Can’t Lose What You Never Had

Of course they lost the series at the Dome. Here’s a prediction: they lose. Maybe they blow it in the ninth, maybe they can’t capitalize on the other guys’ miscues, or maybe they just plain can’t execute when they need to. Remember all that “if they just play three-over while the Tigers hold steady” nonsense we held onto so tightly just weeks ago? The Tigers held up their part of the bargain, while the Twins only played as poorly as the Sox needed to.

If you really think about it, it doesn’t even matter what happens tomorrow, either. The Sox, meanwhile, just stopped. They haven’t gained a game in six weeks, have surrendered their shot at the division and (brace yourself) could realistically find themselves looking up at Cleveland by the time this is over. Think I’m kidding? The Tribe are 23-18 since the break; the Good Guys are 19-25. We used to think the last two weekends of the season would make or break the Sox, but smart money says those three days in Cleveland will matter a whole lot more.

Last week, the Sox only needed for one team to collapse. It’s like the Sox being unable to hang with both the good and bad clubs alike never mattered, like we all thought they would just somehow find a way to transform one of the statistically worst (and likely most poorly-constructed) offenses in the league into a well-rounded killing machine. The pitching would work itself out, right? Who needs a fifth starter? Hell, who needs even a fourth starter? Not us! Team of Destiny!

Now, the ridiculous if-then scenarios have to include two other clubs. And that’s the worst part. This is exactly what we all saw coming. They were going to be bad. They had problems. They were in transition and, at best, stood only a marginal chance. But give them credit: they had us going there for a minute. Even me, and I never trust this team. Never.

It’s as though the Sox, pranksters that they are, set it up like this all along. We can blame and curse all we want. Every shameful loss to the supposedly inferior Twins, every east coast beatdown, every disgrace courtesy of the likes of the Baltimore Orioles, we can hate the Sox with all our might—but why? The joke was never the team; the joke was always on us. And we knew it. And now we wait: 29 games ’til the winter of our discontent.