Monday, July 15, 2013

Bob Lobel: It's Winning Time for the Sox

By Bob Lobel

Everyone is so used to saying the All Star game is half way through the season, and everyone is wrong. We are so far beyond the half way point that it's all serious now.  

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told us before the season that the first two months you find out what you have, the next two months you try to fix what needs to be fixed, and the last two months you do the best you can to win what you prepared for. 

Well, welcome to the winning (or losing) part of the season. 

This one is especially sweet. A Red Sox team with a college competitive attitude. We even have an alma mater, Sweet Caroline. Welcome to Sweet Caroline U. Whatever. 

Unless you really have been paying close attention, you have little knowledge of the people playing for your local 9 after you get past Pedroia, Ortiz, and Ellsbury. Youk is a distant memory and Alfredo Aceves is somewhere between Seattle and Pawtucket. He seems to appear out of thin air when they need someone to pitch, although I'm taking bets that you won't see him in a Red Sox uniform again anytime soon. 

Fact is, I have said that a few times before and he magically appears, but I think not this time.  Just a hunch. This is, of course, All Star Game week, or maybe it should be All Star game "Weak."  

Many radio gum flappers, tired of talking about NFL felons, are zeroing in on a remake/make over of the All Star game, and it does need it. A tired home run derby contest that reached its zenith here in Boston in the good old days of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. That home run derby was something to behold. 

The winner was Ken Griffey Jr. but that’s just trivia. Now it's back to “BACK, BACK, BACK AND GONE!” The hope of Red Sox nation is that no member of the current team gets involved with the home run derby.  It just happens to ruin your swing for the remainder of the season. 

Enjoy yourself, Chris Davis!

By the way, where did these phenoms all come from?  Are they products of a steroid era in high school? Is it my imagination, or are so many more young players ready to be in Cooperstown before they finish their first  contract? 

So, this is a week of transition from the Marathon and Aaron and Doc and Paul and Kevin and Brad and, yes, Alfredo. Now, we move to the pennant race. Well, it used to be called that. It's now the post season, and your Red Sox are worthy contenders. The best part, of course, is they were not expected to be here. 

It's possible you missed the walk off wins and the few heartbreaking losses, but that’s what the next two months will look like. Being a Red Sox fan is based on fear. That’s why it's so intense. The new era of pink hat baseball fan (hate that phrase) is based on love. Get it?  Fans of a deep and abiding do or die attitude are fear based. 

Fans that are somewhat new to the experience are in it for love. Can't hate either one. There is room for one and all, and the next two months will continue to make us Boston Strong, either through joy or adversity.

Probably both.

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