August 19, 2006

While the calendar reads August 19th, the sad reality is that the Red Sox season ended at around 11:45 PM EDT last night, when, with the bases loaded, Yankee nemesis Derek Jeter flaired a double down the right-field line at Fenway Park, clearing the sacks and giving the Evil Empire an insurmountable lead they would never relinquish, thus sweeping a double-header from the Boston nine and effectively closing the book 2006 season that has been by and large pretty colorless by nature.

I can’t tell you how disappointing being swept by the Yankees feels – especially when the Sox couldn’t even win a game started by the grossly incompetent Sidney Ponson. It’s not like they laid down and took it up the you-know-where – after all, even after being blown out by a 12-4 score in the first game, the good guys did a great job crawling back from deficits throughout the second game and even held a three-run lead of 11-8 going into the seventh inning. When reliever Craig Hansen got the first out, Yanks’ manager Joe Torre – showing far more mangerial savvy than Terry Francona ever has during his entire tenure in Boston – decided to intimidate the youngster by pulling some of his starters and substituting them with his normal regulars (starting with Jason Giambi).

How did Hansen react? Like the French army whenever it is called to fight. Basically, he rolled over, walking Giambi and giving up a gazillion consecutive singles. Francona, knowing he had no other choice but to bring in veteran Mike Timlin to stop the bleeding, did so, but Timlin, looking more and more like a washed up, punched-out heavyweight beyond his years with every outing, luckily got Johnny Damon on a pop-up, then couldn’t get anyone else out. Even after Jeter’s double, Francona left him in to absorb some more pounding, and that as they say was that.

The days are getting shorter – heck, you can see it in the mornings, and soon in New England, the warm days will no longer be able to overcome the coolness of the nights. Fortunately, the Pats will soon get their season underway, and amidst the lengthening shadows at Fenway Park, Theo Epstein and the front office brain-trust will start looking at what went wrong in 2006. I hope they don’t take too long. Truth is, Theo’s got to look himself in the mirror, for it was he who he made a bunch of crappy trades over the winter and, then ignoring injuries, underachieving veterans, and the July trading deadline, left himself basically without a pitching staff come August. Let’s face it – anytime you’re running out journeyman junkballers like Jason Johnson and talented but raw kids like Jon Lester and Craig Hansen against the Yankees in the most important doubleheader of the year, you’ve %$#@^ up big time.

Message to Theo: stop believing all that press about you being the so-called “boy wonder”. Sure, you had a good year in 2004 – pulling off that gutsy Nomar trade trade that got you a World Series championship was the transaction of a lifetime, but since then your track record is pretty lousy. I’m gonna run that track record down in a few days, but the bitterness resulting from today’s two losses is too hard pill to swallow for me to do so now.

Better luck next year, Red Sox – your 2006 season is over. All we can hope for now is that someone, somewhere and somehow, can beat those freakin’ Yankees so they don’t make it to the World Series.

And A-Rod, no matter what happens, you’re still a jerk.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 02:35 | Comments Off on Wait ‘Til Next Year
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