running out the clock.

Except there is something going on. Big bad Boston - with Hanley Ramirez, the Panda and Big Papi - looks old, slow, fat and farty - a lot like the Yankees of the mid-2000s. It is a team of expensive stars who are always underachieving, a collection of super-egos whose legacy might be always coming close and never winning. They look like us, 10 years ago. Time will tell - and any glimpse of hope will be hailed by ESPN's church choir. But right now, Mike Napoli is Carlos Beltran with a beard, and their two aces are still named Lackey and Lester.

The wheels are wobbling. This week, the first dead canary - their newly fired pitching coach - turned up. Maybe they'll turn it around. Or maybe - just maybe - they weren't that good to begin with.


Leinstery said...

The Red Sox are a less talented copy of the mid 2000's Yankees. They're worse at hitting, and their pitching is pretty much the same with the exception they don't have a Mike Mussina. But Wade Miley vs Jared Wright, pretty much even. Bukholz vs Weaver, couldn't tell you the difference.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

God it is a nice reading those standings, even though they lost today.

One disturbing thought. What if a-bomb hits a HR on Bernie day? How will that go over?