Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bob Lobel: The Best Team in Baseball Lives Here

By Bob Lobel  @boblobel

The best team in baseball plays here. The most entertaining team in baseball plays here. The most unshaven team in baseball plays here. The American League East champions play here and the most remarkable sports story of the year has its roots here. 

Let's agree to think the unthinkable for a moment. 

Here it is: The Boston Red Sox  are going to clinch their division THIS WEEK. They beat teams like the Rays, the Yankees, the almighty preseason favorite Blue Jays and throw in the Orioles. The one thing they don’t beat is themselves. There is very little precedent for what is going on between Lansdowne Street and Yawkey Way.

Maybe, 1967.  Maybe. 

It was a different game then. No divisions, no interleague play, no designated hitter. Like I just said, no precedent. Going into the post season is like stepping out on the ice. We don’t know if it's safe.  Will we fall through? Will we hear and then see the cracks? Are we switching from an attitude of expecting comeback wins and big two out hits to the fear mode that often drives our fan experience? 

Fear of failing is not an option here. Not with this team. They certainly don’t fear it, so why do them a disservice by carrying it around yourself?  Be the ball.  Better yet,  be the ball club! Shave or don’t shave, it doesn’t matter anymore. Just go or watch and enjoy however you get to do it.  

Listen, for the first time since Tom Brady became the ultimate superhero, the Patriots are not on the front burner this time of year.  In fact, one of the side benefits of the Fenway guys is not having to fuss over the fate of the New England Patriots right now. 2-0 or 0-2, they have a long way to go both on and off the field.

Now I am going to do the unthinkable. The man love for Tom Brady has developed a glitch.  I'm sure you know why or probably feel it yourself. The perfect Tom has become a petulant child.  At least we got a sniff of that during the last game.  

It was disturbing to see. Here is the problem with him. When perfection shows anything less than perfection it becomes very disturbing.  Tom enjoyed our total adulation for his play, his looks, his manners, his life and his success (not necessarily in that order).  His childish behavior with the lesser beings around him now gives us pause to wonder if this trait has been there but cleverly hidden all the while. 

Ok, that said, I now need to say,  “Tom, I'm sorry! I didn’t mean to say that the way it came out. Please don’t be mad at me! Can we still be friends?”  

I give him a mulligan for the tantrum. End of story. I bet we never see it again. There will be plenty of November, December  and January to worry over the destiny of number 12 and his coach. This is the time for the boys of summer to keep all that good will coming.

It's going to get cold at the ball park in the coming weeks. My advice is to sit closer and be the ball.  Of course, there is a first time for everything and when that first time happens, precedents are formed. The precedent for future teams like this, if there will be any, is being created as we speak.

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