PHILADELPHIA — They are the last-place Boston Red Sox. It has become part of their name. They are no longer just the RedSox. Just as the Wallendas are the Flying Wallendas, and the Bosstones are the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Sox are the last-place Red Sox. Cellar dwellers.
Basement boys. Bringing up the rear. When I was a kid, we had a dumb joke about the Washington Senators.Washington was first in war, first in peace, and last in theAmerican League. And now the Red Sox are the bottom-feeders of the AL East. Sorry,but it”s hard to get my head around that one.
We are not talking about a tiny sample. After Sunday”s game,the Sox will have played more than one-quarter of their season. Andthey have been in last place every day of the season. It”ssimply hard to believe. A year ago, they were touted as a 100-win team. High Speed HDMI Cable 1.4
“Best TeamEver”” was the infamous Herald headline. They stumbledout of the gate, then lived up to the billing, playing 40 gamesover .500 for four months. We know what happened after that. But we considered it a fluke. Type D to Type A Hdmi Cable Manufacturer
Nowwe wonder. After 40 games last year, the Sox were 20-20, tied forthird place, three games out of first, and it felt like they weregoing to get much better. They did. This year, it does not feel that way. High Speed HDMI Cable 1.4
In the wake of Saturdaynight”s 7-5 win over the Phillies, the Sox are 19-21. Butgetting over .500 feels like climbing Kilimanjaro. It hasn”thappened this year. This is the team with a $173 million payroll, third-highest inbaseball. Why so many Triple A players? Why is Bobby Valentineplaying with a short bench just about every day? When are theygoing to go on a legitimate winning streak that does not involvethe dreadful Twins or Mariners? This is the latest the Sox have been in last place since 1997, whenJimy Williams”s team sat in the basement in September enroute to a 78-84 record and fourth place.
That is the only Sox teamto finish below .500 since the Butch Hobson era (1992-94, threeseasons below .500). When does this bunch cease to be the last-place Red Sox of 2012? “We”re going to be the first-place RedSox,”” Valentine predicted as he stood in his office acouple of hours before Saturday night”s game against thePhillies at Citizens Bank Park. “It might take a long timeand I don”t have a date on it, but it”s going tohappen. “These other teams are going to let it happen.
People aregoing to beat each other and then it”s who gets hot last. AndLord knows we haven”t had a winning streak.”” Last weekend in Boston, when Valentine was asked a question thatincluded the phrase “in the six weeks you”ve been onthe job . . .,”” the manager stopped the query andsaid, “Has it only been six weeks?”” Amen.
So much stuff has happened – most of it bad – it feels likethe Sox have been struggling for six years. “It”s been difficult,”” said Valentine.”You know what they say – ‘I”ve never seen aseason like this one” – and every year they say that.That”s what this is. “We”re playing good, we”ve just got to somehowkeep it together. We keep losing guys for two days.
It”s hardfor consistency and continuity. “But these are tough guys. The everyday players seem likethey get it. But like I said, it”s been difficult. A 20-daystretch, playing with a short roster every day, and all the weirdstuff.
We had a 4-1 game [vs. Cleveland May 12]. It was reallycool. Aceves came in and got the outs.
Nobody got hurt. “But everything else . . .”” True. It seems like the Red Sox never have a normal day.There”s always an injury, some goofy distraction, or ahistoric event of dubious distinction, like blowing a 9-0 lead tothe Yankees April 21, or using Darnell McDonald in relief during a17-inning loss to the Orioles May 6.
In so many ways, the 2012 Sox season feels like a continuation ofthe 7-20 September. I asked Dustin Pedroia if he was surprised thatit has been this bad for this long. “We have 120 games to go,”” he said. “Idon”t think you can sit back and say, ‘Poor us.”We can”t think like that. We can”t read the papers anddwell on the negative.
We”ve got some guys banged up. We haveto have guys step up and play in their place and playwell.”” What about the notion that fans don”t like this team? “Hopefully the fans like our team, but that”s not myjob,”” said the second baseman. “My job is tohelp us try to win games. Would you like us more if we were winningmore? If we win, you guys are going to like us. “It”s hard to watch sometimes, but we ain”tquitting, man.”” The last-place Red Sox play again Sunday afternoon against thePhillies.
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