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Red Sox Gak
Published on September 29, 2011 by Sara Foss

Today at work someone asked me I remembered the Red Sox collapse of 1978.

"Not really," I said. "I was three-years-old."

Then my colleague asked me if I expected the Red Sox to make the playoffs.

"No," I said. "But what do you think?"

"I don't think they'll make it," he said.

We shook our heads sadly, and moved on.

I didn't have a lot of hope for the Red Sox, but that didn't make the end any less devastating. Or abrupt.

Most Red Sox fans, myself included, basically gave up on this team sometime in the middle of August. They weren''t really all that likable, though they had likable components, and if I wasn't a Red Sox fan, I'd probably be celebrating their totally deserved and completely appropriate demise. When I spoke to my dad tonight, he informed me that my mother was through with the Red Sox, and that his friend Dana refused to watch them again this season. Forget the national media, and the storyline about Red Sox fans being besides themselves with grief. This isn't 2004, when we were all glued to our screens when the Sox were down 3-0 to the Yankees. We loved that team. This team is another matter. For some reason, we can barely stand them.

My landlord summoned me up to her apartment when Tampa Bay tied the Yankees, and gave me a glass of brandy. We flipped back and forth between Tropicana Field (which is a stupid, stupid name, not that I'm bitter or anything), and Camden Yards, where the Red Sox had a 3-2 lead going into the ninth. But with this Red Sox team, no lead is safe, and I fully expected something bad to happen. Sure enough, Jonathan Papelbon gave up two doubles, which allowed the Orioles to tie the game and then win it when Carl Crawford could not field the ball. I've refrained from being too mean to Carl Crawford this season, because he seems like such a sad and fragile soul. But really. YOU HAVE TO FIELD THAT BALL. There's no other way to put it. THE RED SOX ARE NOT PAYING YOU $142 MILLION TO NOT MAKE THOSE PLAYS. Also, I'd like to let Jonathan Papelbon know that nobody really cares about the 30-plus saves he had this season. BECAUSE HE BLEW THE ONE SAVE THAT MATTERED.

After the Red Sox finished plunging a knife into my heart, my landlord and I turned our full attention to the endless Tampa Bay-Yankees game, then in the 12th inning. Tampa Bay, mind you, had rallied from a 7-0 deficit to tie the Yankees, which is the sort of gutsy, come-from-behind effort I typically enjoy, but not when it involves the abject humiliation of the team I support. A mere three minutes after the Red Sox completed their collapse, Evan Longoria hit a walk-off homer, effectively plunging a second knife into my heart.

"Well," I said. "That was fast."

T.S. Eliot once wrote: "This is how the world ends/Not with a bang, but with a whimper."

Which might be true.

But in sports, the world quite often ends with a bang, and that's what happened Wednesday night, when the Orioles and Rays hit home runs that quite literally took my breath away. Sure, I'd given up on the Red Sox. But that didn't lessen the dramatics at all.

"Man," I found myself thinking, "what a way to go."

And you know what?

I'm glad I saw it.

I really am. 

Also, go Brewers!

 

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