It says a lot about the 2009 season when I can sit here, an hour before the second-to-last game of the year with the Sox long since eliminated, and actually get excited for all the wrong reasons.
Maybe the Good Guys can ruin the city of Detroit’s entire fall season.
Maybe Freddy Garcia will take it upon himself to outdo last night’s Jake Peavy gem and put that Big Game Magic of his to work.
Maybe Paul Konerko (or, less probably, Jermaine Dye) can find enough thunder to keep the Sox from missing the “at least one player with 30 home runs” plateau since 1992. (Shame on you, George Bell, for not finding an extra five bombs in the bag of tricks that made you such a seemingly fine candidate for DH duties.)
Maybe Freddy tonight and John Danks tomorrow can join forces to win a pair of 1-0 shutouts while the bats fall silent and the Mariners lose to the Rangers by a combined 30-20, making the Good Guys both the worst-hitting and best-pitching team in the American League.
Maybe Gordon Beckham can finish the year with more RBI than Alex Rios, and maybe Scotty Pods does the same to A.J. Pierzynski.
Maybe Matt Thornton will notch more strikeouts than Jose Contreras in roughly half the innings. Maybe Octavio Dotel will walk as many Sox opponents as Clayton Richards, even though Richards hasn’t pitched for the Sox since July.
And really, what else is left for this team but strangeness and cruelty? We’re certainly past the point of staking any kind of emotional investment into baseball, and anything that could end the season on a truly memorable note is a long-shot at best: Someone putting up a four-homer night at the plate? No-hitter? Perfect game? Let’s not get our hopes up here.
But what the Sox do have is a way to at least make the season interesting, even if in a hilarious way. A home run-reliant team not hitting any home runs; a seemingly great pitching staff relying on arms of dubious merit and all real hope resting on the shoulders of an AL West matchup happening 2,300 miles of plains and mountains away. Not hope like that which the opposition has for the Royals this weekend, but hope in outcomes just as preposterous as those much simpler things we used to cautiously look forward to. May these Sox then go forth and put someone’s dreams to rest. Finally.