I cannot help myself

(Note from Cyn:  Prior to my brief time at WEEI.com, my good friend “Tru” would contribute random entries to the blog – usually on days when he knew I was too wiped to get up early and post!  It’s been a while but I’m happy to say that Tru is back with some kind words for the Sox and the Live Chat Crew!)

Fenway from The Monster (taken by Cyn during a Fenway tour this year)

Fenway from The Monster (taken by Cyn during a Fenway tour this year)

So I was thinking last night and early this morning about the Red Sox, life and all kinds of nonsense things.

On a lousy weather night in the Bronx, the Red Sox squeaked out a win. Yes, squeaked out a win is the appropriate interpretation for last night. It reminded me too much of season’s past. The Red Sox would always seem to invent ways to lose a game, as if they spent the better part of practice and locker room pre-game meetings discussing how to be creative in arriving at a heart wrenching loss. That was what last night made me think about. It was almost a repeat performance of the prior night. A couple of fielding misplays, then a few meatballs later and the Sox walk off the field with their heads down. But that did not happen last night, although they did their level best to cause myocardial infarctions across much of the fan base along the way to a very emotionally draining win.

Boston walked off New York’s ball field with smiles and a sense of satisfaction of splitting the series. But it was much more than that.

It was a subtle reminder that life has a way of kicking you in the ass, knocking you down and trying to keep you there. It was a reminder that the things in life worthwhile, are worth fighting for. Dignity, pride, improvement and a sense of satisfaction that you did everything within, and maybe past your abilities to make a difference. It wasn’t a statement game in the sense of turning around a flat beginning to the 2010 season. And it certainly doesn’t excuse the poor, or substandard performances they’ve turned in other games. But if Terry Francona’s thought that the Sox needed to play their “best baseball” over the next couple of weeks is accurate, then it is quite a thing to marvel at. This is something to behold, as his sense of understanding and need to have his players rise to the occasion and grind through their blues was not just timely, but heard. They heard him and responded.

Losing on Monday, in the way they did is disheartening, and not just for fans. The players had to feel like crap, some more than others, but ultimately as a group it was a major let down. To fight hard to climb back in the game, go ahead and then lose in the bottom of the ninth is enough to dampen even the most positive people. I spent much of Tuesday reminding myself it was one game, and more were to be played; my life still goes on so theirs does too. But it’s all in the response to that, either as a fan or a player that shapes moods and actions. Sure, we all go back to what occupies daily lives. We pay bills, work, watch the neighbor’s dog, pick up the dry cleaning, go to the dentist and myriad other routine tasks. After a loss like that, some of those tasks might seem a burden, like a weight is upon us and we get so wrapped up in feeling bad, like we lost something truly important, even the lunch being bought for you doesn’t taste as good.

Yet here are the players, who seem to refuse to walk down that path. They did not quit. And for all I know, their day was spent in much the same way. It kind of sticks with you, and you stew about it, even though there’s nothing left to do. Well, there is another day, and another game.

So I’m in Toeing the Rubber Chat last night, surrounded by people from all over the country, watching the pitches, the plays, the foul weather and Campos, another inept man in Blue. Sabathia is throwing well, and we’re trying hard to chip off here and there, but after a long stretch, it’s 5 – 1, with a possible injury to Beckett. Moods are beginning to shift from optimism to a sense of foreboding, where the test of trust in these players becomes evident. It’s in the thinking that I don’t want to have two lousy next days in a row. I’m being tested and so are these players. I’m there among friends, and they are rising to rally cries, and we all want the same thing; avoid a mini-sweep and getting pushed down further in the standings. It had all the desperation of a game 7 ALCS, even though it’s sill May. Fanatics is what we are, I suppose. And when it seemed a foregone conclusion, that the foul weather would finally seep into the psyche of the players, and then onto us, they do that thing that they do. They rally. And once again, we are staring down the barrel of the same kind of outcome. A late lead could vanish and it almost, but did not happen.

Today I’m leaving town until the end of the week. It’s still foul weather outside, but my mood is not jubilant, but quietly pleased. Uncle Weatherbee can kiss my ass.

For the Sox players, thank you. You demonstrate again and again, even when it’s not going as well as any of us think it should that you do not mail it in. No quit. Thanks for the reminder.

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