Monday, July 17, 2006

Pleading the Fifth

Not exactly a blistering start to the 2nd half for our heroes. The Sox go down again yesterday to that juggernaut from Oakland, 8-1, at Fenway. Making matters worse, those stiffs from Chicago got swept by the Yankees in New York over the weekend - so the lead is now basically no longer a lead. The Sox and Yanks are separated by a half-game this morning.

Again, the issue of not having a reliable fifth starter reared its ugly head. Kansas City cast-off Kyle Snyder pitched a clean game through four innings, before reality caught up with him in the top of the fifth and the A's put a five-spot on the scoreboard. The only two highlights on the Sox' side involved Alex Gonzalez, who made a dazzling double play and smacked his sixth homer of the year.

Part of me wants to sit here this morning and bitch and moan about why the Sox couldn't pull away from the Yankees in the first half. I want to know why Theo didn't pull the trigger on a deal that would help provide some separation. I want to know why he pulled the trigger on the Arroyo/Pena deal, when most intelligent fans hated it from day one. We may have ended an 86-year drought in 2004, but second-guessing is still in our blood. Everyone knows this is the year the Red Sox have to win the division, and as various Yankees kept falling in the first half, the pieces seemed to be in place.

The other part of me knew this was coming. After all, if we've learned one thing throughout all of our Yankee-hating years, it's to not discount the Bombers. Mussina, Jeter, and Randy Johnson could have gone down and the Yankees would still be breathing down our necks. Nothing comes easy in these parts, which in a weird, sadomasochistic kind of way, makes it all fun. It should be one hell of an interesting trading deadline.

If you're looking for a panacea for the ailing Sox, there's 25 guys from Kansas City rolling into Fenway tonight for the first of three games. The descendants of George Brett, Amos Otis and Frank White are 27 games below .500 in the tough AL Central. The Sox need to take at least two of three. If they don't, there will be panic in the streets of the Back Bay. Yanks take on Seattle in the Bronx.

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