Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wake Me When It Matters!

The Red Sox and Yanks just split a 4-game, Fourth of July, battle in the Bronx. A Saturday afternoon FOX broadcast, a Sunday night ESPN Game of the Week, and blah, blah, blah, blah, we've been there done that. If it sounds like I'm becoming disinterested, it's because I am.

The Red Sox are currently sitting 4 games back of the first place Tampa Bay Rays. David Ortiz is on the DL with an injured wrist, Manny Ramirez is beating up club house attendants, and Jason Varitek has been hitting .133 since the end of May (should I remind you he was just voted an All-Star?)

With the All-Star break approaching, the Yanks are 9 games out of first place. Johnny Damon just landed his turncoat a** on the DL, Wilson Betemit is pinch hitting in the clutch (career BA of .259), and former All-Star pitcher Chien-Ming Wang won't come back from injury till at least September.

This was supposed to be the weekend I wrapped my arms around Major League baseball and prayed for a great fall classic. Instead I just watched the Red Sox finish a 10-game road trip which they ended 3-7 (including a sweep by the Rays), and a Yankees team that has way to many flaws to be make a run at a 27th championship. Even an extra-inning dose of Yankees/Sox at the Stadium didn't get my blood going.

So how have I gotten to this point?

18, that is how many times the BoSox and Yanks play between the white lines. Major League baseball say hello to market saturation. Like Beanie Babies, Tickle Me Elmo, and Dane Cook , the Red Sox v. Yanks drama has become exhausting. When everyone watches something, listens to something, and talks about something, it dies quick. We've been subjected to the Red Sox v. Yankees nearly twenty times a season, every season, for years. If I miss a 4-game series because I'm watching Wimbledon (which was drastically more exciting) I can always catch another one in a month. If the regular season wasn't enough, I can usually bet on Yanks v. Sox postseason action, which is hyped up more than the Superbowl. 20 to 25 epic showdowns between baseballs two biggest and baddest fan bases are way to much, and like high school girlfriends, it doesn't keep your attention long.

The phoenix like rise of the Boston Celtics and the NBA. Like most Celtics fans, I'm finding it harder and harder to swing toward baseball. (lame pun, totally intended) The NBA just delivered a great regular season, even better playoffs, and an amazing finals, led by New England's own Boston Celtics. Hoops puts on a great show, from the tip-off to the final buzzer the game never stops, no walks, no stops to tighten gloves, and no pitch outs. After watching the likes of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Kevin Garnett sprint down the court and throw down a thunderous athletic dunk, it becomes quite hard to watch 250-lb. Sidney Ponson warm up in the Yanks bullpen. Baseball, especially Sox v. Yanks, makes very little attempt to speed the game up. Dustin Pedroia is allowed to tighten his gloves, adjust his helmet, and scratch his a**, BETWEEN EVERY PITCH! When an NBA player rolls a ball to a ref, hangs on the rim to long, or spikes the ball in the air it results in a technical foul. MOVE THE GAME ALONG!

I can't say it enough, THE 55-13 TAMPA BAY RAYS. They've already attacked the Red Sox, literally, a bench clearing brawl in which the Rays threw sensibility and Coco Crisp out the window. They jawed and threw at the New York Yankees from jump street, starting in SPRING TRAINING! The traditional door mat of the American League East has finally decided to go out and win some games. They won't have as many All-Stars as the Sox and Yanks, but they flat out dominate at the home (33-10). The most shocking thing of this miracle Tampa Bay Rays story, it's July 8th, and the Rays have played 89 games and aren't looking to trade their young talent. When watching this past weekends Sox V. Yanks series, could we really be watching the battle of second place?

What goes on off the field, is more exciting than ON the field. A-Rod is getting a divorce, and from what we hear, it's because of Madonna. Madonna whose had more work done on her than the statue of David, is fooling around with every ones favorite whipping boy Alex Rodriguez. Manny Ramirez has decided that slapping around 60-year old club house attendants is a great thing to do in your contract year. Joe Girardi is holding private locker room meetings that will be forgotten quicker than that crazy girl on the first Apprentice (Omarosa). Are we really interested in what J.D. Drew's OBP has been since David Ortiz hit the DL? As hardcore of a baseball fan that I am, even I can't help but be seduced by the thought of Alex Rodriguez becoming a full fledged Kabalah member.

Gone are the days of the "no easy out" in Yankee pinstripes(insert joke about the skeleton of Jason Giambi), gone are the days of a pitchers duel for the ages (i.e. Clemens v. Pedro), and gone are chants of "Yankees Suck", which so thoughtfully rang through the grounds of Fenway Park just a short while back. The Brewers just traded for the reigning Cy Young, C.C. Sabathia. The lovable loser Cubs just completed a blockbuster to bring Danny Haren to the National League, so I ask again, please can you remind me when Sox v. Yanks matters?

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