Sunday, October 19, 2008

History Repeating Itself

By Tony Mazur

I hope everyone in Cleveland (and only in Cleveland) enjoyed their Sweetest Day. Aside from spending $13 bucks for two tickets to Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (which I recommend everyone should boycott), I had a lovely evening, filled with non-stop college football coverage.

Oh yes, that's right. A MLB Playoff game was tonight. I wonder if anyone noticed. Anyone other than yours truly.

On Saturday, the Boston Red Sox defeated their opponent in a pivotal Game 6, tying the ALCS at 3, after being down at one point 3-1.

Sound familiar?

As I've stated many times on the STC airwaves and other blogs, I am tired of the Red Sox. Scratch that. I am tired of Boston teams. You name 'em, and I hate 'em. As Rick Morris has mentioned on numerous occasions, the Boston fans are a wannabe-New York fanbase.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't believe in omens or harbingers. But I do believe that the Red Sox will probably win the ALCS and move on to the World Series against Philadelphia.

I was too angry to write a post about it the other night, so let's break down Game 5.

B.J. Upton and his four RBIs, including a home run, and subsequent dingers off the bats of Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria put the Rays ahead with a commanding 7-0 lead going into the 7th inning. It seemed like a dream come true for Tampa. But Cleveland fans saw this song and dance last year, as the Red Sox come back and win, this time 8-7.

Some things stood out in my mind that I'm not sure anyone else caught.

RHP Grant Balfour was left in the game, even though he could not come up with outs. He served up a David Ortiz three-run HR in the 7th, and a J.D. Drew HR in the 8th.

What really irked me was Coco Crisp's RBI single that tied the game. Every pitch thrown to Crisp was up in the strike zone. Having pitched for well over ten years, I think I would know that if the batter is fouling off the high pitches, why not throw it low? But what got me punching the armrest of my couch was Gabe Gross's "throw" to home plate. Crisp's hit was retrieved in short right field, enough time to catch the ball, crow hop, and fire a strike to home before the runner made it to the plate. I have never seen a worse throw in all my years of watching professional baseball. Gross's throw had about 15 feet of air time, bouncing twice before reaching first base. Honestly, my 7-year old cousin probably could have thrown that ball further.

Because I was out all night, I wasn't able to watch much of Game 6 in Tampa, but I had seen enough. The series moves on to Game 7, and the BoSox have all the motivation they need.

I did much of my growing up during the 1990s, the time where O.J. did it, where Bill Clinton never met an intern he didn't want to sodomize, and where the New York Yankees ruled the sports world. Sure, the Blue Jays, Indians and Braves had nice Playoff runs, but they were overshadowed by multiple Yankee championships. I loathed the Bronx Bombers, but from a rivalry standpoint. It's a different story when it comes to the Boston Red Sox. I despise the team, their fans, and everyone else associated with this evil empire.

I posted a blog a few days ago about my feelings towards the blatant bias displayed by the media during this series. While I'm calling for a fix, media outlets such as ESPN, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated are soaking up the Sox comeback like a sponge. They wanted this to happen, especially Fox, since they have the broadcast rights to the World Series.

As much as the media claims that a Rays-Phillies World Series will be a ratings disaster, I will promise you that I will not watch one pitch of the series if the Red Sox win the AL Pennant. I'll check a box score, and that's it. And this comes from a die-hard baseball junkie. I'm not sure if I will be able to watch baseball the same way anymore.

Maybe that's why football has become America's pastime...

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