The Sox are in Cleveland today to kick off a four-game series with the Indians, aka the only team in baseball having a worse summer than Bobby V's boys.
Before last night's win over Minnesota, Cleveland had lost 11 straight, and in the process had taken themselves from borderline Wild Card contenders to American League punchlines. They're currently nine and a half games back in the Central, nine games back in the Wild Card and look poised to miss the playoffs for the 10th time in 11th years.
See . . . it could be worse.
Anyway, since both teams are in a bad place, let's look at the past and celebrate the greatest gift that Cleveland has given Red Sox fans over these last 2012 or so years.
Setting the Box Score Bank for . . . May 26, 1994.
The cinematic masterpiece Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was No. 1 at the box office. I Swear by All-4-One was in the first of its 11-week run atop the Billboard charts. It was two months after the death of Kurt Cobain, two weeks before the deaths of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, and two months before the death of the 1994 season . . .
And here in Boston, Manny Ramirez was stepping into the Fenway batter's box for the first time in his legendary career.
Final Score: Red Sox 13, Indians 5
Ramirez was actually called up to the majors in September of the '93 season and appeared in a three-game series against the Sox (he went 4-for-12 with one RBI) that year, but it wasn't until May of 1994 that the then-21 year old made his Fenway debut.
Batting seventh, he drew a walk from Joe Hesketh in his first at-bat, then flew out, singled, struck out and flew out in four subsequent ABs. That's 1-for-4 if you're counting at home.
And in the backdrop of Manny's debut, the Sox had themselves quite an afternoon, lighting up Cleveland starter Julian Tavarez for eight runs over 1 23 innings, and scoring 11 runs over the first two innings total, in a 13-5 win. Otis Nixon was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Mike Greenwell was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Damon Berryhill hit a solo homer off Tavarez in the second.
But in the end, none of it really mattered, as the season was canceled on August 12.
Six years later, Ramirez fled Cleveland for the Sox.
Eleven years later, and here we are. Getting ready for a relatively meaningless summer series between two American League also-rans.
Can you feel it?!