Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

The Red Sox complete epic collapse and suffer from cosmic farce

Wasn’t this sort of thing supposed to be a part of the Red Sox past? Bill Buckner’s booted ground ball? A “Curse of the Bambino” and World Series futility for over 86 years?

(Page 2 of 2)

At least the Red Sox of old made it to the World Series, allowing Bill Buckner to become a croquet wicket on Mookie Wilson’s routine grounder.

Skip to next paragraph

At least the Red Sox of old made it to the one-game playoff to allow Bucky Dent to hit his bloop home run.

At least the Red Sox of old were tormented by the memory of the greatest baseball player who ever lived.

The “Curse of Robert Andino” doesn’t quite evoke the same dread.

The Red Sox of old were futile, yes, but elegantly so – a Sophoclean tragedy in stirrups penned yearly for the Harvard Square crowd.

This was a farce.

And there was, quite simply, no logical reason for it.

Yes, the Red Sox had some injuries. But in August, when the Sox were missing the same players, they went 17-12. Had they matched that record in September, they would have won the division.

A pitching staff that gave up fewer than four runs a game on average in June, July, and August abruptly allows 5.84 per game in September. A team that finishes first in the major leagues in runs scored, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage – and second in batting average – misses the playoffs.

Neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light scientists will one day be able to explain. This Red Sox season? Pity the poor baseball analysts.

An object in motion stays in motion, physics wisely says. For the Red Sox, that motion was downward and unrelenting, a kinetic mental disaster of Newtonian proportions.

Once the Rays’ Dan Johnson hit his ninth-inning home run to tie the game in Tampa Wednesday, there was seemingly only one outcome. The Rays would win. The Sox would lose. Pavlov could have forecasted it with perfect certainty. After a month, it was as much a conditioned response as salivating dogs. Or salivating Yankees fans.

And in that way, this season might be more for the scientists at MIT than the lit majors at Harvard, a singular event that refines the parameters of the possible.

Or, maybe the Red Sox were just trying their hand at a little Molière.

Get daily or weekly updates from delivered to your inbox. Sign up today.


Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story