Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Road Warriors

There are three basic reactions fans have when their team suffers a loss: The "Meh." It doesn't really phase you either way. The "heart breaker." I think that one speaks for itself. And finally, the "ARE YOU SHITTING ME?" where a play in the game can only be described as what Chaz Michael Michaels would call mind bottling.

The Red Sox game last night was somewhere in the middle of the last two. I couldn't believe the entire infield would forget how many outs there were in the sixth, and it was even harder to believe the best bullpen in baseball could blow a 9 run lead with 9 outs to go. Things have been so good for the Sox the the last 5 and a half seasons that I forgot what those losses were like.

Luckily, I was over it by this afternoon because the Red Sox rallied this time, and came back to win the game 6-5 in extras. The road has been tough for the Sox over the last two seasons. It cost them a trip to the World Series because Game 7 of the ALCS was played in St. Petersburg and not in Boston. But after this very successful road trip (6-3) the Red Sox seemed to have solved that problem.

Or maybe it's really because these games don't seem like true road games. Red Sox fans are flooding their opponents ball parks, getting rid of home field advantage. I swear, watching a Sox Nationals game last week I heard Big Papi hit a home run, and the crowd went wild like it landed on Landsdowne.

Now this road trip included the Orioles and Nationals. Baltimore and D.C. are both short trips for fans from Boston, and are cool cities that have stuff to do other than baseball. Like the Lincoln Memorial and Hamsterdam.

But the big crowd in Atlanta really surprised me. The Braves are a little down this year, but I still didn't expect to hear a very audible, "LET'S GO RED SOX," chant sparingly throughout the game. This isn't a series in the middle of the summer when you would expect lots of fans to make a trip down south; this is the weekend before July Fourth in a recession. At least Red Sox Nation is doing their part to stimulate the economy. You're welcome America.

The Sox don't play another road game until after the All-Star Break, and that series is another short road trip to Toronto. After that, the Red Sox never go further than Arlington Texas for a game. So if this road trip was any indication for the rest of the season, the Sox have as many true road games left as Michael Jackson London Tour dates (Too soon?).

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