You know, if baseball was any other professional sport, wed all find a little solace in whats happened to the Red Sox. By this point, these guys would have already become our 1992 Pats or 2007 Celtics, where the frustration of late season disaster is outweighed by hopes of draft day glory.
In any other sport, wed look at the standings and say, Wow. The Sox are only four games out of a top five pick! They can do this. They can suck! And wed measure every loss as a calculated victory; a steppingstone toward the instant gratification of some game-changing prospect.
Its a delusional mentality. The ultimate case of making lemonade out of lemons, especially when theres always a chance that the lemonade tastes like crap (See: 2007 NBA lottery). But its a nice consolation when your team goes belly up.
However, thats not baseball. In baseball, top prospects disappear for at least a year, and even then, theres a better chance that your No. 1 pick has Tommy John surgery within the first 18 months than contributes at the Major League level. Sure, the bad teams still get the best players, but the concept of those best players is nowhere near as sexy, and barely a serviceable distraction.
Hell, this morning, it barely distracted this post for 200 words.
Anyway, where was I?
Oh, right. 58-16.
Thats the tally on the Sox current seven-game losing streak their longest since 2001, by the way. Check that again: 58-16. In other words, theyve been outscored by 42 runs in seven games. And while Fridays 20-2 loss in Oakland might skew the absurdity a little, getting outscored by 24 runs in six games is nothing to sneeze at it. By any calculation, this season has become a full on joke. An embarrassment.
I guess one positive is that things aren't as bad as last year. Last year, we believed in this team up until the very last out. We didnt understand the depth or detail of their malfunction and still somehow trusted that theyd overcome the obstacles and make it to the playoffs. And of course, once they were in, anything was possible.
This year, hopes for the playoffs were just about dead by mid-August and were delivered a lethal injection of cyanide with THE TRADE at the end of the month. By the time this recent road trip started, we'd already flipped the page on 2012; a turnaround was more unlikely than last year's collapse. So like I said, it makes this recent mess a little easier to swallow.
After all, by ditching Beckett and clearing up enough pay roll to buy Greece, this season is already a victory. A victory in light of all kinds of ugliness, but still a victory. A step in the right direction. The Sox could lose every game from here on out, and they'd still be in better shape organizationally than they were two months ago.
And you know what? Losing every game might not be a bad idea.
After all, they're only 10 games behind the Cubs for the No. 2 overall pick.