Thursday, July 3, 2008

Across Enemy Lines: Boston Red Sox Preview

Over the years I've collected an (impressive?) collection of talented, sports-crazed friends, colleagues and even some enemies. In an effort to broaden the viewpoint of this blog, I have been actively pushing these yokels to contribute here. Finally, someone took me up on the offer.

Today's guest-contributor? Emily. A Red Sox fan, a former scribe at The Boston Globe and The San Diego Union-Tribune and an editor for ESPN.com. And her most impressive credential: she's my fiancé. Emily shares with us her view from across enemy lines... deep within the heart of Red Sox Nation.

Across Enemy Lines: Boston Red SoxSpecial Guest Blogger: Emily

I'm not worried.

Sure, the Red Sox have just been swept by the Dev--- Rays. Yeah, our relievers gave up half of the runs allowed and our batters left 13 runners on with two outs and in scoring position.

But I'm not worried.

Sure, David Ortiz (who is hitting .321 against the Yankees in the last three years) is still on the DL. Sure, it's gone from Manny being Manny to Manny going Crazy (and not in a good way).

Manny Ramirez is Going CrazyBut I'm really not worried.

My loving Yankee fan fiancé, Jeff, is used to hearing this line from me. I wasn't worried in Game Seven versus the Atlanta Hawks. I wasn't worried in Game Seven versus the LeBrons. I wasn't nervous in the Super Bowl against the Giants.

Er, nevermind.

But a sweep at the hands of the Rays three years ago would have been a lot more troubling than it was this week. Feel the rejuvenation!

***
Quick aside: They are really loving those Rays down in Tampa, eh? Four sellouts on the year (well, not really sellouts, as they aren't counting the top decks, but if it makes you feel better.) Sure, I can still clearly hear "Youk!" chants, but the Rays have definitely come a long way since this classic Bill Simmons column.

I was listening to the Sox-Rays game on XM radio last night and was lucky enough to get the Rays broadcast team. Boy was one of those guys excited! Some quotes:

"Who says you can't get find playoff atmosphere in Tampa? … Welcome to Tropicana Field!"

and after the Rays rallied to take the lead…

Rays Fans Have Always Been There"I defy you to find better atmosphere in all of baseball!!! Not even in Fenway Park is as good as this!!"

They don't call him the best color man in baseball for nothing.
***

But I'm not worried. For the first time in Tampa's less then illustrious history, the Red Sox are actually facing a seemingly weaker opponent when we take the field in the Bronx. My how times have changed.

I can't say I'm not taking any pleasure in watching the Yankees slow, painful death this season. The roster is bloated with All-Star carcasses and faux-prospects. Baby Boss is running his mouth, the team is mishandling the career of its brightest pitching star, and the Bombers are in third place in the AL East, mired in .500 play and showing no flashes of brilliance.

I think the Yankees are just one broken wrist, twisted testicle or mosquito bite from calling it a season. No one on the roster really intimidates me.

The Red Sox are in a fragile state as well. While JD Drew has stepped up in a shocking way for Papi, Manny is slumping, which usually puts the team in a slump as well. Our bullpen is s-h-a-k-y. We're not hitting with RISP or holding leads late in the game. We still have Julio Lugo and Mike Timlin on the roster.

Joe Buck and Tim McCarverBut I still think we're taking three of four here. I think Pettitte might get the best of Lester or the Yankees will get the best of Tim Wakefield, or Tim McCarver might get the best of me on Saturday's Fox telecast when I smash my fist through the screen. Either way, the Sox are taking this series and the Yankees will head into the All-Star break broken, bruised and battered.

Not that they haven't been there before. Not that they haven't stormed back in August and September, usurping confident AL East teams that have gotten a little too comfortable with their standing. Not that the All-Star carcasses haven't transformed back to All-Stars and the faux-prospects didn't start to show some life.

Yeah, that may have happened once or twice.

But I'm not worried.

***
Emily has a blog of her own. It's a scattered collection of thoughts ranging from all things New England to wedding planning. Check it out.

8 comments:

Tim said...

Ugh... I hope we sweep these jerks.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least we can all agree that Rays "fans" don't deserve such a good team.

Anonymous said...

this better not become a Red Sox-friendly blog

Frank said...

Let's go, let's go, let's go!

Now is the time to make our move.


Note to blogger: You're engaged to a Sox fan? Sorry dude.

Jeff said...

Your sympathy is appreciated... it could be worse.

AllisonWonderland said...

I'm not worried either!!!!

David said...

Sports is not life itself- its admirable that you can put your team loyalities on the back burner and concentrate on the game of life itself. Unlike the movies, baseball is not life itself, just entertainment (although it can be extremely annoying at times).

Anonymous said...

A yankee fan & a red sox fan living under the same roof- would be invigorating. Dissention can fuel the emotions