Note from Cyn: Â Good friend and contributor to Toeing the Rubber, Tru is back again this season with his words of wisdom. Â What follows is the first of hopefully many entries by him this year:
You’ve been stuck in the back end of the plane for several hours, wedged up against the window, with the old woman who is sprawled fast asleep in the aisle seat. Â You donâ€™t want to wake her and now that the plane has come to a complete stop and the captain has turned off the seat belt sign, the late arriving passengers slowly ooze out of the jet into the passenger terminal.
Bags in tow and a rental car that hasn’t been washed, you leave the airport and head for the hotel that is another hour and half of travel time.
Alone on the highway, where even the state police seem to know that youâ€™re not real prey, you begin to think about things. Â Crazy things, as your mind wanders all over the map and begins playing with you in ways that words would never be heard coming out of your mouth. Â Fighting the urge to sustain this inane train of thought, the window goes down to let a gush of fresh air into the car as you try to turn your thoughts onto something a little less negative.
The radio is not getting anything other than the twang of a guy and his old dog, as they were both spurned then turned out by a former girl friend and on any level there is no relating to the sad events this guy is going through. Â Well, maybe.
I really donâ€™t understand whether it is just a fluke, or why it seems to stick in the back of my head that the Red Sox will never win another game for as long as I live. Â All of the essentials are there, and individually, at least on paper, theyâ€™re all part of the upper end of baseball. Â Iâ€™ll grant some are older and worn around the edges, but they too have their abilities and can contribute. Â Even management has had enough experience, not just in assembling a team, but in keeping them focused on what they have to do.
So whatâ€™s the deal?
For as long as I’ve loved this game and paid attention to it, foolishly thinking that I have some inside knowledge, the answer is I donâ€™t know. Â Maybe itâ€™s just that the term â€˜pressingâ€™ is affixed on new players who are surrounded by the crush of media who unfairly pushed them up onto idol mounts and theyâ€™ve never seen anything quite like it. Â Sure, theyâ€™re all MLB talents and seen major cities and read the papers, watched the TV talking heads laud and denigrate; they should be used to this, right?
Maybe the idea that since Henry & Co. revitalized this franchise and built the brand into something better than any of our heritage with the club has known, they are now expected to win. Â Itâ€™s not just about having good health, or luckâ€¦ it is all about winning and as a fan, perhaps Iâ€™ve come to expect it also. Â The culture change that has replaced a lot of the fear and loathing that always accompanied the Red Sox fan base, as you wanted to believe they could get there, but held onto that, â€œweâ€™ll get em next yearâ€ attitude. Â No, the fans now expect the Red Sox to win.
Oh, I could wander over this endless double yellow line as I hurt my head trying to figure out what will happen, and how the Sox will go on some ungodly win streak. Â But the only thing I really have is simply faith. Â Corny as it is, this is the stuff that always carried me, season after season, bad year after worse and always, seemingly coming up short.
For all the business experience anyone can have, thereâ€™s always been this neat little parableâ€™s or phrases, that somehow sum up a situation; little anecdotes that describe a given situation or redirect people towards better things. Â Hell, thereâ€™s even a business that made a small fortune in that kind of wall art, cards and other little gifts that are designed to inspire. Â I donâ€™t need any of that. Â And neither do the Red Sox.
What I believe they need is the same thing I need; faith.
And it isnâ€™t borne out of some spiritual thing. Â It is a certain trust that they are, I am not going to be moved in a direction that makes me dislike or abandon them. Â They go out there every day, so I will too. Â Iâ€™ve done it for too many years and while Iâ€™m as worn, perhaps even more so as a few of the players, Iâ€™m up to the task. Â I simply will not quit. Â I have them and theyâ€™re stuck with me.
And for all of that, I say theyâ€™ll win today. Â Because in their hearts, and in mine, we are that good. Â We have faith.
Terrific. Â Now I have to turn around and get off the right exit to my hotel.