The best laid plans

So the Red Sox lose and I shut off my television but I’m still on the computer.  Moments later, the Yankees lose and the Red Sox season is definitely over.  My immediate reaction was to jump on here and write about how they didn’t deserve to play in October and how ridiculous it was that they played so horribly in September…and I was going to rant and rant and rant.

And then it hit me.  It was weird, really, but it just hit me that I wasn’t that upset.  Now don’t get me wrong, I thought I was going to cry (But I didn’t.  You know when I cried? 2003.  1999. 1986.  1978.  I cried all those times.) and then I thought I might punch something but both those feelings passed because, ultimately, while I am extremely sad that the Red Sox lost and won’t be going to the post-season (and I am sad, I promise you), I can’t be mad (and I don’t understand anyone being mad.  Mad to me means you feel you’re entitled to this and the Red Sox purposely didn’t give it to you.  I don’t get that at all.) although I am pleased we get a day off from any baseball because I’ll need it to wrap my brain around the playoffs.

As much as it pains me to say it, this team didn’t deserve to see October baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays did.  Plain and simple.  That doesn’t change the fact that I hope both the Rays and the Yankees get swept out of the first round (because, hoo boy, do I).  It also doesn’t change the fact that after their horrendous start to the season and their God-awful ending to it, all the stuff in the middle was a heck of a lot of fun.  I enjoyed this season an awful lot and the Red Sox were in it up until the final moments of the last game of the season.  I don’t care if they blew a lead because of poor play in September…I enjoyed this season right up to the moment when they made me want to cry.  And that makes me happy (well, not right now but it’ll make me happy in, say, November).

At some point I’ll write my opus to the 2011 season but right now I’ll just say this about baseball:  I’m in full spite mode from this moment forward.  I’m not one of those people who will abandon the post-season because the Red Sox aren’t in it…I’ll be paying attention and trying to will the Yankees and Rays to ALDS heartbreak.  I refuse to give into the sadness I’m feeling right now and plan to channel it into something more productive…spite.  And I’m feeling the spite terribly strong right now and, really, it’s only going to get stronger.

Okay I’ll say something else.  I keep reading folks saying that this was more painful that <insert painful year here> and to that I say, “Are you high?”.  1978 was horrendous.  1986 was cruel.  1999 was frustrating beyond words and 2003…well I still can’t even talk about 2003.  This loss sucks.  For me, it’s on the same level as being swept out of the 2005 ALDS by the Chicago White Sox (which, may I remind you, sucked).  But in 2005 we were worried that 2004 might have been an aberration.  It’s 2011 and we have both 2004 and 2007 behind us.  This isn’t a matter of our being devastated that the Red Sox lost because when the hell are they going to win a World Series again…it’s a kick in the pants because they did so well all season but it’s nothing we can’t get over…and we will.  This ownership  has shown us time and again that they’ll do what needs to be done to win.  And I have faith that’ll happen in 2012.  For now, I get to stew for a day and then focus on watching the American League East get taken down in the playoffs.

I know it’s painful, people, but we’ll get past it.  We always do.

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