Buckle up, Boston!

As we enter the final two weeks of the regular season, warning lights are flashing all over Boston.  The Red Sox are reeling from an awful stretch of eight losses in ten games.  The Yankees are doing a tad better and managing to keep the Sox 4 games behind them.  As I write, Boston is starting a four-game series against Tampa Bay, who is coming up to fight for the Wild Card spot at the last possible moment.  Sox fans are nervous; panic has set in with swirling questions about their starting pitching, their set-up man, their hitting slump, their clubhouse meal selections, their favorite colors, their almost-full DVR, etc.  Hit the Panic Button, Red Sox Nation!

The ol’ Boston sportscaster Bob Lobel was famous in the 1990s for getting out the Panic Button on air and, well, panicking.  He used that button so much that it should have been renamed the Business-As-Usual Button.  David “Big Papi Mouth” Ortiz said the other day, “Hell, yeah, you’ve got to panic.”  At least everybody is in agreement.

In 2004, when the Red Sox came back from an 0-3 deficit in the ALCS and beat the Yankees in four straight games (and then went on to win the World Series), the Yankee universe was crushed.  But Bronx Bomber fans all had the same thought:  “Wow, that was bad, but it will never happen again.”  Yet, when the Red Sox were in first place in July of 1978 by 14 games and ended up blowing that lead (culminating with a one-game playoff loss to Bucky Dent and the Yankees), Red Sox Nation thought  “Wow, that was bad, and it will probably happen again and again.”  So the mindset of each group of fans is different and leads to different reactions to losing streaks.  Yankee fans during a losing streak:  “We’ve just got to play better and win the next game.”  Red Sox fans during a losing streak:  “We’ll continue to play poorly and we may never win again.”

Hmmmm…the Red Sox are losing 4–1 to the Rays right now….maybe they will never win again.

It gets late early out there.

–Scooter

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Buckle up, Boston!

  1. Panic? What, me panic? I just came from that ugly 9-2 loss to the Rays. You bet it’s panic time. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Sox. I live and breathe Red Sox. But the way the boys are playing and some of the decisions made by Tito are shameful. I know there are injuries but there is something more. Something unspoken. The lineup has never been right and the pitching has been suspect all year. All this from the second highest payroll. The “best team EVAH” indeed.

    • scooterb1

      Could it be that this Red Sox team is a bit complacent and resting on their laurels? They know they’re good. We know that they’re good. But I guess the other AL teams are gearing up to play the best team ever and getting their jollies when the Sox lose.

  2. Classic! Great post brotherman.

  3. I go back and forth between panic and denial, really. Ask me tomorrow. I’ll be better tomorrow.

    • scooterb1

      Soxy, are you feeling better today? In all honesty, I think you should lean towards denial. There is no way that the Sox can blow it; they are too good. I just find it humorous to see the old-school Sox fans bursting a blood vessel or two. And actually the despair/panic feeling is mostly from the older crowd. Younger Red Sox fans don’t know the heartbreaks of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. All they know is the miracle of 2004 and the finesse of 2007…and they expect the team to perform well and win.

  4. rich

    Good stuff Scott- enjoy reading about panic setting in for fans (not Philly fans) having lived through the Phillies collapse in ’64 when they were in first by 6.5 games with 12 to play and lost 10 in a row and finished in 2nd place.
    Be well-

    • scooterb1

      Thanks for reading, Rich. And congrats on the Phillies already clinching a spot. There is no way they’ll blow it this year, not with their pitching.

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