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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Red Sox Reloaded?


Red Sox Update
Overall: (4-9) 4th place 6 back in AL EAST

This Week: vs TEX (4/20-4/22) vs BAL (4/23-4/25) @ TOR (4/26-4/28)

Well, let's see. 4-9, coming off a 4 game home sweep at the hands of the Rays that was, to be quite frank, about the most dreadful home series I've ever seen. In a word, it was pathetic. In two words, it was VERY pathetic...

Now, just a mere 13 games into the season, and we're all left wondering whether this team is really as bad as it looks, or if it's only a matter of time before they turn things around. Well, I'm here to tell you not to be worried. And for all you Sox fans out there, to help ease your troubled soul, I offer you some words of wisdom from a man wise enough to find the chosen one, yet not wise enough to find a shirt that could adequately cover his bulging gut and his bulbous man-nips...

Believe me when I say we have a difficult time ahead of us, but if we are to be prepared for it we must first shed our fear of it. I stand hear before you now truly unafraid! Why?! Because I believe something you do not? No! I stand here without fear because I remember. I remember that I am hear not because of the path that lay before me...but because of the path that lies behind me!

It's Morpheus, of course, and his momentous speech to Zion right before they had that sort of awkward techno orgy. And while I'm about as likely to have a techno orgy as I am to take up residence as a roadie for the New England Revolution, I do agree with the shirtless prophet's overall message when it's applied to judging the Boston Red Sox. Especially when it comes to, "The path that lies behind me"...

Now, let's not get things all muddled up. here. I've watched the Red Sox play the first two weeks of the season, and what I've seen has been some of the worst baseball I've ever seen from any team not coached by Walter Matthau, or Heaven help us, Billy Bob Thornton. And I'm not here to make excuses. Essentially everyone in the lineup is struggling, the pitching has been suspect to say the least, and in going 2-6 against other teams considered in the top tier of the AL, the message has been clear that whatever affliction the Sox are dealing with isn't something that "Every good team is going through", and that their division rivals inparticular seem to have no trouble putting the Red Sox in their rearview mirrors...


But remember, as Morpheus said, it's the path that lies behind us that is most important, not necessarily what we see in front of our eyes. Just as it isn't prudent to expect the Rays to win 124 games (their current pace), it isn't wise to expect the Red Sox to continue at their current pace, either. T0 hit .249 as a lineup, to have an ERA close to 5 as a staff, these are trends that we know, by looking back, aren't likely to continue into the future. Could they? Could the Red Sox finish the season hitting .249 with a 4.78 ERA, and thus finishing with a pitiful total of 49 wins? Sure. Of course it's possible, but I think even the most ravenous Yankee fan would agree that's about as likely as a Mariano trade to the Pirates or Nationals...

So, how are the Red Sox gonna turn it around, you ask? What's the magical solution that will put them right back in the AL East hunt? Just to continue playing, for now. And I know how boring the law of averages can be, and how it doesn't always apply, but like I predicted before the season began, I think this team has enough pitching to get them through until they actually will have enough hitting to make a run. Based on current performances, maybe that move will have to come sooner than many expected, but for now I'm chalking this bad start up to just being a bad stretch of games, rather than a sign of things to come...


The path behind me tells me that this team is damn good. Considered good enough by many, including yours truly, to win the World Series. Has so much changed after just 2 weeks? I think not. And while we might be sitting here a week from now still wondering what's to be done about this team, it's going to take a little more than a bad first 20-30 games for me to start writing this group off...


IF in 3 weeks they're still winning at their current .308 clip, however, then you best believed that I'm gonna have some choice words for Mr. Theo Epstein. After all, he's as big part of the "path that lies behind" as the rest of 'em, right? And seeing as he's done everything almost exactly the opposite as I would have done it following the 2004 World Series, and I've been very vocal about it, I'll be the first to point out how he may be suffering from a little bit of the "forest through the trees" syndrome. For now, I'm more than willing to defer the man that's brought the Sox 2 World Series titles in the last 6 years, but should this team continue to falter, you can best believe I'll be front and center to hand out the criticism. I won't be there to kick him while he's down, mind you, but just to point out how perhaps his once fiercely focused philosophy may have begun to become muddled with pride and ego. Things I already believe are true, and have voiced right here over the past few years, but that the Sox seem to have won in spite of...

And believe me, I realize the ridiculous fence I'm riding here, saying that I think they can win, but that if they lose it's Theo's fault. It's like the worst disclaimer of all time, I know, and while it sounds like I'm just anxiously awaiting my chance to be a hater, I gotta tell ya that's really not the case. I think it's more I believe I'll have a good answer as to why this team isn't able to turn things around, more so than a desire to say that I was right and he was wrong. After all, I do still want the Red Sox to win, right? Of course I do. And I still want to look wise in the eyes of my peers, right? Of course I do. So goin' around rippin' Theo Epstein, and claiming that I've had the right answers for the Red Sox for years, wouldn't exactly be the best strategy. I mean, the guy's won 2 World Series and had the team in the playoffs virtually every year since he's taken over, so how "wrong" could he really have been?

It's a fine line, I know, but that's usually where I like to take my stands. Hence why in my Facebook profile, I list my political views as "Conservatively Liberal". It's a lifestyle, really. A frustrating one, yes, but that's what it makes it all that much more rewarding when it all comes together. Kind of like I'm hoping the Red Sox season will be, counting this as the frustrating part...

Obviously, we'll have to wait and see, but when it comes to my reaction, you already should know what to expect. Should they succeed, it's because of the path that lies behind them. Ya know, experience and skills and whatnot, and all the stuff Morpheus was chripin' about. Should they lose? Well, if they keep on playin' like, to borrow a term often used by my Little League All Star Coach, Billy Michel, "Helen Keller's School for the Blind". If they keep playin' like HK + The 4 Senses, then you can rest assured that I'll be here to tell you where they went wrong. And by "they", I'm gonna mean Theo. And by "went wrong", I'm gonna mean JD Drew. Ha! Nah, it'll be more than just The Misadventures of David Jonathan, but you see where I might be going with all that...

It's early. Too early to form any sort of opinion, and far too soon to jump to any sort of conclusion. But this much I know to be true. If the "path that lies behind us" doesn't start leadind us where we all think we should be going, then Theo better be on the look out for the next Neo. It rhymes, because it makes sense. And you know it makes sense...

Now take the red pill, already, and read on as I finish this sucker out in style with a few thoughts on some other topical ish I know you folks might be interested in...





Kevin Garnett got suspended 1 game for chucking an elbow during the 4th quarter of the Celtics win over the Heat in game 1 of their first round Playoff series. People have been asking me what I think. OK. You wanna know what I think? I think fighting in the NBA is so pathetic, so embarrassing, that what Kevin Garnett did, by NBA terms, is totally deserving of a suspension. Considering that the average NBA "fight", is a lot of chest pumping, and one guy slapping another and then running away, then this definitely qualifies as a punishable offense. An NBA misdemeanor, if you will...T

he players have nobody to blame for their league's tolerance level but themselves. They brought all this upon themselves with all their primadonna behavior, which is, oh by the way, the whole reason this whole fracas even occurred in the first place! If Paul Pierce doesn't fake an injury, and wail and moan on the ground like a baby, then none of this even takes place. So if anything, it's karma coming back to kick the Celts in the ass. But as far as NBA fights go, it's more or less just par for the course. About as brutal as it was necessary, and as always, giving the word "fighting", a bad name. "NBA Fight". You'll find it in the Sports Dictionary right before "Soccer Injury", and right after "Men's Figure Skating". Bunch of Teds...

And don't give me any of that "Pierce has an injury history" blah blah blah bullshit, either. He cries wolf far too often to be taken for his word when it comes to that, knife wounds or not, and the fact he stayed in and played the rest of the game should go a long way towards proving my point. He's just one of those guys. We all know at least a few of 'em...



But as far as all that goes, I can't reiterate enough that I really don't care. At this point, I'm rooting for 2 things. To see LeBron finally get a ring, or to see Rasheed get a ring with the Celts,so all his haters can watch as he does a Duckboat dance all the way down the Charles. Seeing that would be great, but the fact I can't get a singe Celtics fan to take $20 at 8 to 1 that the green will win it all, leads me to believe I'm better off rooting for the former, and not teasing myself with what could possibly be the greatest sight these eyes have ever seen. Well, at least when it comes to non Michael Jordan NBA stuff...


Oh and two more things, real quick! What the Hell was Danny Ainge doing on the floor during the aftermath of that scrap, and how is it humanly possible that Jermaine O'Neal and Sheed weren't involved in that whole thing somehow? Truly mind boggling. Well, not the Ainge thing, he's an idiot. But Sheed and Jermaine missing out on that juicy action? That's just a damn shame...


The Bruins? Well, I predicted two months back that they would make it to at least the Eastern Conference Finals. So there's that. I only waste my time mentioning it now in hopes of derailing them with my reverse karma, and sending them home in truly brutal fashion...


And as for the Patriot's and this weekend's draft? I really only have one prediction. Expect Bill Belichick to do some big things. Why? Because he's Bill freakin' Belichick, that's why. Not to mention there's a new "prime time" draft format, waiting to be exploited, and the dude's flat out due for a good draft! At least in my eyes he is...

Names like Tim Tebow, Dez Bryant, and Sergio Kindle have been tossed about, meaning you can all but take them off the board, but with 3 second round picks, and an "extra" 1st rounder in 2011 to work with, don't be surprised to see the Pats movin' around to fill their various holes. Hopefully, as opposed to years past, the moves will be upward, but whether it's moves or picks I expect the moves to be big. Just something about Bill and this prime time format. Just seems like the new format will almost inspire him to the point where he's gonna want to immediately prove to everyone that he's still as cagey as he ever was. Sounds a little childish to assume he doesn't always want to try and outmaneuver and out pick his adversaries, but I also think it's a little naive to overlook his competitive nature, and his desire to prove he's still on top of his game. Still thinking on another level...

Oh and if Tim Tebow does happen to end up in New England, I'm just gonna have to stomach it. Like I said, I don't see it happening, but I would be intrigued to see how he could be used in Bill's system. Why I say I'll have to "stomach it", is because I'm not a huge fan of his to begin with, with all the preachy Jesus stuff, and I know he'll be fanboy #1 with the Pink Hats, making him virtually intolerable to me. I am intrigued, however, as to what he might be able to bring to the table. Both with his immediate impact and versatility, and his long term prospects as a potential QB. I know he's not close to being that yet, but then again, neither was Matt Cassel. And it's never a bad thing to have an extra capable QB. Not if the price is right...

OK, kids. That's it for this guy. At least for now. As usual, I'll be keeping a keen eye on the sports world over the next week, and be back to report on a smattering of topics in just another 7 days or so. Until then, try not to cut yourself while you're watching the Sox, and try to remember that just because the present might be bleak, doesn't mean the future is going to follow suit. After all, it's the path that lies behind us, that's going to give us hope. At least, that's what the bare chested cult leader said in that cave that one time. And he helped save the world from the machines...

Teddy Williams...
You Don't Know Jack...

Pootie Too Good...
100...

#$>

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