Does anyone else out there remember what happened last time the Yankees clinched the AL East while the Sox "settled" for the Wild Card? I do, and you can break out your favorite cliche, because October 2004 was the month that pigs flew, and Hell froze over, and the rest is history.
For my final cliche of this entry, I would like to note that a picture is worth a thousand words:To me, and thousands of Red Sox fans world wide, this picture is worth much more than a thousand words: it's worth our sanity. This photo represents the end of the "1918!" chants, the end of the "lovable loser" mentality, and the beginning of a wonderful new era.
Sure, Varitek is a shell of the man he used to be, and Foulke (obviously) is no longer with the team, but I use this picture to remind the panicking segment of Red Sox Nation that nothing is impossible. In 2004, the Yankees went 101- 61 in the regular season, and the Sox finished at a respectable 98-64. We were the underdogs going into the ALCS, and, especially after Game 3, people were lining up on the Tobin Bridge. The Yankees were Pedro's Daddy, Schilling had a bum ankle, and hope seemed lost. You all know what happened next, and it led to the party to end all parties throughout New England.
Why the pseudo-history lesson? Sure, it sucked to watch the Yankees celebrate yesterday (I assume? I turned off the television when Golden Boy made the final out.), but the alarmists within Red Sox Nation are freaking everyone out, and there's just no need for that yet.
The Sox magic number is two. They have seven left to play (three against the Jays, and four against the Indians). The bats will get hot at the right time, the starting pitchers are hitting their stride, and the bullpen will have time to rest before the playoffs start.
And, just to leave you with a smile on your face, here's another priceless picture from that magical month in 2004: