You put up a good fight. What other team could have made it this far with a mostly Double-A lineup and season-ending injuries to a third of their Opening Day Lineup? You never gave up, even when *some* fans gave up on you.
I'm already giving in to the temptation to look back on the season and say "what if?" What if Jacoby Ellsbury had called off Adrian Beltre back in April? What if Josh Beckett had been A-OK from the start, and hadn't spent most of the year in limbo on the DL and the rest figuring out his shit? What if Dustin Pedroia had swung and missed at that infamous foul-tip? What if Kevin Youkilis hadn't broken his thumb?
We haven't had to say this in a while, but I guess we'll wait 'til next year. You've spoiled us, Red Sox... since 2003, we've had the excitement and joy of Soxtober six-out-of seven years. Of those six years, you've gone all the way twice - can you believe it?
I'm trying so hard to move on from this lost season, but it's so difficult to accept that there will be no miraculous comebacks, and no reasons for champagne at Fenway this autumn. The division was there for the taking, if you could all have stayed away from your freak accidents... What are your offseason habits, breaking mirrors and walking your black cats under ladders placed on the foul lines?
I don't blame you, dear Red Sox, but it would have been easier if you had lost out to the spectacular teams that Tampa Bay and New York were slated to be, but the fact is that they were both beatable. Tampa Bay has been scarred by injuries (albeit less severe than your own) and a balky bullpen, while New York has had a singular sure thing in its rotation all season (Sabathia) while the rest of the starters struggled with fatigue, age, or inconsistency.
I mean, Derek Jeter is having his worst season ever, and the words "Past a diving Jeter" are now even more commonplace in Yankee broadcasts.
Perhaps the most frustrating is the way you've performed against the "bad" teams. Splitting the season series with Baltimore is just not going to cut it - we're blaming your losses on the minor-league lineup you've dealt with, but the likes of Baltimore, Kansas City, and Cleveland play with those caliber lineups all year round, and you couldn't seem to beat them.
I guess I'm writing you this letter as more of a cathartic exercise for myself than anything else... there's a week left in the season, and you're stuck playing spoiler while I'm stuck watching you. Even when you disappoint me, I just can't quit you, Red Sox. I think you're my one true love, and I'll defend you to the death from my fellow students who just "rediscovered" their Yankee fandom, and from those few who have realized that the Rays are actually good.
You haven't made it easy to love you, but I don't mind showing my loyalty by giving anecdotal evidence of the wonderful games and team dynamic you've had this year, not to mention the grit and determination you've shown to keep things interesting right down to the wire.
I'll be watching you until the end, and I'll follow you throughout the offseason, wearing my Red Sox attire and hoping for your members to heal while Theo finds you some great new pieces.
Until we meet again in Fort Meyers, Red Sox, I remain faithfully yours,