The Red Sox Collapse of 2011

I wanted to officially weigh in on this month’s epic Red Sox collapse on my blog because of all the things my blog has been over the last 10 years, being an outlet for my Red Sox thoughts has been a consistent thread.

(Don’t believe me? Even back in 2004 when the Red Sox fought back from down 0-3 to the Yankees to tie the series I wrote about how Game 7 made me feel like I was in the final episode of the Bachelor.)

So, 36 hours later and I still bothered by the Red Sox missing the playoffs? Not at all, actually. This team did not deserve to make the playoffs. They started 0-6 (I was there for their first win!) and then 2-10, and finished an even worse 8-19 in September. When the pressure was on, they wilted, so I had no hopes that they would somehow change who they were in the bright lights of October baseball. (And that’s not even getting into how awful their pitching situation was. You can’t win in the playoffs with a team ERA over 5.00 like they had in September.)

What bothered me most about this whole thing was that I did not get to enjoy what many are calling the best night of regular season baseball ever. I love baseball, and would have loved to have been able to soak this in. Instead I was laying on my basement couch listening to the Red Sox radio broadcast on my iPhone and following the Rays game on my iPad. Then it happened. Then it was over. I don’t remember smiling once.

As you all know, for Red Sox fans things went from hopeful (Rays down by 7 runs in the 8th, Red Sox up by 1 run in the 9th) to OVER in less than an hour. And while most of the country was feeling shock mixed with glee, I was feeling shock mixed with disappointment. This was all I could say when it was over:

And yes, Jordan Green, I realized that only Red Sox fans were unhappy about the events of this night.

On a related note: I cannot wait to deliver a similar tweet to your James Spader lookalike face the next time your precious Oregon Ducks are on the losing end of an amazing finish, you dirtbag!!! (I kid, I kid…nothing but love for ya.)

Think of it this way, you know who didn’t enjoy “David vs. Goliath” as it played out (other than Goliath)? Goliath’s good buddy, Bernijahpaz. I’m sure he was as shocked as everyone else, only he was a bit bummed too because his good buddy didn’t have a freaking head anymore. The story loses its luster when it’s at the expense of something you care about.

I guess some Red Sox fans, like SNL’s Seth Meyers for instance, were able to see the awesomeness of it all.

Really Seth? I could ask for more. LIKE THE RED SOX NOT CHOKING AWAY THE SEASON WITH 2 OUTS IN THE LAST INNING OF GAME 162!  I do agree with him on one thing, though: because of 2004 I’m already over it. Had the Sox not won a World Series in 04 or 07, that collapse would have been infinitely more brutal.

Another person I agree with? Bill Simmons, who finished his running diary of Game 162 with these two angry paragraphs:

And so it went for the 2011 Red Sox, the biggest chokers of any Boston team in my lifetime. At least the ’78 Sox fought back and forced a one-game playoff; these guys couldn’t even do that. They disintegrated over an entire month, day after day after day. You can’t even explain how brutal they were unless you followed the free fall firsthand. Once 82-51, they finished 90-72. From August 30 through September 24, they were 2-18 in games in which they scored fewer than nine runs. Their team ERA for September was 5.90. Their starters finished 4-13 for the month with a 7.03 ERA. Their best setup guy single-handedly blew four games. Their bats went mysteriously silent at the worst possible times, personified by Papi’s three-foot out tonight in a situation in which it was almost impossible NOT to score. If the 2004 Red Sox distinguished themselves by everyone chipping in, the 2011 Red Sox distinguished themselves by chipping out.

Their body language grew progressively worse as the month dragged on, with their manager seeming more hopeless and desperate than anyone. They blew basic baseball plays, botched fly balls, dropped relay throws, ended games by getting caught stealing, threw meatballs, bitched at each other, admitted to being scared … you name it, they did it. They choked away Game 162 by getting three guys thrown out on the basepaths, by blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth, by botching a season-deciding fly ball, by letting Chris Davis, Nolan Reimold and Robert Andino beat them with two outs in the ninth. You can’t say it was unbelievable, because, actually, it was totally believable. This was a mercy killing. At least that’s what I will keep telling myself. The 2011 Red Sox needed to go away. And they did.

That about sums it up for me.

I’m disappointed that this team fell short, but I’m not bummed about it.

What bums me out is that I didn’t get to enjoy one of the greatest nights of baseball ever. I agonized through it.

In the grand scheme of things it’s not really important, I know. But that’s was sports are all about. Completely trivial and yet a complete rollercoaster ride.

That’s why despite how much that sucked I’m sure I’ll be ready to go again next Spring. And maybe someday I’ll even watch the highlights from that Rays-Yankees game (I still have not seen any video of that game).  Speaking of which, how do you blow a 7-run lead in the 8th inning???

Stinking Yankees…