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September 27, 2008 at 1:20 am ET
14 Comments
Sox concede divison title to Rays

Yankees 19, Sox 8I don't think the heavy stuff's gonna come down for quite some time now
WP:
Robertson (4-0) LP: Pauley (0-1) SV: None
HRs: BOS-Youkilis (29), Ellsbury (9); NYY-Ransom, 2 (4), Demon (17)

Summary:
On a night that a Nor’easter drenched the Commonwealth, the├é┬áSox handed the AL East title to the├é┬áRays by choosing to sit key players rather than risk injuries before the playoffs.

Interestingly enough, despite having nothing to play for and after sitting through an hour and a half rain delay, New York still chose to field a starting lineup that included regulars at every position except catcher.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Not if you want to pad stats, risk injury, and punish veterans by sending them into a contest that had no business being played in the first place, due to an extremely wet field and a constant stream of precipitation that flowed throughout.

I just find it highly amusing that the Sox, with the division still up for grabs after another Rays loss to Detroit, were the ones acting like this was a meaningless game by scratch-ing starter Daisuke Matsuzaka and sitting David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek, while the Yanks treated it like a playoff game.

Which I guess for them it was.

Maybe they’re just not used to playing with absolutely nothing at stake this late in the season. Either that or manager Joe Girardi was being a total dick. But definitely one or the other.

No matter, the suspense is over regarding the playoff positions in the East; the Rays are division champs for the first time in their illustrious history, while the Red Sox will be the AL Wild Card entrant for the fourth time in the last six years and sixth time since the format was adopted in 1995.

And as I said in my previous post, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Sure they could gripe about the fact that MLB and/or the Boston brass played the role of money-grubbing scumbags by forcing this game to played when no one in their right mind expected the game to go off as planned. As late as 6:30 this evening, rain was still falling at a steady clip, and according to my inside source (thanks Mom), it had been “raining sideways” all afternoon.

This blatant cash grab was carried out in fear that a postponed game might not be rescheduled due to more rain in the forecast for tomorrow, and if the Rays won tonight or tomorrow, a Sox victory would be meaningless, therefore rendering a makeup game unnecessary.

So instead of biting the bullet and appeasing the fans, many of which did not bother to show up for this one thanks to the unseemly weather and near surety of a cancellation, the game was played in front of a half empty stadium draped in rain and fog.

Ah, the joys of corporate greed at its finest.

But like I said, Boston had its chance to wrap up the division a week ago when it played the Rays in St. Pete, and by losing four of its last six to the pesky Rays, the Sox Wild Card fate was all but sealed by the time they departed TIA.

And so the Yanks dealt a final blow to their bitter rivals by preventing them from becoming back-to-back division champs, and in doing so guaranteed these next two games will feature more kids than a Nickelodeon special and more scrubs than an emergency room.

Unless the Yanks decide to play all their starters again.

If that’s the case, break a leg, A-Rod. Seriously.

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14 Responses to “Sox concede divison title to Rays”
  1. B.E. Earl says:

    I just read your post for the second time, and I can’t believe it.

    Did you really want the Yankees to play their B-team because the game doesn’t mean anything to them? How about getting more pissed that the Sawx sat their superstars on a night when the Rays lost to the Tigers.

    Play the game with your best people on the field. If you don’t, you don’t get to complain about losing. Suck it up.

    You started your post with the title “Sox Concede Division Title to Rays”. That’s what happened. Don’t be pissed (calling Girardi a dick) at the Yankees for actually playing the game.

    Good luck against the Halos. The Sawx deserve them.

  2. No, I expected them to play their B team because it was a fucking monsoon AND they had nothing to play for. Appparently the only reason they did play all their starters was just to try and knock the Sox out of the division race. What if Jeter or ARod blew out a knee? You would be screaming for Girardi’s head, that’s what.

    The Sox didn’t play their starts because unlike New York, they have a reason to keep them from getting injured – its called the playoffs. And the Sawx will enjoy playing the Halos, whom they have slaughtered in the playoffs recently, unlike NY, while the Yanks sit home and watch in HD.

  3. coops2001 says:

    My take on it was that the game was meaningless for the Sox, while for the Yankees, there were some personal goals, e.g, Giambi and Abreu trying to reach 100 RBIs. And the Yankees replaced most of the starters after 2-3 at bats, and give their second string players so playing time (Gardner, Moeller), so I think that both teams were right.

  4. B.E. Earl says:

    Jeff,
    Why so angry? I was merely pointing out that your anger at the Yankees was misguided. They Yankees showed up, ready to put up a proper fight and a good game for the Fenway faithful (who braved the weather) while your Boston Red Sawx decided that the game wasn’t important enough. That’s all. It wasn’t Girardi being a dick or individuals on the Yanks padding their stats. The game, in the overall scheme of things, meant something and the Yankees showed up. Unlike the Sawx.

    The Sawx are the reigning champs and their yet their fans still seem to have an inferiority complex when it comes to the Yankees that manifests itself in finger-pointing and grade school whining. For the record, when I said that they “deserve” the Angels its because of this one game that they decided wasn’t important enough to play their big boys. Bad weather or not.

  5. Dirty Water says:

    “Appparently the only reason they did play all their starters was just to try and knock the Sox out of the division race”

    Ridiculous. Not correct. Asinine even.

    If you ask me, the starting of all skank regulars was simply a reflection of Girardi’s personality. He’s a hardass whose days are numbered in the city of $20 mil contracts.

  6. Dirty Water says:

    Yeah, that’s the ticket: the Skanks wanted to give the Fenway Faithful ‘a proper fight’.

    /rolls eyes

  7. Sorry about the tone, Earl. I realized after I typed it that it came off as angry. In fact, I was not angry in the post, as I used the phrases “interesting enough” and highly amusing” when describing the Yanks ploy. I also went on to say that Boston has no one to blame but themselves, and that Boston management is partly to blame for agreeing to play the game, if they had any say in the matter.

    I guess when you took it that I was blaming New York, I got defensive, and also because I do agree that part of the reason that the starters played is because Girardi is a dick. C’mon, there’s no denying that now, is there?

    If he should happen to sit most of those guys today and tomorrow, then what other conclusion can be drawn for playing them in a driving rainstorm last night?

  8. B.E. Earl says:

    And I kinda posted to just get a rise out of you, so I’ll admit my guilt in the matter.

    And I don’t nearly hate the Sawx as much as usual this year. Probably has something to do with Chalk. :)

  9. …I kinda posted to just get a rise out of you… Mission accomplished!
    But sometimes that’ll happen when it’s close to two in the morning.

    Ah yes, Rock Chalk Mohawk is going a long way towards uniting Sox and Yanks fans this year, isn’t he? When they fall back to oblivion next year we won’t have to worry about that anymore though.

  10. coops2001 says:

    Largely a meaningless topic for fans of both teams. Red Sox fans can ponder the playoffs against the Angles and the Yankees can focus on rebuliding. Let’s move on….

  11. FrankDiscussion says:

    Chad Moeller, Cody Ransom, Brett Gardner, not really part of the “A” Yankee lineup. Still though, that entire game seemed almost surreal.

    It’s still baseball and you still play to win.

  12. Frank,
    Not to belabor a point that, like coops said, is really not worth belaboring, but Ranson came in after Jeter left due to a sore hand, Gardner has been starting regularly for weeks, and I mentioned Moeller was the only non-regular to start.

    Still, the Sox have no one to blame but themselves, and I think every Sox fan was resigned to the fact that they were going to be the WC entrant after that final game against Tampa Bay. No one is going to fault NY for playing its starters. I just found it…curious, but I bet Boston would have done the same thing if the roles were reversed.

  13. Dirty Water says:

    I believe that was the one Sox-Skanks confrontation I skipped since the ’80’s. Completely meaningless. Moot. BORING. If Skanks fans want to take something from it, well, go for it. For me though, there was no fucking way I was going to watch some tedious 5 hour affair between two teams that have as much in common as their 2nd basemen.

  14. FrankDiscussion says:

    Jeff,

    I think Francona made the smart play by not having his starters play in that slop. Not worth taking any risks at this stage of the season.

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