Sunday, May 18, 2003


Well, I guess I deserve the mental beating I took yesterday watching the Red Sox in the 8th and 9th innings after all the writing I've done waxing on positive vibrations and mistakes will happen themes over the past couple of weeks.

Yesterday afternoon, I was reminded of just how … What is the word you choose to describe being a Red Sox watching it all fall asunder? Bizarre? Cruel? Cursed? Ridiculous? Unbelievable? Sad? Angry? Forlorn?

All of the above?

People talk of six degrees of separation, but watching the late innings yesterday I was reminded how little separation there is at any given moment in a Red Sox game and all that infamy that has transpired over the years of my own Red Sox fan life. A single twitch upon the thread of one thing leading to another and it's Game 6 1986 all over again.

Maybe it's part of the grand scheme of things to have these reminders? Maybe it's fateful to commit these sorts of mind numbing gaffes early in the year rather than later? (My thinking here is that Trot Nixon will never make such a mistake again? And Mueller doesn't drop a routine fly in foul territory again?)

Despite the cliche, this really is a game to just put behind us. A loss is a loss no matter the tragic way events unfolded to make it so.

I just have two quick parting observations.

What would it be like if it had been Manny rather than Trot Nixon who tossed the ball into the stands with only 2 outs rather than 3? I can only imagine the fan and media furor calling for his head. And what if Carl Everett had made the mental error?

Something tells me the level of scrutiny would be turned up to 11 on a scale of 10. Interesting, too, that even in scolding Nixon, the press can't help but take a swipe at Ramirez:

To his credit, Nixon didn't emulate silent stars Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez and decide it was time to shut out the media. He was sitting at his locker, waiting for the media first thing.

Nixon answered every question, didn't duck responsibility, and went through the agonizing tale for two separate waves of reporters.…(Guregian, Herald).

Read into it what you will.

And, finally, what is up with the fan stupidity? I'm not at all shielding the Red Sox players from their responsibility in committing the errors, but, my gosh — How can Boston fans continue to make the dubious claim of being the smartest, most game savvy fans in baseball when they do things like reach out from their front row seats (seats any fan would drool to have) and make attempts to interfere with play when the game is on line?

And what about the kids who pleaded with Nixon to toss them the ball with only two outs? OK. I'll cut them some slack, though, I tell you what: If that had been me, my dad (or whomever those older adult males were the boys) would not have been on his cell phone full of smiles calling god knows whom smiling and laughing as he recounted his role in one the most memorable Red Sox blunders in recent memory as I saw those "fans" doing, with their Red Sox caps on, in front of a national TV audience.

Did you see that? Were you not ashamed and embarrassed? I was. I still am. Is this what being a Red Sox fan has become, a chit chat session on a cell phone all smiles that your team is losing and you had a role in it?

Sad. Really, sad.