Okay, so this season isn’t quite living up to some people’s expectations. In fact, in many ways, we’ve fallen through a hole in the time/space continuum (which is easily accessed behind The Pour House on Boylston) and landed in the season we thought we’d be getting last year. But with three World Series titles in the last decade under our belts, I just can’t hate on the 2014 team. Instead, I’ll focus on some of the incredibly good things that they’re still capable of.
Play the spoiler: Seeing that the Sox have spent only one day above .500 and they continue to slip slide further away from first place, it’s easy to envision a world in which they’re lining up October hay rides by the All Star break. If that’s the case, the Sox can still make summer fun by smashing other team’s playoff dreams. In August alone, we’ve got twelve games with the Orioles and Yankees, and nothing would send Girardi or Showalter over the edge quicker than Jonny Gomes showing them his ass after nailing a walk-off home run.
Complete the worst-to-first-to worst campaign: As nut-kickingly bad as the 2012 Red Sox were, I admit to taking bizarre fascination in just how wretched they could be. As I see it, if you’re not gonna make the playoffs, why be just another faceless shit team placing fourth, fifth or sixth in the wild card standings? Take the Bobby V approach, cut the cords and see how far you can plummet. Don’t get me wrong–I want to see the 2014 team do well. But the spectacle of them arcing from the bottom to the top and back down to the basement would fuel sports radio and half-assed blogs like this with homicidal outcries and conspiracy theories for months. Maybe even years. Oh and something to ponder: The 2012 Sox were 28-28 on June 6. The 2014 team is 27-32.
Finish ahead of the billion dollar Yankees: For all the money the Yankees spent in the offseason, they aren’t performing a whole lot better than the Red Sox. In fact, they’re just a game over .500 themselves. And trust me when I say that nothing would wash away the pain of not making the playoffs like finishing at least one spot ahead of New York in the final standings. Also, apropos of nothing, f#$k Mike Mussina.
Showcase the Rookie of the Year: After a relatively slow start, Xander Bogaerts has become perhaps the one sure offensive weapon in the Red Sox line-up, and the only guy besides Ortiz who I don’t mind seeing at the plate with a game on the line. He’ll face stiff competition from the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka and the White Sox’ Jose Abreu, but as the weather gets warmer, he’s been getting better. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was tearing things up in August, which is right around the time I make my annual check-in to the Betty Ford clinic.
Make the playoffs: Shit, man, the way other teams in our division are playing, we may still be in it until the zero hour. After 2004, I never say never. Except when it comes to picking up a bar tab.