It’s okay to admit that you felt it, even for a few brief moments. When Victor Martinez went yard in the eighth last night, I had a brief flashback to some of that 2004 magic, when nothing was impossible and no game was out of reach, no matter how dire the circumstance. In fact, watching Ortiz manhandling V-Mart in the dugout after the latter swatted that two-run homer, I swore I hadn’t seen the guy so animated since the Last Days of Chez Manny. And it felt good.
But then the wheels fell off the wagon, again. And the Sox were forced to eat it, again. And the idea of the Sox dropping all six games of this critical tour–something I swore was unthinkable before that first game in Tampa–was suddenly as real and painful as a Lady Gaga/Katy Perry double bill.
So does this mean the season is over? That nothing matters from this point forward? That the Yanks won the keys to the kingdom this weekend, dooming us to a couple months of pressing faces against the glass, staring longingly as the postseason party passes us by?
Feck no. Unless, of course, you believe the New York media, who have basically awarded the East to the Yanks:
“Can Boston make a division run? With 51 games left it’s not impossible, but improbable.”
“The worm has officially turned. Their 0-8 start against the Red Sox a distant memory, the Yankees are now threatening to turn the American League East into – dare we say it? – a cakewalk“
“The sweep meant their lead is now 6-1/2 games over the Red Sox, and by night’s end this felt a lot like 2006, when the Yankees swept that five-game series in August at Fenway Park. The Sox were never heard from again that year. Maybe it will be different this time. Maybe the Sox will show their usual heart and fight their way to the wild-card berth. Whatever they do, this is more about the Yankees now.”
“Remember all that talk about how the Yankees couldn’t beat the Red Sox? After watching the last three games, it’s hard to see them losing another game against them this year. The Yankees have clearly established themselves as the team to beat in the American League – if not the majors.”
“The Yankees’ seventh straight victory hiked their lead over Boston to 6½ games and turned the Red Sox into dead men limping. If history holds, the reeling Red Sox will spend the rest of the season chasing the wild card ticket into the playoffs because, according to Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees have never flushed a division lead of more than six games.”
And my personal favorite, from the de facto leader of the Yankees Appreciation Society:
“The Red Sox were 8-0 against the Yankees and then they added Victor Martinez at the trade deadline. But anyone who thinks the Red Sox are now the favorites to win the AL East is sadly mistaken, says FOX analyst Tim McCarver.”
I say, let ‘em think that way. Give the Yanks the division. The ALCS. The World Series. The Best Picture Oscar. The Grammy for Free-Form Jazz Collaboration. And all the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards they can fit in the back of a truck. Alls I know is they were a couple strikes away from finishing us off in October of 2004 and couldn’t seal the deal. Until they come up big against us in the playoffs again, they haven’t proven anything to me or successfully shaken that monkey off their back.