I spent all Sunday morning and early afternoon basking in the happiness that the Red Sox survived the ALCS to play Game 7. Today, I didn’t have a chance to do the same for the fact that the Sox won the ALCS. Mondays, ugh. I already was late, bleary eyed from staying up to watch the game and had to work late to finish up a couple projects.
A lot of teams feel that the east coast teams always take the limelight, and always have an inherent advantage. I could literally feel the resentment out of some of those fans for other teams. I’m trying to see it from their perspective, but I. Just. Cannot. Not because I don’t want to. I have felt like, for years (most of my life, for that matter), that the Red Sox was the underdog, the team that could just make it but never quite finish the show. There were the 80-some odd years drought before the Red Sox won another world series championships in 2004. Before that, I felt like we just kept mucking it all up each time an opportunity was presented to us. Yet, the non-Red Sox spectators complain that it’s always about us. Is it, really?
Now, home to relax, take care of bills, and contemplate succumbing to the temptation to do this.
More reflections on this past series. I actually felt bad that Cleveland lost. I never thought I would appreciate them as much as I did. They were strong and they really played well, especially in games 2, 3, and 4. They made the Red Sox work. They caught the Sox slacking and they took advantage of it. While it eventually worked out for the Sox as they righted ship and came back from behind, I have come to appreciate the talent that Cleveland holds. There is so much potential in that team and I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the near future. As long as it is not at the expense of the Sox. Also, they show class, even at the face of a loss.
Finally, looking onwards to Wednesday’s game. It’s tough to guess which way the favour will swing. Red Sox, as an organisation, has more experience. But the Sox is literally propped up and half-run by the rookies this year so, collectively, not as much experience. Yet, I was still amused by this comparison.
I’m still rooting for the Red Sox. But part of me wonders if the Rockies will continue their trend and winning spree. Another day, another time I would have rooted for them, but, again, not at the expense of my team. No way.
I’m impressed. CO has been riding high lately. Struggled and barely won the tie-breaker against San Diego. Swept the division series. Swept the NL series. Whichever AL team moves on to the World Series, beware! These guys have both the winning streak and the underdog determination and they are going to be a force to reckon with next week. On top of that, they get a week’s worth of rest. I can’t help being happy for them. Although not at Boston’s expense if we make it to that point.
Indians lead 2-1 in the series. I guess this wasn’t Boston’s night any more than yesterday was my day. Disappointing, sure. But not completely hopeless. I hope!Those of us who watched the 2004 ALCS series know that the slimmest of chances can and do happen. Yet, we also hope it doesn’t come to that.
Those of us who coach know that a loss that results with losing a lead is oftentimes a good thing. It forces the team to reflect a bit, to eat humble pie, and to change gears and become the mental underdog. A couple weeks ago, a fellow coach walked up to me and expressed her hope that my crew beat hers not just that day for over the course of the remainder of the season. I was a bit startled by her desire at first and merely stuttered a “we’ll do our best.” What else was I to say, “No, not going to do it.”?!?! I don’t think so!
The mentioned coach wanted to give her team a blow to the pride. They had a solid crew, a solid team that performed well together since the beginning of the season. What she was having trouble working with was their attitude. The more they won, the more arrogant they got. And the less sportsmanship they exhibited.
My crew, on the other hand, was the underdog. We had more novices to the sport, smaller athletes, and less competitive experience. Most of the guys just competed to have fun and to create a visual and sobstantive goal to train toward. These guys got a good taste of victory early on, though, winning a couple of their races. When I applauded them and congratulated them, a lot of them came up with excuses as to why luck favoured them and that it was only chance. Their modesty sometimes drove me absolutely up the wall!
In reflecting on what the coach told me, though, I realise now that my team’s sense of being an underdog has kept them grounded and motivated on not just working hard but also working harder.
I don’t mean to imply that the Red Sox has attitude issues. I doubt they do as I find some of the players to be extraordinarily friendly and oriented toward the host city of their team. They have, however, been riding on high clouds through the bulk of this year. A whooping in late August through September has forced them to buckle down and recoup some wins to salvage their AL East lead and eventual title. And perhaps having to trail in this series will be just what they need.
I’m excited about seeing Wakefield back in action. I’ll admit to being relieved to hear that he was not selected to pick in the ALDS. His last few outings in the regular season has been, bluntly put, pretty horrendous. His otherwise infamous knuckleball suddenly seemed like every batter’s ideal fastball. I also noticed that the management has tremendous respect for Wakefield. If he says he can’t pitch, they most likely would listen. So if my assumptions are correct, Wakefield’s selection may mean he *is* ready to get back into another postseason. So, go git ’em, guys!