So are there really people who believe that the reason the Red Sox are losing is because they a) have no heart or b) just don’t care? Â Really? Â How does that work? Â They come back from a horrendous start to the season to stay neck and neck with the Yankees for first place in the division all season long just to say “Screw it, we don’t want to go to the playoffs anyway!”?
Having this discussion via email with a friend who was at Fenway yesterday and she wrote this about how she felt about the fans at the game who felt the team wasn’t putting their heart into it:
They weren’t even bad people, necessarily–just completely unaware of both a) how athletes feel about the game they’ve devoted their lives to, and b) the limitations of any individual’s capacity to observe everything about the game as a spectator.
As usual, Kelly O’Connor nails it and is much more rational than I. Â We now return you to my rant:
You can say they’re beat up, you can say they’re tired and you can say that they aren’t playing good ball. Â All these things would be true. Â But to say (or imply) that they aren’t trying or just don’t care is so far into ridiculousness that I have a difficult time writing about it because I know so many people who believe this that I’m bound to insult someone I’m friendly with. Â It’s their job to care. Â They devote their entire lives to playing baseball so they can get to the point where they get into MLB and then reach MLB’s highest point, a championship. Â Who in their right mind would put the time and effort in what baseball players do just to give up and for what reasons would they want to give up? Â The idea that they don’t have the heart or inclination to win is outrageous.
Along with the folks trying to convince us the Red Sox don’t care we get the folks telling us the only option for the Red Sox to enter the playoffs is to root FOR the Yankees in the games they play against the Rays. Â The Yankees and Rays play seven games against each other to finish out the year and the Red Sox and Yankees play three against each other (the other seven games, it’s worth noting, for the Red Sox are against the Orioles). Â Â I really like Â Ben at Ted’s Army’s take on this:
And if you look at the standings… it couldn’t be any more perfect. The Sox are still 4 1/2 games back of the AL East. The Orioles have been a punching bag for the Sox for years. The Sox are 8-3 vs the O’s this year and there is some bad blood between the two teams. It’s the perfect remedy to help the Sox stop the bleeding. If the Sox and the Rays take 3 out of 4 of their respective series… suddenly the Sox vs Yankees are fighting for not only the AL East but their playoff lives.
So if the Rays want to make history, let them. Let’s just hope that the Sox do enough and the Yankees get taken out.
I choose to look at those games and think “Let whichever team wins win” but in no way could I or would I be openly and aggressively rooting for the Yankees. I’ve actually tried it and every time I do when the Rays have won I’m happy, proving to me that I really want the Red Sox to win but I also really want the Yankees to lose. Â I can’t help it, I was born this way.
If the Red Sox belong in the playoffs they’ll get there. Â Of this I am sure. Â If they don’t belong there…well, then we’ll find that out soon enough.