Tell me why you live in doubt?

Sox are on the road, Beckett's on the mound, Heidi Watney should be very afraid.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Sox are on the road and Beckett's on the mound so Heidi Watney should be very afraid. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

So just after midnight, WEEI’s Joe Haggerty tweeted this:

Reality check for #redsox followers: New York Yankees have 7 regulars with OPS over .850. Sox have 2: Youkilis and Bay. AL East is O-V-A.

I don’t get this.  Sure I get the numbers.  And I get that along with whatever contract you sign to be a sports reporter in New England comes a card that says you have to report on the local sports teams in the nastiest and most negative ways possible.  What I don’t get is sticking it to the fans.  Thanks to Oakland beating the Yankees on Monday night, the Red Sox are 7 games out of first place.  The Sox have 45 regular season games left.  I like that math.

Will it be tough to for the Sox to overtake the Yankees with the way both teams have been playing?  Sure.  Will it be impossible?  Hell, no.  So what is the point of ordering “redsox followers” to give up on the division race?  Just to rub salt in a wound?  Just to bask in the schadenfreude-filled glow of the Sox struggling? Why does it annoy the sports writers who follow New England sports that the fans support their teams?  Do they want us to boo the team?  Do they want the fans to throw things on the field when the Sox lose?  What do they expect from the fans?  It seems to be absolutely killing most local writers that most Red Sox fans aren’t standing on top of the Zakim Bridge ready to jump.

Maybe the only thing Rick Pitino ever said that didn’t make me want to punch him:  The negativity in this town sucks.

At lunch on Monday, the woman who works at the deli I frequent asked me if I was ‘sad’ about what the Red Sox were doing and I told her no and then jokingly told her  to check in with me at the end of September.  This made her ask, as she isn’t really a fan, when the regular season ends.  When I told her the first week in October, she scoffed and wanted to know what was wrong with the sports writers in Boston that they were acting like the season ends at the end of August – I want to know the same thing.

Haggerty responded to me that he wasn’t trying to antagonize fans (what I accused him of doing in a response tweet) it’s just that he can’t believe how many fans “blindly” believe the Red Sox can still win the division (based on calls to the radio Monday night).  I just don’t see why believing they could win it is being “blind”.  Hell, like I said, I don’t think for a minute it’ll be a cakewalk but I certainly still hold out hope and even a belief that it can be done.

There are times when I genuinely dislike being a fan in Boston.  If it isn’t the idiots booing their own team it’s the media telling the rest of us that we’re idiots for having faith in the team.  Lately it seems like it’s everyone – not just Haggerty – there was a brief time when a handful of reporters didn’t use their space trying to bring down the fans or turn them against the team but that moment seems to have passed.  Is it any wonder there are so many Red Sox-themed blogs? People are tired of the people who cover the game trying to turn the fans against  the teams and the players.

To Haggerty’s credit, he responded to each of my responses – his final one being that I might call it antagonizing or slamming fans while he calls it “bringing reality into the discussion”.  I suppose there is a place for reality but who is to decide what that reality is?  It’s as much a possibility that the Sox bounce back over the next month or so and take over first place as it is that the Yankees keep first place.  And you can invoke 2006 all you want while I invoke 2004, thank you.

Beckett on the mound tonight to be the stopper of the losing streak and the starter of another winning streak and get his 15th win of the season.  7:07pm EST, babies.  Be there!

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