Red Sox Take ALCS Series to Seventh Game; 2008 Season Ends with 3 to 1 Loss to Rays
The Red Sox lost to the Tampa Bay Rays last night in St. Petersburg, Florida but it's not the end of the world.
Especially with that monumental eight run comeback in game five of the American League Championship Series Thursday night still fresh in fan's memories.
Plus, considering what the Red Sox accomplished despite the various physically (and emotionally) injured players the team had to contend with this year...
David Ortiz and his balky wrist;
Manny Ramirez and his tantrums (knocking down the team's 64 year old traveling secretary, and getting into a dugout brawl with Kevin Youkilis, for example) and his refusal to take the bat off his shoulder in a game against the Yankees; catalyzing management to pull off a trade to Los Angeles;
Mike Lowell and his gritty attempt (surgery on his labrum was scheduled for today) to play with a disintigrating hip;
Josh Beckett's oblique muscle;
...and the oldest players on the team such as Tim Wakefield, Mike Timlin, and Jason Varitek seemingly aging in dog years, it was a remarkable season.
That's just a sample. But let's not make excuses. Every baseball team battles injuries and personal drama every season. In the past, some people insisted on blaming manufactured curses for the team's failures. Since the World Series victory in 2004 however, we've come to expect a lot of winning and joy from the local nine.
And they gave us a lot this year: from those first games in Japan, to Jon Lester's no-hitter, right up through Jed Lowrie's ground out to end the game last night. The Rays (especially pitcher Matt Garza who threw a transcendent game) simply were better.
Ordinarily, my inclination would be to root heavily for the national league squad to humiliate the team that beat the Sox. But I don't even know the Phillies, having followed the Milwaukee Brewers (and one of my favorite players, Gabe Kapler) in the NL throughout the year.
So I'm choosing to be gracious this year. In an era of increasingly violent foreign policy and economic and social distress, I'll calm down, take a stress pill, and wish the Rays well in their quest for the championship.
And make ready for next season when again we live and die with our local baseball team.