And Thus It Comes to an End

This loss hurts, but not as bad as 2003, or even 2005. Was I fully confident that the Sox would come back and win that game? Yes. One hundred percent yes, Today, I’m left with the AL champion Rays, from TAMPA, not one more Boston run to the championship. So it goes. When it came down to it, the Red Sox’ strength simply wasn’t there in this series. The pitching rotation carried this team, and in games 2-5 the rotation couldn’t keep up with the young power bats. When the Red Sox came to the postseason in years past, the middle of the batting order was fearsome, this year we were declawed. David ORTiz looked woeful and while Drew, Youk and Bay all were solid in the ALCS, none of them stepped up in the way that the Sox needed, like Lowell or Ramirez did last year. The Red Sox entered the ALCS with their number 3 hitter struggling, and without the #4 and 5 hitters from last year’s team, who combined last year for 18 RBIs. That loss of offense wasn’t replaced by the rest of the guys in the lineup.

Does that mean this season was a disappointment? Well, I’m disappointed but the Rays were the better team. They showed it during the season. They showed it in this series. That the Red Sox came back and made this a series after being down 3-1 and forcing a game 7 is testament to their team unity but it was clear that the Rays were better in all aspects besides the bullpen. When Andy Sonnastine is dealing you know that you’re season is probably going to be over.

Today, in Boston everyone is looking to rewrite the season and the series but the results aren’t going to change. Could Tito have taken Beckett out in game 2 earlier? Sure, but at the time, his move made perfect sense to me, and it is only because it didn’t work out that everyone is so upset. Second guessing after the fact is a time honored Boston pastime but there is no reason for it this time. So it goes.

What I’m most interested now is the rush to immediately change this team by Boston media members like Tony Massarotti who think the Sox MUST pursue someone like Mark Texeira. Why? Is he dope? You bet. Would he be great for the Sox? Yep! But tell me, where is he going to play? Maz brings up Lowell’s hip injury and surgery and worries that Lowell won’t come back fine. Why? He has nearly 5 months to heal. He’ll be fine. Signing Texeira would be nice, but we have a DH. We already HAVE a Gold Glove first baseman. We already have a good hitting third baseman. So where would Tex fit in? Do we need another power bat? Maybe. But I don’t know where one fits in in this lineup, unless someone wants to drop off 1999 Mike Piazza at the gates on Yawkey Way.

Maz also suggests the Sox pursue Matt Holliday or Garrett Atkins to which I cannot protest more loudly. Those guys are both products of Colorado and their home/away splits are so noticeable that I’m amazed a professional sportswriter can think that these guys will really fit in appropriately in Boston. Matt Holliday is an AWESOME player, for the Rockies, for the Sox, I’m not so sure, at home for his career he slugs nearly 200 points higher, his OPS is 200 points higher and his OPS+ is nearly 50 higher. That’s a big difference. Garrett Atkins, a nice player when he’s inexpensive, who now is expensive, slugs 100 points better at home, his OPS is nearly 200 better and his OPS+ is 40 more. That’s a big difference.

Is Fenway a hitter’s park, yes, but not enough to make these differences worth it. Plus, factor in moving from the JV to the vastly superior AL, and the AL East which will have had a team in the World Series 6 times since 2000 and a trade to acquire one of those guys simply doesn’t make sense.

Whateves. I’m just writing these things so I don’t have to think about the Sox season ending. It’s over, viva our new overlords, the Rays. Now I can cheer for them. I’m sad today but not despondent. I’m disappointed but that’s life. So it goes.

16 Responses to “And Thus It Comes to an End”

  1. 1 the roomate
    October 20, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Are the Rays a great story? Yes.
    Is this good for baseball? Yes.
    Will the Rays beat the phillies in 5 or 6 games? Yes.
    Are they an exciting young team with a very high ceiling? Yes.
    Is Joe Maddon a good manager with great quotes, awesome glasses, and an exciting new(but actually really old) baseball philosophy? Yes.
    Will I actively try to watch the World Series or care about anything that happens in it(barring spectacular once-in-a-lifetime dramatics, natural disasters, violent brawls, rampaging elephants, spontanious combustion etc.)? No.

    It was a fair end to a good season. I’m proud that the Sox played hard and mostly smart. We will always have the spectacular game 5, and hopefully our postseason stalwarts will all be healthy next year. Its pretty amazing they got to game 7 in the ALCS with the regular 3, 4, & 6 hitters and 1 & 2 playoff starters banged up or out. The season is over for me and the only thing left to do is build approximations of the current rays and sox teams in MVP2005 and really find out who is better. The me-sox or the compurays.

  2. 2 myummers
    October 20, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    i was shocked at what appeared to me to be pretty bad managing last night. now, bear in mind, i don’t know the whole postseason roster of both teams, but having kotsay AND varitek hit in the 9th last night was suicide. anyone who knows anything about baseball knew that against david price, the only chance either of them had was a walk. and francona let them hit, back-to-back. so i guess i have to assume the bench was emptied.

    and i’m calling out maddon for retroactive bad managing. i remember saying during the game 5 collapse “why the hell is maddon not using price here?” and sure enough, he didn’t. so then he finally uses him in game 7 last night in a big spot. i mean think about it- would you rather face dan wheeler, grant balfour, or david price if you’re the red sox? right, ANYONE but price.

    also, i’m calling letdown for the rays after that series, also i know it feels like a month since the phillies play, but they actually have quite a formidable team. which is why i’m picking them to win the w.s.

    phils in 5. or 6. i’ll say 5.

  3. October 20, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    I agree, i wanted to see a pinch hitter for Tek, BUT the bench options were Jacoby Ellsbury or Sean Casey, neither of whom hits lefties well and are both left handed themselves.

    the only other option would be kevin cash.


  4. 4 Kevin Cash
    October 20, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I would’ve torn the cover off the ball. And you call yourself a believer…

  5. 5 calexander13
    October 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    That pic of Francona is great. Looks like he just caught a whiff of Big Papi’s onion fart.

    Maddon made some truly bizarre moves, but the bullpen meltdown has been truly remarkable for the Rays. Dan Wheeler is pitching scared, Howell has remembered who he is, and Chad Bradford is now reminding the Rays why the Orioles let him go.

    The Rays’ bullpen is their true x factor, followed closely by Upton. Can he continue his torrid pace?

    And how did he not win the MVP award. Garza was great, but Upton has been putting on a clinic.

    May I also add that Jonny Gomes remains as my least favorite Ray player, although he represents their best mascot. Always leaning over the rail in the dugout, waiting for any chance to strike out swinging, or simply the be the first guy into a dogpile (either celebratory or fight-related). Kevin Costner would be a much better fit in Gomes’ role. It’s almost too perfect.

  6. 6 youppi
    October 20, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    meh, upton went 1-8 with a solo dong in the last 2 games of the series. Garza won the Rays half of their ALCS games, and had 14K in 13IP, in which he only gave up 2 runs. I think he earned it.

    here’s hoping cliff floyd gets a ring.

  7. 7 youppi
    October 20, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    also, my condolences to slanch, the roomate, and all sox fans.

  8. 8 myummers
    October 20, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    kevin cash would’ve had a better chance of getting a hit/hitting the ball than kotsay. varitek i guess you’ve gotta let hit since it’s his last red sox at-bat, he’s the captain, and he already hit that huge home run.

    i give mlb credit for not giving longoria the mvp. i mean if it weren’t for him and his butcherous ways in the field (and maddon not using price in game 5), the series doesn’t go past 5 games.

  9. 9 calexander13
    October 20, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    cliff floyd already has a ring. Won it with the Marlins. But yeah, the broken old man deserves one more.

    Here’s to Varitek signing with the Nationals and stroking 15 home runs in his final season while batting .270. Eick would loooooooooooooooooove it.

  10. 10 calexander13
    October 20, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Slanch, you also fail to mention the possibility of the Red Sox snaring Peavy? How would his game translate out of Petco and into Fenway? Surprised you didn’t bring up this angle. And disappointed. Very disappointed.

  11. October 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Well, that’s more because I don’t think the Sox will actually get Peavy. I think he stays in the NL and continues his domination there. The Sox will call, but he has a no-trade and prefers the NL so…

  12. 12 the roomate
    October 21, 2008 at 9:07 am

    This isn’t an article about the upcoming offseason, just the bottom of the spiral that was the 2008 sox.

    That being said, the team probably won’t be much different next year. Timlin may retire, Coco may sign with an NL west team, Lugo traded or dropped, Varitek will either shift to a platoon or lead the Marlins young staff to the playoffs, charlie zink may come up and be the new long-man/work with wakefield to be wakefield 2.0, Masterson may become the 5th starter, and the sox will get some new bullpen arms and maybe a catcher. Expect a similar team on the field next year.

  13. 13 youppi
    October 21, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    floyd went 0-2 in 4 games, with a run, k, and bb in the ’97 WS. I want him to play a bit. get a real taste. throw him in the outfield instead of gabe gross.

  14. October 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Good god why?

    Cliff Floyd is a SCRUB these days

    is it just because he was a met? he wasn’t even that good a Met, or are you forgetting these numbers 108, 113, 150, 97, thats the amount of games he played for the mets over 4 years, except for one good season he didn’t do too much.

    I think you may be the only person in the world who cares this much about cliff floyd

    also, the idea of playing him in the field is laughable. I think you’re a better outfielder than him at this point.

    he’d probably snap a tendon running out there for warmups

  15. 15 the roomate
    October 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Not true. Shatraw loves cliff floyd and named his favorite mole after him.

  16. 16 myummers
    October 21, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    coco crisp would be an ideal 4th oufielder for an aspiring contender in 2009. i think he even did well enough in big spots this postseason for boston to at least consider bringing him back.

    which means, of course, omar minaya will not be calling him. not when 49-year-old luis gonzalez and his shredded elbows could be had.

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