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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Damage Done

Bring on the Astros!!!

Good lord I’m not going to sleep tonight.  That game certainly was the opposite of what I expected, the bullpen was brilliant except for Craig Kimbrel but he was good enough…just.  Some quick notes as the strains of New York, New York keeps pounding in the Sox clubhouse.

- Alex Cora 1, Us Idiots on the Internet 0 - Ian Kinsler and Eduardo Nunez both had solid games and Nunez made a heck of a play to end it.  Full credit to Steve Pearce for a terrific stretch on that final play. I still think Holt should have been in for Nunez defensively but it worked.  My one criticism was I would have used Swihart to hit for Vazquez in the 8th and let Leon call the final two innings.

- That was Derek Lowe-esque from Rick Porcello.  I can’t have been the only person thinking of Lowe as Slick Rick did his thing. As a friend of mine texted me, Porcello was truly “pitching” in this game. He had command of all of his pitches and mixed them beautifully and having said I wanted Leon in the last couple of innings Vazquez deserves credit for his handling of Porcello.

- Speaking of Vazquez who expected the homer?  I think we can say that was a fairly important run.

- The way it felt after game two the way this team bounced back was awfully nice.  A manager is judged in my opinion largely on how he handles adversity, the Sox haven’t had much adversity this year but I think he deserves credit for the bounce back.

- We can worry about the Astros Saturday sometime, for now, let’s just enjoy this.  108 wins, now 3 more, as Spinal Tap might’ve said, this team goes to 111!

And hey Aaron…

Start spreading the news
I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York
These vagabond shoes
They are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York
I want to wake up in that city
That doesn’t sleep
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the heap
My little town blues
They are melting away
I gonna make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you
New York, New York
New York, New York
I want to wake up in that city
That never sleeps
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the list
Head of the heap
King of the hill
These are little town blues
They have all melted away
I am about to make a brand new start of it
Right there in old New York
And you bet [Incomprehensible] baby
If I can make it there
You know, I’m gonna make it just about anywhere
Come on, come through
New York, New York, New York

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 09, 2018 at 11:48 PM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5763903)
I'm going to pause from the victory lap for a moment just to dwell on the Yankees.

Sale, Porcello, Eovaldi: 19.0 IP, 1.89 ERA
Others: 17.0 IP, 5.29 ERA

Tanaka, Severino, Happ: 10.0 IP, 10.80 ERA
Others: 25.0 IP, 5.40 ERA

There's a convenient grouping of pitchers there, as I've lumped in David Price with "others" for Boston. But that's the thing. Boston relied heavily on only three pitchers the Yankees didn't do damage against. The Yankees have a wicked offense, crazy good, but regardless of how their starters performed or how much was asked of their bullpen or the timing of Boone's pitcher deployment timing decisions their offense just didn't get it done. I thought Boone was below average but not much so, and I don't think he was the difference in this series. Boston's bullpen was its weak point coming into this series, but the Yankees can't face the bullpen if they can't get past the starters.

In the offseason the Yankees need some starting pitching, certainly. But their hitters need to hit good pitching. Whether they can do that with the personnel they have, I don't know. I mean, I think so? But a wait-and-see approach isn't the kind of thing that would give me confidence.

OK, back to the victory lap. Woooooo!
   2. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5763916)
The Yankees have a wicked offense, crazy good

I know I'm being overly simplistic across a couple threads here (the Stanton one being the other one), but they were dead average in the AL in BA, and 5th in OBP. They can be pitched to.

(Obviously the slugging is real and it matters, I'm not that simple!)
   3. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5763917)
the bullpen was brilliant except for Craig Kimbrel but he was good enough…just.


Yeah. Hus control sucked but he didn't give them anything they could hit out of the park.

They won't resign him, will they? He isn't worth it.

I like Eovaldi as a closer. Throws 100, doesn't walk too may guys, why not?

I also liked Joe Kelly as a closer, if he can find the strike zone again he'd be an option. He can be straightened out.
   4. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5763928)
Yeah. Hus control sucked but he didn't give them anything they could hit out of the park.

With a few hours of sleep and some time to think about it, he was a tick outside the zone on a number of pitches and, to your point, the contact wasn't that worrisome (sure, Sanchez just missed, but just missing in baseball is pretty much the norm for hitters). I'm not disputing the overall fact that he was a ####### nightmare last night, but in some ways it was a perfect storm of patient hitters, the one HBP, and barely missing off the corners a few times.
   5. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5763935)
I'm with jmurph. When Kimbrel comes in I always look to see how that first breaking ball looks. Last night he walked Judge on 4 pitches but only the last pitch missed by a lot. I thought the Yankees did a really nice job that inning. Judge didn't jump at any pitches, then Gregorious put a ground ball in a good spot and it was on.

I like Eovaldi as a closer. Throws 100, doesn't walk too may guys, why not?


Because I like him as a starter. He'll get overrated with a couple more big starts in the post-season but he's a perfectly solid starting pitcher. I had forgotten that he was part of the Marlins' return for Hanley.
   6. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5763940)
Last night he walked Judge on 4 pitches but only the last pitch missed by a lot. I thought the Yankees did a really nice job that inning.

I kept thinking if this was a random game in July against Tampa, a number of those balls would have been emphatically rung up as strikes, and some other percentage would have been swings and misses with a less patient lineup. He was really just missing.
   7. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5763944)
Was the pitch that almost hit Gregorius a purpose pitch? I doubt it, he almost hit him, and was lucky he didn't. And he hit Walker. They were lucky to get out of it.
   8. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5763946)
If they left Sale in for the 9th he would have mowed them down.
   9. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5763952)
Was the pitch that almost hit Gregorius a purpose pitch? I doubt it, he almost hit him, and was lucky he didn't. And he hit Walker. They were lucky to get out of it.

I mean you're right overall, he didn't have it. I guess I'm just somewhere between "disaster" and "fine." There's a version of that inning in which Didi's hit doesn't get through, Walker gets out of the way, and he just puts 1 or 2 guys on and doesn't let in any runs.

There's of course also a version in which the Yankees score 4 without making a single out, but let's not focus on that!
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5763956)
I love that the inevitable Yankee Stadium cheapo HR went to the Sox
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: October 10, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5763961)
They won't resign him, will they? He isn't worth it.


Good Lord, I hope not. I ####### hate watching him pitch*, from the stupid bird man pose to the all-too-frequent occasions where he and the strike zone have only a passing familiarity.

I'm just grateful that Sanchez swung at that first pitch that missed the zone by three inches. That was terrible hitting.

* And surely it has has to be the case where the only time I get to see him is when he's not on his game.
   12. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5763963)
* And surely it has has to be the case where the only time I get to see him is when he's not on game.

Ditto. Also the pose, and frankly all big name closer behavior, is embarrassing.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5763973)
I still don't understand why Kimbrel was so averse to using his fastball.
   14. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 10, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5763994)
Sorry to make y'all sweat. I turned the game on to start the bottom of the 9th to revel in the Sox victory then quickly and grumpily turned the TV back off when Sanchez came up, not turning it back on again until Facebook told me the game was over.

Next to a World Series win, is there anything better than the Sox celebrating on the field at Yankee Stadium in front of their fans and defiling the visitors clubhouse with their celebratory champagne? Even better because the Sox let them get thisclose before crushing the hopes and dreams of Yankees fans for another year.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5764002)

Next to a World Series win, is there anything better than the Sox celebrating on the field at Yankee Stadium in front of their fans and defiling the visitors clubhouse with their celebratory champagne?
The only thing better is having it happen twice in one year.
   16. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 10, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5764012)
I also liked Joe Kelly as a closer, if he can find the strike zone again he'd be an option. He can be straightened out.


You are complaining about Kimbrel, and you suggest Joe ####### Kelly as his replacement? So the Sox can save some money? Let's take a look at Kelly's best year (last year) vs Kimbrel's year this year:

Kimbrel = 2.74 ERA 63G 62.1IP 31H 19R 19ER 7HR 31BB 91K 2HBP 7WP 160ERA+ 3.13FIP 0.995WHIP
Kelly = 2.79 ERA 54G 58.0IP 42H 19R 18ER 3HR 27BB 52K 1HBP 4WP 164ERA+ 3.49FIP 1.190WHIP

Keep in mind that outside of 13 Kelly had by far his best year last year (he regressed to a 100 ERA+ this year), he's a FA, and he's the same age as Kimbrel, what sort of contract do you think would be worth the savings from what Kimbrel will probably be paid? Because if you say anything less than Kelly actually paying the Sox, there is no way I'd be comfortable with the Sox going into the season with Kelly as their 'closer'.

   17. villageidiom Posted: October 10, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5764017)
Next to a World Series win, is there anything better than the Sox celebrating on the field at Yankee Stadium in front of their fans and defiling the visitors clubhouse with their celebratory champagne? Even better because the Sox let them get thisclose before crushing the hopes and dreams of Yankees fans for another year.
I'm not a schadenfreude kind of guy, so yeah, there are plenty of things that are better. I like the Red Sox celebrating on the field, at any field. They can celebrate at Soldier Field for all I care, as long as they're celebrating their baseball triumph. The celebration coming at the expense of the Yankees, and on their turf... Meh. It's been done before.

I feel bad for Yankees fans. Y'all remember that season Boston excelled at loading the bases but habitually squandered each inning with no runs scored? I'm sure that's what a 100-win season and an ALDS exit feels like, on a grander scale. I don't like that feeling, and I don't wish it on anyone. The Yankees were fortunate to get such a great record despite the injuries and some notable underperformances. They just picked the wrong year in which to do it. That happens.
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 10, 2018 at 12:50 PM (#5764037)
In the offseason the Yankees need some starting pitching, certainly. But their hitters need to hit good pitching. Whether they can do that with the personnel they have, I don't know.

That's exactly what I've been saying for the past three months: The Yankees starters go way too deep into pitch counts, get gassed by the 5th or 6th inning, and put way too much burden on their bullpen; and too many of their key hitters content themselves with playing the home run lottery, and are helpless against good pitchers who can command the color charts. Tyler Kepner put it very well this morning:

Against the Red Sox, the Yankees Simply Don’t Measure Up
The Yankees led the majors in homers last season, added Giancarlo Stanton in a trade, and promptly set a major league record for homers this season, with 267.

But just like the team whose record they broke — the 1997 Seattle Mariners — the Yankees went bust in the division series, confounded by a solid pitching staff. Except for their Game 2 outburst against a rattled David Price, the Yankees were punchless when it mattered most. ...

The Yankees had the pitching talent to make a deep postseason run, despite a poor showing in this series. But they hit only .249 this season, the worst average among baseball’s 10 playoff teams. If they did not hit a homer, they often struggled for hits. Red Sox starters Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello combined for 12 innings at Yankee Stadium, allowing only nine hits and two runs to thwart the Yankees’ plan. ...

The Yankees were 4 for 26 with runners in scoring position in the series and hit .214 overall. Batting average was an overrated statistic for years, mainly because it obscured other factors crucial to run production. Now, perhaps, it is undervalued.

Since the A.L. adopted the designated hitter in 1973, the Yankees have hit for a lower batting average than .249 just three times: in 1990, when they lost 95 games, and in 2013 and 2014, when they missed the playoffs.

Each of the top seven teams in batting average this season won at least 90 games. It sounds so simple to say, but hits remain really important — and this is where the Yankees and the Red Sox wildly diverged. Last season, the Yankees had two more hits than the Red Sox. This season, the Red Sox had 135 more hits than the Yankees.

The Yankees’ pitchers trailed only Houston’s staff in strikeouts, but their hitters whiffed too often, a trait that good pitchers often exploit in October. The Yankees ranked ninth in the major leagues in strikeouts by their hitters, while the Red Sox’ offense ranked 26th. And Boston had almost twice as many stolen bases as the Yankees — 125 to 63.

“Last night I had one home run, but we really scored 16 runs without hitting the long ball,” Holt said, drenched in bubbly in the joyous Red Sox clubhouse on Tuesday night. “But we’ve got guys that can leave at any time, and we’ve got guys that run the bases. We can beat you in a lot of ways. It’s a fun offense to be a part of.”

It sure seems that way. The Red Sox hit .268 this season — nine points better than the next-closest team in the majors, the Cleveland Indians. Boston finished ninth in homers but scored the most runs.

“If you’re a starter facing their lineup, you face them three times without giving up a run, you’ve done something amazing, because they usually chip away and score runs on you,” Yankees reliever David Robertson said. “They grind out at-bats, foul balls off, get on second base and just cause havoc. If you’re not on top of your game, they can put up the runs on you real quick.” ...

“We can hit the ball out of the ballpark, which is better than it was last year, power-wise,” said Dave Dombrowski, Boston’s president of baseball operations. “But we make contact, guys can run the bases, we’re athletic, and we’re a good defensive club. I think it’s important to go that way.” ...
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 10, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5764041)
Next to a World Series win, is there anything better than the Sox celebrating on the field at Yankee Stadium in front of their fans and defiling the visitors clubhouse with their celebratory champagne? Even better because the Sox let them get thisclose before crushing the hopes and dreams of Yankees fans for another year.

I can understand the sentiment, but would Red Sox fans really consider this to be a great season if they don't win the World Series, or even get to play in it? I could see that if they'd been a wild card team that'd just pulled an upset to make it to the LCS, but for Christ's sake, this is a team that set a franchise winning record and will have the HFA all the way through.** This is 2018, not 1967 or 1975 or 1986, where winning the World Series would've been an upset of major historical proportions.


**Even if that HFA might not mean much against Houston.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5764046)
I can understand the sentiment, but would Red Sox fans really consider this to be a great season if they don't win the World Series, or even get to play in it?


None of us have ever seen a 100-win team. We saw that (and then some) and beat the Yankees (hell, got out of the first round after two straight listless exits). It's been a great season already.
   21. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5764052)
None of us have ever seen a 100-win team. We saw that (and then some) and beat the Yankees (hell, got out of the first round after two straight listless exits). It's been a great season already.


This. It's probably tough for you to understand since it's been so long since your Orioles won a World Series title but as Sox fans we have seen World Series titles in recent years. I desperately hope to see another one this year but if I don't, it's not the end of the world. This year I got to see something that literally has not happened in my lifetime (and barely happened in my parents' lifetime). In fact good fortune allowed me to be in the ballpark for win #100 and for win #106 (team record). That's a great season.
   22. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5764061)
The celebration coming at the expense of the Yankees, and on their turf... Meh. It's been done before.

You're a better fan than me, vi. In my 40+ years of baseball fandom -- primarily of the Sox and Astros, the only real sadness it has ever given me was at the hands of New York and primarily the Yankees.... from Dent to the 1986 NLCS Game 6 to Buckner to Wakefield. I'd probably learn some disturbing things about myself if I ever sat down on a shrink's couch to talk about it.

As for the greatness (or not) of this season, depending on the outcome..... I've played enough Strat to know that when you get good teams together, sometimes you roll on your cards and sometimes you roll on your opponent's cards. I consciously avoided following MLB much for the first half of the year because -- as great as the Sox were -- the Yankees were matching them. I could only warm up to the team and start following again once they separated themselves. Now that they've reached the LCS, I'm OK as long as they don't lose in some idiotic fashion. It's not like any of the teams left are the 88 Dodgers or anything.

And to what Jose said, if the Sox lose in the LCS or World Series, I can still pop and or all of my 2004, 2007, or 2013 DVD's in and reminisce on some great years. Heck, I still tear up any time I see video of Renteria tapping back to Foulke.
   23. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5764065)
.
   24. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5764067)
Agree with SoSH and Jose. Also, to this question:
would Red Sox fans really consider this to be a great season if they don't win the World Series, or even get to play in it?

I'd much rather lose in the ALCS than in the World Series. I don't know if I'm weird on that point or not.

(EDIT: This is post 04 thinking. 03 was pretty ####### terrible.)
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5764070)
It's probably tough for you to understand since it's been so long since your Orioles won a World Series title

Well, I guess I should be grateful that I don't live in a lily white cul-de-sac, or you'd also feel obligated to add that to every comment.

but as Sox fans we have seen World Series titles in recent years. I desperately hope to see another one this year but if I don't, it's not the end of the world. This year I got to see something that literally has not happened in my lifetime (and barely happened in my parents' lifetime). In fact good fortune allowed me to be in the ballpark for win #100 and for win #106 (team record). That's a great season.

No problem with that perspective. And if it were an Orioles wild card team that'd advanced to the LCS I'd probably just feel the same way.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5764073)

I'd much rather lose in the ALCS than in the World Series. I don't know if I'm weird on that point or not.

Wouldn't it depend on how your team lost? As a Yankees fan, I'm not sure I prefer having lost that 2004 ALCS to having lost to the Cardinals in the World Series.
   27. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5764075)
Wouldn't it depend on how your team lost? As a Yankees fan, I'm not sure I prefer having lost that 2004 ALCS to having lost to the Cardinals in the World Series.

I just snuck in an edit. But sure, that's fair.
   28. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5764076)
I'd much rather lose in the ALCS than in the World Series. I don't know if I'm weird on that point or not.


Why is that? I don't know if you're weird on that point but I'm not sure WHY that would be better. Winning the pennant would be a great achievement, especially to beat two teams with 100 wins to get there. I assume it's been done in the Wild Card era before but I can't imagine that's a long list.
   29. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5764081)
One thing I'll say about the World Series, I remember going in 2004 to game one. There was something about looking at the scoreboard on the Monster and realizing there were no other games. Yeah that had happened during some LCS games in the past but obviously this was a bit different. My father actually was the one who pointed it out and it was a really cool feeling to realize.
   30. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5764082)
Why is that? I don't know if you're weird on that point but I'm not sure WHY that would be better. Winning the pennant would be a great achievement, especially to beat two teams with 100 wins to get there. I assume it's been done in the Wild Card era before but I can't imagine that's a long list.

I don't really think of pennants or conference championships as things worth celebrating too much, I guess? And again, this is fully from the perspective of a modern New England sports fan and nothing else. I'm sure I didn't feel this way prior to 04. We've been spoiled.

I can't really fully justify this, I'm just saying my years of Patriots/Celtics/Red Sox fandom have led me to this point. Losing sucks, but losing the final, ultimate thing, sucks the most.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5764089)
Fair enough.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5764093)
I assume it's been done in the Wild Card era before but I can't imagine that's a long list.


The Yankees did it in 2001. I can't think of any others off hand.
   33. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5764096)
It's a very dumb way to view the world, I admit! Your way is better.
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5764112)
The '98 Padres beat two 100-win teams to win the pennant.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5764134)
I had tickets to Game 5 and for the first time for me a ticket is rendered defunct for good reasons!
   36. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 10, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5764146)
I don't know if you're weird on that point but I'm not sure WHY that would be better. Winning the pennant would be a great achievement, especially to beat two teams with 100 wins to get there. I assume it's been done in the Wild Card era before but I can't imagine that's a long list.

The Yankees did it in 2001. I can't think of any others off hand.

The '98 Padres beat two 100-win teams to win the pennant.

This is what I was trying to get at with #26. If I'd been a Padres fan in 1998, I'd have been absolutely thrilled to have beaten the Astros and the Braves, and wouldn't have considered it a great tragedy to have lost in the World Series to the greatest single season team in history. That Padres team was Classic Cinderella, not that it wasn't a very good team (98 wins), but that its franchise history just had "Fire Hydrant of the Underdog" written all over it.

OTOH while the 2001 Yankees beat what were arguably two even better teams to get to the World Series, and while they were going to be facing the equivalent of both Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson in 5 games of the World Series, it didn't seem like the same thing as the '98 Padres, because while the A's and the Mariners were undoubtedly "better" teams than the Yankees that year, recent history (1999-2000) suggested that the Yankees' true colors didn't get revealed until the postseason, and the A's and the Mariners were still, underneath those gaudy regular season win totals----just the A's and the Mariners, with no postseason track records to scare anyone with.

And while I honestly felt that the Yankees were extremely lucky even to extend Koufax and Gibson to 7 games, that 7th game pretty much put a kibosh in that entire season AFAIWC. Just three outs from matching the Joe McCarthy streak, and then one more year to match Casey Stengel's.....well, I guess if you're not a Yankees fan with a sense of history it might be hard to convey the message, but let's just say that it stung a lot more than it has this year.
   37. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 10, 2018 at 02:44 PM (#5764149)
I'll add on to the 'this season has been a fantastic success' for the Sox, and also agree I would rather them lose to the Astros than in the WS. I would have been very bummed if the Sox lost to the Yankees. Still bummed but not nearly as much if they lost to the A's. If the Astros beat them in a competitive series, it's all good, the Astros are clearly a very very good team. I will be slightly pissed if the Astros crush the Sox, but that would pass. And I do think losing in the WS would be worse, simply because I think the Sox are clearly better than the Brewers, and better than the Dodgers, although not by as much.

To me getting into the playoffs is pretty much the same as getting to the ALCS. Getting to the WS is another step, winning obviously a much larger one.
   38. TomH Posted: October 10, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5764157)
1998: expansion year + Marlins tank drove lots of silly-good team records. I can't really put the 98 Yankees as the best team ever when there were so many other very good ones. I'm still shocked it wasn't the 106-win Braves or 102-win+Big Unit-at-deadline Astros repping the NL.
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 10, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5764165)
I'll add on to the 'this season has been a fantastic success' for the Sox, and also agree I would rather them lose to the Astros than in the WS. I would have been very bummed if the Sox lost to the Yankees. Still bummed but not nearly as much if they lost to the A's. If the Astros beat them in a competitive series, it's all good, the Astros are clearly a very very good team. I will be slightly pissed if the Astros crush the Sox, but that would pass. And I do think losing in the WS would be worse, simply because I think the Sox are clearly better than the Brewers, and better than the Dodgers, although not by as much.

See, that's a perspective that makes perfect sense in all its details from beginning to end. IMO the specific context of each series always matters.
   40. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 10, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5764179)
1998: expansion year + Marlins tank drove lots of silly-good team records. I can't really put the 98 Yankees as the best team ever when there were so many other very good ones.

You can make a case for a tiny handful of other teams like the '70 Orioles, the '75/'76 Reds or the '86 Mets, or if you want to completely discount the inferior quality of the competition, the '06 Cubs, the '29/'30 A's, or the '27 or '39 Yankees. But when you take all factors into account---the win total, the offense / defense balance, the roster depth, and the 11-2 postseason record, I'd still stand by my call.

I'm still shocked it wasn't the 106-win Braves or 102-win+Big Unit-at-deadline Astros repping the NL

I doubt if it would've made much difference. The 1999 Braves were better on paper than the 1999 Yankees, but look what happened in that World Series.
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5764220)
I'll add on to the 'this season has been a fantastic success' for the Sox, and also agree I would rather them lose to the Astros than in the WS.
Interesting. Put me in the other camp.

I don't care if they get swept in the WS by the Brewers with all the runs scored by Travis Shaw hits and walks given by Kimbrel and Kelly. I'd still prefer that to losing in the ALCS.
   42. villageidiom Posted: October 10, 2018 at 04:10 PM (#5764243)
I can understand the sentiment, but would Red Sox fans really consider this to be a great season if they don't win the World Series, or even get to play in it?
Yes, absolutely. I see the regular season and the postseason tournament as two different things. Winning a division and having the best record in MLB after 162 games is a fantastic accomplishment. Winning 2 of 3 across that large a span of games is amazing. Regardless of what happens in the postseason tournament it's a great season.

If they win the WS it's better than if they just win the pennant, which is better than not making it past the ALCS, which is better than getting knocked out in the ALDS, which is better than losing the WC game, which is better than not qualifying for the postseason tournament. I am a Red Sox fan, and as long as they are winning I find that more Red Sox games is better than fewer Red Sox games. I don't understand the notion of Sox fans preferring the Sox lose early than their losing later.

You're a better fan than me, vi. In my 40+ years of baseball fandom -- primarily of the Sox and Astros, the only real sadness it has ever given me was at the hands of New York and primarily the Yankees.... from Dent to the 1986 NLCS Game 6 to Buckner to Wakefield. I'd probably learn some disturbing things about myself if I ever sat down on a shrink's couch to talk about it.
It is much easier to appreciate "the other people" when you live among them than it is when you live sheltered from them. When I was young and in Boston and not having internet access, it was easy to hate the Yankees and their fans. I'm older and in Hartford, and I have many friends IRL and on this site who are Yankees fans. They are people, just with different laundry. They have the same biases and impulses and habits; they just point them in a different direction. I only wish a Yankees fan misery in the sense that their team must fail as a function of my team's success. I'd prefer if they shrug it off and move on rather than get caught up in it.

Except the ########. They can wallow for months or years.
   43. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5764296)
I don't understand the notion of Sox fans preferring the Sox lose early than their losing later.

Here's another try at explaining this (to myself as much as you guys!): I hate losing. The stakes of the loss dictate how much it affects me: a spring training loss on one end of the spectrum, World Series loss on the other. The joy of getting to the World Series is thus completely cancelled out, and then some, by the pain of the loss in the World Series.* At least that's how it works in other sports- I was only 6 in 1986 so I can't say for sure.

*This formula is complicated to some extent by the presence or lack thereof of the Yankees.

Again this is a dumb thing, I don't like it. The end of the game last night brought relief more than joy.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: October 10, 2018 at 05:36 PM (#5764320)
It is much easier to appreciate "the other people" when you live among them than it is when you live sheltered from them. When I was young and in Boston and not having internet access, it was easy to hate the Yankees and their fans. I'm older and in Hartford, and I have many friends IRL and on this site who are Yankees fans. They are people, just with different laundry. They have the same biases and impulses and habits; they just point them in a different direction. I only wish a Yankees fan misery in the sense that their team must fail as a function of my team's success. I'd prefer if they shrug it off and move on rather than get caught up in it.


I grew up a Sox fan in suburban New York in the 1970s. I found hating the Yankees spectacularly easy, and nothing in the subsequent 30 years has disabused me of that feeling.
   45. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 10, 2018 at 11:17 PM (#5764452)
Except the ########. They can wallow for months or years.

Since that's one letter too many for "Yankees", maybe you should re-post that using the NannyBuster.
   46. Answer Guy, without side hustles. Posted: October 11, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5764611)
I grew up a Sox fan in suburban New York in the 1970s. I found hating the Yankees spectacularly easy, and nothing in the subsequent 30 years has disabused me of that feeling.


There are a lot of places in what is squarely in "Red Sox Country" where there are lot of fans of The Enemy. In some cities/towns (e.g. any place with a decent-sized college) it's because there are transplanted Tri-Staters galore. In others it's because there's a sizable population with an ethnicity (in my experience, Italian-American or Puerto Rican) where more people are given over to Yankees fandom even absent a specific link to Greater Gotham.

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