Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tossing and turning.

I can't sleep. I've seriously worked myself into such a fit about the goddamn Red Sox that every time I close my eyes and try to sleep, I hear Terry Francona's voice: "You have to stop trying so hard. You're forcing things."

Perhaps a small rant will serve the purpose of an Ambien. If not, it's time to take the train to the pharmaceutically-induced slumber station.

I'll start with the obvious: This is bad. This is really bad. Logic tells us that a team with this much talent will eventually start "duh" winning, so the cause for alarm should not be the fact that the Red Sox are "duh" winless in their first six games. That's not getting to the root of the problems this group of overpaid dandies are facing right now. They can make up six games. They can make ten games. A team with this much talent could get hot and tear up the American League like expected, but I have some serious doubts.

For starters, right now, the Sox look like the main characters in an ancient-Greek tale of hubris. They came into the season unprepared, and the fault for this lies largely on the manager and his coaching staff. When is Francona going to stop letting these guys "lolly-gag" (to borrow the term from Bull Durham) during spring training? They lost 10 games in a row during The Grapefruit League, but it seems the team figured they couldn't be beaten when it counted; they were too good. All of my cultural references and world views stem from one of the six Rocky movies, and right now, I keep thinking about Rocky's haphazard training before his first fight with Clubber Lang. And look at the results. Like The Italian Stallion, the Red Sox came into this season unprepared to play. They thought they were too good to lose.

Surprise, dickheads. Now you're 0-6 and going into a series with The Yankees where you're going to have to turn to John "Big Game" Lackey.

Which brings me to my next reason for being so dubious: Their starting pitching isn't nearly as good as its packaging. Yes, Lester is a bull, and he'll go out and almost always give the team a chance to win, and, yes, Buchholz has nasty stuff and he'll be competitive. But Lackey's a lemon, and Beckett is looking more and more like he's washed up (with only four short years left on his fat contract). And Dice-K...the guy is a fucking train wreck. Watching him pitch is physically painful (I get stabbing stomach pains). Without this much-ballyhooed depth in the starting rotation, this team is not only screwed this year, but for years to come---unless they can somehow trade Lackey and Beckett. I hope I'm wrong on this one, but I'm starting to think I'm not.

When this team takes the field for the Opening Day ceremonies tomorrow, they deserve to booed back into the dugout. Imagine if you went to work unprepared to do your job. Would your boss and colleagues cheer for you? Would they say, "Don't worry, it's a long life, and Tommy will be working here for at least another decade. He'll come around"? Would they?

You can bet The Pink Hats will be on their feet tomorrow, cheering and belting out "Sweet Caroline" with $150 dollar box seats, but that's The Pink Hats. There shouldn't be any noise at the ballpark, no celebrations and no cheering. This team is expected to win, and they should start doing their jobs before you cheer them.

But, again, I'm concerned that it's not going to happen.

Good night, Tito. I think I'll go to sleep now.

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