Alright so I’m well aware that this isn’t breaking news. This happened on Monday night, and right now it’s 5:30 PM on Friday. I needed a few days to process my emotions in order to better express them. Mostly, those emotions are upset. This was a team that battled all season to clinch the AL East, which is easily the toughest and most competitive division in Major League Baseball. After an exceptional September that included a convincing eleven game win streak, the Sox did clinch the East. It was very exciting, even though they clinched while losing to the Yankees after some guy hit a grand slam (thank God Teixeira is done, I just wish he took break out rookie Gary Sanchez with him so the Yankees could be nothing but bad).
The Sox dipped a little bit after clinching, going 1/6 for the rest of the season. That was a bummer but I rationalized it by saying they were just resting up for the playoffs, and that once the postseason got started they’d be back to being the best team in baseball (that might be a subjective belief rather than a fact but fuck off read something else if you disagree). They never picked up after that drop off in performance. Instead of going out there and behaving like the best offense in baseball (that one’s actually a fact) they preformed like they were the Twins or something, with only Brock Holt standing out as a guy you could depend on to see hit the ball. Pretty bad when Brock, a good player but far from the best, is the only dude playing like a dude who’s team made the playoffs.
Ortiz is done and that’s very sad. He’s been on the team since I was six or seven, and between then and now he’s helped Boston do a complete 180. I’ve heard countless older folk tell me that in their day, the prevailing thought was that the Red Sox would always find a way to lose. For me, growing up there was always the feeling that no matter what, you could believe in the Red Sox. The Red Sox would always find a way to come back and win. We went from feeling like doomed losers to big swinging dick winners. Boston became a city that wins, and win we did. The Celtics, Bruins, Patriots, and Red Sox have all won titles since 2004. I don’t think we’d really be Banner City if it weren’t for the way Big Papi transformed the culture.
Conversely, I feel like this year was my generation’s first taste of real, honest to God Red Sox heartbreak. This was the first time in my life that the Red Sox were obvious favorites and didn’t deliver. Vegas gave the Sox 8/1 odds of winning the World Series, let alone beating the Indians. Thank God I follow the rules and don’t bet on my own teams, because I’d be out a whole lot of money due to the Cleveland fucking Indians. But back to my point, this is the first time in my life that despite being the better team by pretty much every statistic the Red Sox still found a way to lose. It was a bummer, and getting swept by the Fighting Francona’s wasn’t the way any of us expected this season to end.