It’s over. Strangely enough I’m okay with that. Had this been pre-2004, I’d be royally upset. It’s amazing how two World Series Championships will make a post-season exit much more palatable. Go figure.
Aside from that, I’ve been trying to dissect why this loss doesn’t hurt so much. I’ve come up with a few reasons.
1). This is NOT your father’s Red Sox.
What does this mean? Well, this is not the team that lost by an epic homerun by Bucky EFFIN Dent, or a ball between Buckner’s legs (to be fair, the Sox bullpen actually lost that Series, not Buckner), or by a devastating walk-off homerun by Aaron EFFIN Boone.
The team did not lose in dramatic, heartbreaking fashion. There wasn’t a single unbelievable moment of bad luck that took this team down in a .ball of flames. For once in their existence, the Sox lost the “normal” way. How refreshing.
2). They didn’t lose the ALCS to the Yankees. No explanation necessary there.
3). They were lucky to have made it that far!
Before you hurl rotten tomatoes at me, try to think about this from an impartial viewpoint. Despite my crowing, the Angels really did hand the Sox the ALDS. Throwing errors, base-running errors, and bad managerial decisions undid that team. It was the Sox’s series for the taking. And take it they did.
I grudgingly admit that the Rays were a better team and the Sox were beat up. There was an admission after Game 7 that most of the Sox were injured in some way or form, (Which oddly enough, the article has mysteriously disappeared from Boston.com). Not that it is an excuse, but it was certainly a factor.
Sure they found a momentary chink in the Rays’ armor in that incredible Game 5, but it wasn’t going to be enough. Any rational fan could see that this team did have that “thing” that was going to carry them to the promised land. I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew it. The Sox limped and clawed their way to a Game 7 which leads me to…
4). They went down fighting, dammit!
Despite the injuries, the obvious exhaustion and their own mental demons, they didn’t fold up like a cheap tent after getting their heads kicked in during Game 2, 3, 4 and part of 5. They lost the series with some dignity intact. I can’t be too upset about that.
And on a selfish note, I can finally get some sleep. I’m so tired.