What would an FJM reunion be without the mocking of an ancient, stat-hating, online weblog writer who insists that his online weblog is not a blog?
Come here, Murray Chass! We missed you.
NO RHYME OR REASON FOR RED SOX COLLAPSE
The Boston Red Sox have disintegrated before our very eyes. The team that not long ago I considered the best in the American League has become a shell of its former self. Less than two months ago the Red Sox had a five-game division lead and had won all eight games they had played against the Yankees. But then the Yankees huffed and they puffed and they blew Boston's house down.
Right – the Yanks are the better team, so they're the Big Bad Wolf. That sounds good.
You remember the story, right? In the end, the Big Bad Wolf (Yankees) falls into a kettle (World Series) that's filled with boiling water (Mark Teixeira), and the Big Bad Wolf dies (wins the World Series in five games over the Cardinals). Pretty straightforward analogy.
The Red Sox sat atop the A.L. East wall, but then they suffered a very great fall, and all Theo's magic and all Theo's men couldn't put the Red Sox together again.
Humpty Dumpty never suffered a "very great" fall. Asshole.
There was a general manager who lived in a shoe he suddenly had so many holes to fill he didn't know what to do.
One of the things about writing for your own personal website which again seriously is not in anyway a blog is that you don't have an editor or for that matter anyone who can read over your work and suggest or insist that maybe there's a comma or some punctuation missing in your sentences a second set of eyes can be especially helpful when the columnist of this weblog non-blog writes his columns using a printing press from the late 1870s which his assistant (his 91 year-old grandson) then converts to html code and keep in mind his grandson is not allowed to read the article or suggest any changes to the punctuation he has to do it all one letter at a time it's a painstaking process but his grandfather rewards him with stories of what it was like to work for The Gray Lady right after the McKinley assassination "Those were heady days" the elder Chass will often tell his grandson right before he takes a nap in his beautiful oak coffin and prays to Odin that death may find him in his sleep
Dice-K and ole Wake went up the mound to fetch a few more wins, but Dice-K fell down and broke Boston's would-be 2009 World Series crown and ole Wake came tumbling after.
Gonna be honest: it's so tortured and crazy that he's kind of winning me over at this point. Let's just acknowledge that there's like a 12% chance that Murray Chass is a secret idiot genius.
In fact, let's throw it back up to the PTI guys to discuss...
Oddsmakers! Chances Murray Chass is a secret idiot genius!
TK: Okay. I'm not gonna go quite as high as you might think on this one. He is clearly an idiot, and at times he's so idiotic that it almost seems genius. I'll give you that. I mean, think about this: "went up the mound to fetch a few more wins"? That is the writing of a idiot genius — even your BOY Dan LeBatard would admit that. The question for me is: just how secret an idiot genius is he. And that's why I can't go any higher than: fifteen percent.
MW: You know, Tone, I thought about this. I thought about saying ten percent, I thought about twenty percent, but there's only one way to answer this...TEN PERCENT!
Like Old Mother Hubbard, Theo went to the cupboard to get Big Papi a bat,
Ooh! Let me try:
"Like Little Miss Muffet, Theo sat on a tuffet — a very specific kind of tuffet that produces a bat for Big Papi when you sit on it."
"Like the third little pig, Theo had roast beef...and then called the Louisville Slugger factory to get Big Papi a bat."
"Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum! I smell a bat for Big Papi. Here, Theo. Take this bat."
"Little Jack Horner, sat in the corner, eating his Christmas Pie. He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a bat for Big Papi and handed it to Theo Epstein."
but when he got there the cupboard was bare and poor Papi still couldn't hit. The Red Sox saga is so striking it should be preserved in rhyme.
A weird, incredibly labored point you've made like eight times already.
Grandchildren of current Red Sox fans can recite it years from now as their personal sequel to Casey at the Bat: "There is no joy in Beantown; the mighty Red Sox have struck out."
Or! In an equally unfunny and unlikely scenario, grandchildren of current Red Sox fans could recite their personal sequel to The Wasteland:
August is the cruellest month, knocking
Red Sox out of the East league, Wakefield
Injured and Papi, struggling
at bat with a 784 OPS.
As usual I have no idea what the point of these writing exercises are (both Chass's and ours).
I would like to make the incredibly obvious point that the most poetic thing to happen in this rivalry was not a regular-season sweep in August, but rather the historic collapse of the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. I can't believe I need to point this out, but it appears I do.
(If anyone has a bad parody of Frost's "Mending Wall" about the 2004 ALCS, I would love to read it. You know where to find me.)
How did it happen?
Great question. I would think, mostly, it comes down to you just getting old, Murray. Just getting really old, kind of lazy at this point, not really caring about what goes on the page. Not having an editor anymore can't help. Senility might be a factor?
Sure, the Red Sox lost a lot of games while the Yankees were playing like the best team in history.
Oh, I'm sorry. You were asking "How did the Red Sox lose a regular-season series to the Yankees" – not, "How did I become an irrelevant, blathering sportswriter." My bad.
The Red Sox set a land speed record for freefall, plummeting from 5 games in first to 7 1/2 games out of first in a crisp 45 games.
For the record, the actual land speed record for freefall is held by Air Force pilot (and occasional daredevil) James Bander Jr. (1956-1999), who reached a land speed of 288 mp/h on the Bonneville Salt Flats while somehow simultaneously freefalling from a skydive jump at a terminal velocity of 212 m/s. He also had four buttholes and never existed.
David Ortiz swung an invisible bat, hitting one home run and driving in 18 runs in April and May while hitting .185.
I'd like to be a total dick for a moment, if only because I am usually a total dick.
Let's imagine for a second that David Ortiz was actually swinging an invisible bat. Would this actually affect his performance at the plate? I mean, invisible doesn't mean non-existent, right? (Being a total dick is so much fun!)
Maybe if Ortiz had some other invisible things besides his bat, like an invisible umbrella...I could see Papi getting a little careless about keeping his invisible items in their proper cases. So maybe he'd accidentally take his invisible umbrella up to bat a few times, and that could hurt his numbers. Let me just do some quick projections.
Okay, ran the numbers. If Papi tried to hit with his invisible umbrella about 15% of the time (a pretty reasonable assumption, I think we can all agree) I-PECOTA projects a .185/.299/.412 line.
Wait. Hitting .185...Murray Chass you secret idiot genius!
The Red Sox and the Yankees have come to think they are entitled to post-season spots. The Yankees discovered last year that that entitlement no longer exists. In the past I have cautioned Red Sox fans it doesn't exist. They don't believe that.
He has a point here. I mean, how many Red Sox fans were alive way back in 2006, the last time the Sox missed the playoffs?
I'm actually working on a screenplay about a guy who slips on a patch of ice outside Fanueil Hall and falls into a coma right before the Red Sox miss the 2006 playoffs. He wakes up two months later, but everyone's afraid to tell him what happened, so naturally he refuses to believe that the Sox aren't entitled to a postseason birth every year. There's a rom-com element I haven't totally worked out where the guy falls in love with a woman who works in the Red Sox front office. She tells him the truth about the 2006 season, so the second act is more about their relationship — the theme is sort of like, "how honest do we really want to be in our relationships?" Anyway, Josh Duhamel is attached.
The point is: Murray Chass is a fucking idiot.
The Red Sox became the wild-card leaders when the Yankees knocked them out of first place July 21. The Rangers ended that run Aug. 16.
As I write this, the Red Sox have a 3.5 game lead in the Wild Card.
Hickory dickory dock the Red Sox ran up the clock, the clock struck one and the Red Sox were done.
...I don't understand. Who got the bat for Big Papi? What kind of nursery rhyme is this?
Or if they would prefer, It's raining, it's pouring the Red Sox are snoring. They went to bed with a bump on their head and couldn't get up in the morning. Unless they escape their lethargy, the Red Sox may be in for a long winter's nap.
Deadspin readers: now is the time to rally behind Obamacare. There's simply no way Murray Chass escapes the death panels.