By Ted Gay – @TedG63
Well, that just happened.
The world’s greatest baseball team just got swept by the lowly Tampa Bay Rays. A desperate Red Sox family looks for answers.
The Boston sports family is composed of three sons with different personalities. One child is the diehard, who like John McClain, steps through the shattered glass of the Rays series, ignoring the pain in his feet, and confidently continued onwards. The second is the wise-ass who always predicts and relishes in disaster, ready with doom and gloom prophecies (“Just like 1978, this is what happened in 2011, I told you they weren’t any good.”) The youngest is the skeptic who after every loss reacts like someone stole his ice cream.
The die-hard looks at the Rays series and the Sox recent struggles as part of the ebb and flow of the season. He insists every team goes through periods where they can’t hit, field or pitch and look like the Orioles. His belief is no team has been on the winning pace the Sox are currently on, and that is because such a pace is nearly impossible. “The Sox were due a stretch like this, better now that in the playoffs,” he says. This die-hard keeps the faith. He believes this series was a bump in the road. “A day off and a couple of games against Miami and we’ll be back to an unstoppable juggernaut,” he promises. (He always refers to the Sox as “we.”)
The second child has been waiting for this moment all season. He spouted off a couple of times (when the Sox dropped a series to Chicago and when the Yankees took two of three in the Bronx), but he rarely had time to downplay the Sox’s accomplishments as they racked up series win after series win. He is wise enough to know that most seasons the Red Sox won’t win the World Series and is the first to remind his family that he predicted that the moment Boston is eliminated. “I told you they couldn’t beat a good team,” he boasts. (He always refers to the Sox as “they.”) If the Sox do win, he buys a cap and T-shirt to commemorate, goes to the parade, somehow ends up on TV cheering the duck boats and tells his friends he has never been happier to be wrong. He desires to be a sports radio host.
The third brother, the skeptic, waits as well, for the rug to be pulled out from under him. He has been disappointed so many times before that at the first sign of trouble it triggers panic. He wants to be like his older brother the die-hard, but at the first bump in the road he jumps from the bandwagon and hides in the brush hoping he doesn’t get hurt when the wagon crashes.
All three sons are needed to complete the family unit. The stupid brave diehard inspires confidence during the dark times; the wise-ass stops us from getting too full of ourselves, the skeptic puts doubt in our minds to protect us from the day the wagon does crash.
The three sons reacted predictably to the Red Sox’s recent misfortune. The die-hard points to the six-game cushion and reminds his brothers that the best teams get swept at some point during the season; the wise-ass mocks the die-hard’s faith and continually harps on the recent failures of Rick Porcello, Nathan Eovaldi, and the bullpen, while the skeptic ignores them both while frantically insisting Alex Cora has to change his management technique and we need Chris Sale back today.
Always at one another’s throats, but joining together to cheer for that one hit, pitch or steal that will unite the family in joy.
ICYMI: EPISODE 75 OF THE AVIDBOSTON PODCAST!
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