Tuesday, September 20, 2005

White Flag or Pennant?

The Red Sox haven't played scintillating ball lately. Whether it's fatigue, collective slumping, or just the vicissitudes of baseball, who can say?

I don't think that lack of effort or intensity generally becomes a cogent explanation for pennant contenders in September. You'll never tell me that Ortiz, Varitek, Nixon, or Mueller are dogging it. Dog-tired, maybe.

"Drive for show and put for dough." Maybe it's hit for show and pitch for dough in September. The Sox 'ace' slot lists Tim Wakefield, with the number two, three, and four spots are open, and Matt Clement has become (although a very standup guy) Mr. Inconsistent.

The Sprowlism of 1978 has never reared its ugly head, and at times, Papelbon, DelCarmen, and now Hansen have looked like major league pitchers. The same hasn't exactly been true for DiNardo thus far in his return.

So, with the finger squarely on the panic button, we watch the Sox respond with a Ray-burning 10 runs so far in four innings. I'd like to think that at least this one is over, but as I've watched the pre-1967 Sox, I know that anything can happen.

I'm still on the bandwagon, but the hay is musty, the wheels are rickety, and the driver might be using. Don't chill the bubbly, yet.

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