Following a devastating loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox look to put this season behind them and move on. The 2008 regular season may have been eventful and certainly wasn’t boring.
Another chapter of Manny being Manny is behind us and it’s now up to Los Angeles to deal with him. The newcomers haven’t brought new life to the team as much as they have brought a seasoned veteran feel. Jason Bay will return in 2009 but Mark Kotsay is questionable.
The most notable expected departure is the one of the captain, Jason Varitek. There is still a possibility of his return in 2009, but with the equation of his age and the number of years he wants in his contract, the outlook seems dim. I personally feel that his days in a Boston uniform are over unless he can accept that he is not Brett Favre and cannot play at his age when new talent outshines him.
The Boston Red Sox entered the 2008 season in March when they faced the Oakland Athletics in Japan; this was an extremely long trip and early start to the season. Much of the teams’ lack of success was blamed on this trip. The normal Major League team plays only six months, where as the Red Sox played a little under seven.
The season wasn’t filled with just bad memories because for many 2008 was seen as a historic campaign. The team produced two MVP candidates in Dustin Pedroia, (the front runner) and Kevin Youkilis, (the likely runner-up).The fans also broke an all-time attendance record for an MLB team with 456 consecutive sellouts.
Another positive spin on this season was the destruction of the evil empire in New York and an end to Yankee Stadium. The Bronx bombers looked absolutely dreadful this season with little sign of change in 2009.
Other 2008 surprises were the poor performance of the Detroit Tigers (who were believed to be a World Series contender) and the surprise success of the Tampa Bay Rays. Not only did the Rays win the American League East, but Rookie of Year candidate Evan Longoria and his supporting cast displayed total dominance from start to finish.
In conclusion, I may not be Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe, but I am a true fan and I know what Boston sports are all about. People may not agree with my opinions on baseball or football but that’s why they are opinions.
I can honestly say that Boston’s chances of making it this far next year are slim considering that the AL East has become a super-division. A trip to the World Series in 2009 would be nice, but we cannot expect it every season because everyone gets their turn to shine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "No great man ever complains of want of opportunities." The Boston fans of this era have expected too much and that takes away the never-say-die feeling that structured this great organization. Red Sox Nation waited 86 years before they won again and no, it is complete chaos and anarchy around here.
When it come time to face the facts we need to see that perfect seasons are unreal and things can change in the blink of an eye.