Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The night after the afternoon after the night before

Well if it was hard to wake up a Sox fan this morning, nothing that happened today made it any easier. Yankees fans in my office smiled, smirked, grinned, laughed - you name it, and frankly, I found it difficult to raise any protest.

And then to finalize the insult, I had to take a meeting with my Yankee loving boss, in his office, with the Yahoo Game-Tracker on in the background, as the Sox wasted a very strong effort from Wells and Foulke to lose a fifth straight game... and he politely remarked... it doesn't seem right to gloat when it seems so easy...

In sport it is all too easy to react, and over-react, to the immediate. But right now, some 18 hours after an incredibly bone-headed managerial move, to cap a weekend of bone-headed managerial moves if I am being honest, I still can't find it in my heart to say something that would justify Francona's actions last night.

I have seen blog entries today that defended Francona's use of Papelbon - ranging from "we can't bring in Papelbon for 6 outs every time we are ahead" to "if the rest of the bullpen can't hold a 2 run lead what does it matter"- and frankly - you are wrong - there is no defense for his his non-use of Papelbon to start the 8th... none.

Having lost 3 games to our division leader, the Sox had a chance to rescue something from the series, to set up some momentum for today's game - to show the world that 3 bad games are just that - 3 bad games - so frankly, we had to bring in Papelbon to get those 6 outs, we had to care that the rest of our bullpen couldn't protect a 2 run lead... and the opposite issues - we could have worried about those today, or tomorrow, or the next day... the next time it mattered.

So are there any positives to be taken from the lost weekend?

Well there were - Manny, Ortiz, Wells, Schilling, Papelbon even Foulke showed they were up for the fight, but today these positives seem a bit like finding a shiny penny in the gutter the day I have been told that I need to settle the national debt by the weekend...

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