The Red Sox lost again last night and slipped a little deeper into the AL East basement. It was their 68th loss of the season — three more than they had all of last season — and with 38 games left on the year, well, there are 38 games left on the year. There’s not much else to do but hope that no one gets hurt, a few of the kids build some confidence and, I don’t know, maybe David Ortiz makes a run at 40 homers? Meanwhile, with the Sox short on excitement, it will be about three weeks until the Patriots play a meaningful game, more than a month before the Bruins even start the preseason and more than two months until the Celtics home opener.
Hello, dog days!
But this summer’s slow season feels especially slow, doesn’t it? And it’s not so much because nothing is going on right now, but more that nothing has happened yet. All summer. The Sox stunk since Opening Day. The Pats made all their noise in the winter. The Celtics rumbled this offseason but never broke through (and no, I’m not counting Evan Turner). The Bruins bowed out in the second round and haven’t been heard from since. Just in general, the summer of 2014 has been as explosive as a soggy bag of Pop Pops. What about Jon Lester? OK, that’s one pop. But not so much once he re-signs with the Sox this winter. So . . .
You know, one thing that might alter our perception of this summer is that last summer was so insane. Remember all that? If 2014 is a soggy bag of Pop Pops, 2013 was a turbo charged jet with Alfredo Aceves and Brandon Spikes manning the cockpit. It was terrifying and relentless. Very likely the craziest sports summer that Boston has ever known.
Sitting here today, it feels like years ago but honestly, it was just last year. And if you need a little refresher, here’s a quick timeline of events:
June 11: The Patriots sign Tim Tebow, local sports talk radio turns into a giant pile of audible cow poop and the Krafts bath in the profits.
June 25: Doc Rivers officially signs a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Clippers after weeks of nonstop speculation and rumors.
June 26: The Bruins lose the Stanley Cup in crushing fashion — allowing two goals in the final 76 seconds of Game 6.
June 27: The Celtics agree to trade Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets, thus ending the third longest (Pierce) and one of the most significant (Garnett) careers in franchise history.
June 28: Ho hum. Aaron Hernandez is charged with murder
July 3: The Celtics hire Brad Stevens out of nowhere.
July 4: The Bruins trade Tyler Seguin to Dallas.
July 6: The Bruins sign Jarome Iginla.
July 12: OUR PETS HEADS START FALLING OFF.
And all the while, from the beginning of June straight into September, the Red Sox were never more than a half-game out of first place or less than 10 games over .500.
And, oh right, this was all in the aftermath and lingering shadow of one of the most tragic events in this city’s history.
It was chaos. So much so that it was hard to even appreciate what the Red Sox were doing. At that point, sports weren’t even about sports. It was about murder, morality, ethics and religion. It got real. And that’s not a great look for sports media. It’s never all that productive or positive. It’s good for business, but not for anyone else.
By this time last year, most of the loudest noise (aside from Tebow) started to die down. It was the Dogs Days and the Red Sox were all that was left and Boston fell face first into one of the most memorable and uplifting championship runs we’ve ever seen. And it was beautiful. A much needed respite after months of non-stop nonsense.
This time THIS year, there’s no respite. No dog day savior. Just a last place baseball team and three weeks until Week 1 — a timid end to slow summer.
But after all that happened last year, maybe one slow summer isn’t all that bad.
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