Saturday, May 29, 2010

Are The Red Sox Even Playing?

Congrats to the Boston Celtics, who last night won the NBA Eastern Conference Championship and have advanced to NBA Finals for the second time in three years. The C's were not supposed to get this far. In fact, they weren't even supposed to get close.

It's great the NBA Finals will come back to Boston. Two years ago, the NBA did a great job bringing the basketball theme to the Rose Kennedy Greenway by the Garden. They erected a huge replica of the NBA logo and, of course, a giant basketball. It was neat.

And every local fan I talk to is happy the Celtics can distract them from the lowly Red Sox. In fact, I am not even sure why the Red Sox are trying. So far as I can tell, their fans have given up. A few weeks back, I was able to get reasonably priced, good seats to a Red Sox-Yankees game the day before the game. There is surprisingly less pink in the Fenway Park stands of late.

Except for one problem. The Red Sox are not playing that badly. At four games above .500, the Red Sox would actually be in first place of their division if they made their home out west. (Texas, the current leader of the American League West, is a game behind the Sox in the standings).

I hear that David Ortiz is horrible. Except when I look at the stats, he's doing much better now (or perhaps fans just have a ridiculously inflated sense of how he should be doing). He's batting .265 for the year (including his admittedly very slow start). Not great, but certainly not as bad as people claim. He's tied for the team lead with 10 home runs (More HRs, by the way, than the Yankees A-Rod).

The problem is the Red Sox are in a very tough division. Of the nine teams across the Majors that have a better record than Boston's sluggers, three of them are in the same division (Tampa Bay, my New York Yankees and Toronto). But that doesn't mean Boston stinks.

So while the Celtics continue their march toward a Championship, the Red Sox are quietly gaining momentum. Of course, not if you ask a Red Sox fan. To them, the season might as well be over.

And by the way, I am a Yankees fan. How about that?

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