Baseball is a difficult sport to care about. I get that. I personally love it, but following 162 games a year can get a little monotonous, especially when you root for a team that doesn’t even come close to making the playoffs. (Sorry, Mariner fans.)
However, at the risk of receiving some hate mail, I’m a Yankees fan and look forward to the playoffs every year. But when the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, so was my interest. However, MLB has managed to hold my interest with the catastrophic demise of the Boston Red Sox following the end of their 2011 season.
As a Yankees fan it’s hard to not take delight in the Red Sox problems, but after a while it’s overwhelming. For the past decade, the Red Sox have been arguably the most popular and most dominant team in the league. This year seemed to be no different.
Entering September’s games, the Red Sox but had a lock on the American League wildcard, with a shot at the division title as well. However, they ended up going 7-20 in September and their closer blew a lead in the very last game of the season, which allowed the Tampa Bay Rays to pass by them directly into the playoffs.
As if this weren’t bad enough, now the team has lost their coach, Terry Francona, and their general manager, Theo Epstein. While it’s not uncommon for teams to hire and fire these positions regularly, these moves are a little more significant than just an employee turnover. Yes, these men were keys to the Red Sox success, but they were more than that to the Red Sox nation. They were a symbol of security to Red Sox fans that their team would continue to have success in the MLB.
The 2012 season is a ways off, but the removal of those two significant men marks the end of an era for Red Sox Nation. The real question is: will the Red Sox survive future seasons without these two key contributors? Dramatic phrases aside, only time will tell.