August 07, 2006
From Murray Chass today -
THE Boston Red Sox are a poor excuse for a good baseball team. For the second year in a row, they have squandered an advantage they had over the Yankees, this year even more grievously than last. Like last year, they will very likely pay for their profligacy.
For the first four days in July, the Red Sox led the Yankees by four games in the American League East. Today, the Yankees lead the Red Sox by two games.
A 12-game winning streak gave the Red Sox their four-game lead. Since that streak ended, the Red Sox have won half of their games — 17 of 34 — while the Yankees have won 22 of 32.
For a second, let's go back to that 12-game winning streak for Boston. Who did they beat?
The Braves, the Nationals, the Phillies and the Mets. And, for what it's worth, four of those wins were close for the Red Sox.
Maybe Boston is just not that good this year? Could it be true?
Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 7, 2006 10:14 PM
Call me a downer, call me a wet blanket, call me whatever...but we didn't fare as well against those same teams. So if Boston's not very good, then neither are we.
And that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, as a rule, don't believe a word Murray Chass says. He only writes the convenient story. The Yanks and their fans shouldn't think playoffs unless and until we make it through the next three weeks.
FWIW, the Sox are playing .449 baseball against the better AL teams (NYY, Tor, Det, Chi, Min, Oak, LAA, Tex). The Yanks are playing .579 ball against the same group. Boston is 4 games under .500 against the AL this year. We are 22 games over .500. If not for Boston's dominance in inter-league play, we'd be 6 to 8 games up right now.
Correction - That should say the Sox are OVER .500 against the AL, but you get the idea.
Hate to say it but, on a day-to-day basis Murray Chass isn't that much worse than the vast majority of baseball writers. It's a job that demands no rigor of any sort...no real knowledge, no mastery of special kinds of analysis, no particular ability with language, and a lot of free time during the winter. Hell, even I tried to get a sportswriting job when I graduated. Stupidly, I turned down the Newark Star-Ledger. I guess I'm lazier than the average Joel Sherman. They wanted me to work overnights and prepare boxscores for the early edition.
"It's a job that demands no rigor of any sort...no real knowledge, no mastery of special kinds of analysis, no particular ability with language, and a lot of free time during the winter."
Sounds perfect - where do I sign up?