The Red Sox have just taken their annual September dive and many if not all of you are either reaching for that panic button or have smashed the panic button in half out of frustration. You may be under the impression that this team has packed it in and they are basically handing the Yankees the division crown. I for one do not see it that way. Every team has their slumps, it just so happens that our team has fallen victim to one of the most lethal slumps in recent history at the worst time possible. I just want to assure you that this team is certainly not ?giving up?. They are not ?settling for the Wild Card? either.
The Red Sox have been the front runners in the American League East for almost the entire 2007 campaign. The worst thing that could happen to this team is not the Yankees overtaking them to claim first place, it would be to lose the support of their fans. I have heard hundreds of fans throwing in the towel on this team, that to me is just not right. What is the point in supporting a team the whole way only to give up on them when they need you the most?
The season is 162 games for a reason, although Boston fans would love for the season to be 152 games at this point, what it means to be a true fan is to support your team through the good times and the bad. By supporting the Red Sox during times like this, it makes it even better to celebrate the good times knowing that you stuck it out with the Sox during the miserable slumps where it seemed that the Red Sox were down and out.
The goal for this team when they came charging through the gates entering the first game of the season was to win a World Series, regardless of how they got to that point, a championship is the ultimate goal for any ball club. The division crown is the point of entry to the playoffs that the Red Sox have desired since Opening Day. It would be bitter-sweet to win the Wild Card because yes the Red Sox would be postseason bound, but Boston feels that the Sox have earned the division championship. If the Red Sox want to enter the postseason as American League East Division champions, they have to start playing like champions.
Seeing a halfhearted jog to first base on a groundball from Manny Ramirez would not surprise me, but Julio Lugo? Come on. This guy is supposed to be one of the fire starters on this team. We know he isn?t going to belt 50 home runs a season like A-Rod so he has to cause havoc the best way he can, and that is on the base paths. You can?t steal bases and get into scoring position if you don?t hustle to first. I don?t know if he knows this, but he plays baseball and baseball is certainly one of those sports where anything can happen.
Let?s just all be thankful that the Sox are done with Toronto and on to Tampa. We need to forget about that sweep, it?s done, it?s over, there?s nothing we can do to change it. We are going to have nightmare series much like this one, but you have to have the Bill Belichick mentality of accepting what happened and moving on. Don?t get too high on wins and don?t get too low on losses, unless that win earns you a ring. Keep in mind that the Red Sox are still in first place and this race is all but over, the Red Sox are not ?out of it? in the least bit. This is the time of the year that they need us the most, so let?s tough it out as the Sox battle to take the East and clinch a postseason birth.