By Ted Gay – @TedG63
Imagine if Dave Roberts broke a second later, or Jorge Posada got something extra on his throw; imagine if Joaquin Benoit’s pitch to David Ortiz in Game Two of the 2013 ALCS had been just an inch inside or thrown a little harder, so Ortiz’s home run to right field was a deep out instead. Those paper thin changes were the difference between the Red Sox winning two World Series titles or losing.
Anyone who insists, or trolls you, by stating with certainty that the Red Sox will not win a series this postseason is more interested in driving conversation and counting responses then they are with responsible opinions. Predicting losses is easy. It is akin to a weatherman forecasting rain every day so when they are wrong, they still can enjoy the sun, or playing roulette and splitting their chips between red and black then boasting about their wins.
Because of the razor-thin differences between winning and losing in the playoffs, especially when you have ten evenly-matched teams competing, all of whom could inspire a lengthy list of reasons why they will or won’t find success this October, saying with any certainty what will happen is peddling fool’s gold.
And yet, witness a man, who neither knows more about baseball than you, nor is a better writer, but has more time of his hands, foolishly thrust himself into the breach.
There are 1,000 different scenarios that could play out this October. This is mine. The Red Sox will win a five-game war against the Yankees after falling behind 2-1 and giving the many posters who want to see the Sox fail, because, to them, being right is more important than being happy, a chance to crow, before the Sox come back in games four and five to win the series.
The Indians, after upsetting the Astros in five, will continue to define the odds by taking out the Sox in seven. This is based more on my love of a good story than baseball knowledge. Josh Donaldson, a former MVP written off for the season, then gifted to the Tribe as MLB ignored two rules, not to allow disabled players to be placed on waivers or to complete consecutive rehab assignments, will be the difference between Cleveland in May and Cleveland in October. After dispatching the Sox, Cleveland will win a long-awaited title by dismantling the Brew Crew in five.
How confident am I in this prediction? I wouldn’t bet ten dollars to win a hundred.
While I would be thrilled if the Sox prove me wrong, what I want is for them to play meaningful, close, heartwrenching game in October, where their fans hold their breath on each pitch, and explode in happiness or are crushed with despair depending on its outcome. I want every nerve ending in my body alert and alive.
The past two years the Red Sox barely mustered a fight getting overrun by two teams headed for the Series. Give me drama, give me tension, give men laughter and tears, make me feel alive, in a way that only the grand game of baseball played for the highest stakes can.
I want the Red Sox to win, but if they don’t, I want it to be ‘78 painful, ‘86 heartbreaking, ‘03 frustrating because the losses make wins even sweeter.
Bring on the joy Bring on the pain.
Bring on the playoffs.
BENNY & THE BETTS PODCAST (EP. 84)
ARE THE RED SOX BUILT FOR OCTOBER? WHO DOESN’T MAKE THE PLAYOFF ROSTER? TERRY PREFERS YANKEES, JEREMY/BILLY PREFER OAKLAND!
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