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Sawx season on the line tonight

September 28, 2011

After 161 games the Boston Red Sox season rests tonight on the shaky left arm of Jon Lester. Lose tonight and this team  reverts to its  20th century history as chokers who bring their fans to the Mountain of victory only to dump them into the Valley of defeat.

Lose tonight and the season probably ends. A win would seal at least a chance of post-season pride by sending the sawx to on-game playoff  (playin) in  Tampa against the Rays, assuming the Rays win also and the two teams are tied. It would be the first one-game Sox playoff since the 1978 debacle against the Evil Empire (aka New York Yankees) that ended when a banjo-hitting infielder with the improbable name of Bucky (bleeping) Dent lifted a home run into the netting that used to hang above the Green Monster in left field.

In the early part of the season, Lester was one of baseball’s best pitchers. But in his last four starts he is 1-3 with an ERA kissing 7.00.

The 2011 edition of the Red Sox can set records for a September swoon. The overpaid and underachieving  boys of 2011 have just played awful baseball since Labor Day and reminded longtime fans that money can buy neither love nor wins.

This team is nothing like the 2004 band of gleeful idiots who in 11 giddy days in October won 8 straight games and thwarted the Yankees and the Cardinals to win the first championship for Boston in 86 years. In 2007 the Sawx won another World Series. A failure this time would not be as drastic as the 20th Century legacy of futility, which lasted from 1918 until 2004.

In the 20th century, the Sawx went to the World Series four times since the end of World War II, losing I seven games in 1946, 1967, 1975 and 1986.

Not all the sawx are blowing it. Jacoby Ellsbury has been a hero in the late going but his teammates have not been so well. And as far as the money goes, well, some of the players the sawx have spent so lavishly for have not stepped up, including Carl Crawford, J.D. Drew, John Lackey and Dice-K.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. pmorrissey permalink
    September 28, 2011 8:59 pm

    Bucky Dent’s Home Run
    October 2, 1978
    by Harvey Frommer

    Dent’s home run was the headline grabber in that one-game playoff game between the historic rivals at Fenway Park before 32,925. The Yankees were down to the Sox in the AL East by 14 games on July 19. After Billy Martin was fired as manager, Bob Lemon led the team to a 52-21 record. Losing 14 of 17 in September, the Sox made a late-season run winning their last eight games, catching the Yankees on the last day of the season.

    New York’s 24 game winner Ron Guidry gave up two runs to Boston through six – a home run to Carl Yastrzemski and a Jim Rice RBI single. Mike Torrez, a former Yankee, was the Boston pitcher.

    Chris Chambliss singled. Roy White singled. That’s how the top of the seventh began for the Yankees. All was just foreshadowing for Earl Russell Dent out of Savannah, Georgia. A fine defensive shortstop but not much of an offensive threat, he had hit but .243 for the season. For the last 20 games he had batted a puny .140. But the Yankees were out of infield replacements. Regular second baseman Willie Randolph was injured. Fred Stanley, the only other available mid-infielder, was slotted to come in and replace Brian Doyle, who had been hit for earlier in the inning.

    Dent stepped in. Just hoping to make contact, the 5′-9″ Yankee peered out at Torrez, the 6′-5″ Red Sox pitcher. The two were locked in, locked up.

    Dent fouled the second pitch off his foot. The count was one and one. There was a brief delay as the Yankees trainer tended to Dent. Mickey Rivers, the on-deck-batter, pointed out that there was a crack in the handsome infielder’s bat. Dent borrowed a bat from Rivers.

    All set, Dent swung at the next pitch; the ball cleared the infield heading out to the left field wall. The wind and destiny moved the ball higher to its date with the Green Monster.

    “Deep to left!” Bill White, Yankees broadcaster shouted, “Yastrzemski will not get it!” Yaz backed up. He had been in this position before. But he knew it was hopeless. The ball sailed into the 23-foot net above the Green Monster, the 37-foot wall in left field. Three run home run!

    White, Chambliss and the entire Yankee bench were there waiting at home plate. It was all Bucky Dent that October day. “I was so damn shocked,” Torrez said. “I thought maybe it was going to be off the wall. Damn, I did not think it was going to go out.”

    Not many remember that the Red Sox still had a chance in the bottom of the ninth. But Goose Gossage got Carl Yastrzemski to pop out with 2 on and 2 out. Not many remember that the victory in that game was earned by Ron Guidry, moving his record to 25-3.

    “I had a dream as a kid,” the player who was born Russell Earl O’Dey said. “I dreamed some day I would hit a home run to win something.”

  2. September 29, 2011 9:07 pm

    as a YaNkee fan I have ro admi that Bucky Dent is the most improbable hero in Yankee history.! Who wouldv’e thought etc……….

    Too bad Sox lost last nite–they were the best team in baseball for many months, but apparently the classic “September fade” occurred again.

    A Yankee-Sox playoff would have been great, again, for baseball.

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