It's over. There. I said it.
I want everyone to see that I called it: The Red Sox are going to lose the AL East and the wildcard, and the team will be sitting home updating their own blogs come October. I especially want Yankee fans to take note of this, so come September when you're celebrating your tenth straight division title, you can save your sick gloating for Red Sox fans who are actually shocked and distraught. I see it coming. I'm prepared for the worst.
And worst of it is that I was again cuckolded by this club. Bamboozled. Hoodwinked (go to your thesaurus and pick a verb) into believing that somehow The Red Sox could be anything other than...well, The Red Sox. As if somehow 2004 magically obliterated 86 years of pain, disappointment, and, at its lowest points, despair. The Red Sox may have become fashionable and sexy to a whole new crowd of urbanites who can afford forty bucks a seat to see a game at Fenway Park, but behind the big names and engorged salaries, they're still the same Red Sox that helped spawn three generations of pessimists.
I'm not going to go into the particulars of what is shaping up to be the team's most colossal regular season collapse since 1978 (it looks like Yankee fans will be able to paint a line across the top of the "1" and reuse their old "1918" signs). Three names---Drew, Gagne, and Epstein---just about tell the whole story. I'm more concerned with the fact that I almost feel at peace with the inevitable. It's as if the whole universe is back to normal.
For anyone that has grown up a Red Sox fan in the past eighty years, losing and disappointment are inevitable parts of our lives; they have shaped our entire world views. For example, someone who wasn't raised a Red Sox fan may bust their ass at work with the expectancy of getting a raise. The Red Sox fan knows better. There is no raise; it's not in the budget. In fact, you're probably going to get laid off as soon as the company gets around to outsourcing your job. You're prepared for disappointment, therefore you've successfully mitigated its effect. Disappointment, when you're surprised by it, is insufferable. Watching the Red Sox pull their old antics isn't going to surprise me because I've prepared myself this fate long before the hammer will fall. For a couple of years now, Red Sox fans seem to have forgotten this fact. We've been spoiled. Now the honeymoon is over, and we're back to watching the same bunch of fucking bums that have made us miserable every summer (sans one) for the past 89 years.
Perhaps, if we're to take the Eastern approach to this, we can say that everything happens for a reason. Maybe the hordes and hordes of Pink Hat Fans that are talking on their cell phones in the stands during the games at Fenway, helping gouge ticket prices, and taking seats that some of us who actually give a shit about baseball could be using will realize after The Red Sox choke this year that the team is really a disappointment to follow, and they'll go back to spending their evenings at The Wang Center instead of Fenway Park.
So Yankee fans can save it, stuff it, stick it, and blow me. I'm going to give you the same response all real Red Sox fans will give you: "What are you talking about? It's football season. How about those Pats."