We didn't deserve to make it. As angry, depressed, disappointed, and bitter as I am right now (and it's toned down a lot since last night), I can see that. The Red Sox mailed it in this September, and last night's debacle was nothing more than a microcosm of the last month.
They say you don't win pennants in April. That might be true, but if nothing else, this season has taught us that you sure as hell can LOSE them in April. If we didn't get swept by Cleveland (Cleveland!) the second series of 2011, we squeak into the playoffs last night - whether we could have done a damn thing one we were in? That's another story.
However, some of the reactionary stuff I was seeing on Twitter and Facebook last night was appalling, and - in many cases - downright foolish:
Let's move on:
story extolling the virtues of his managerial technique (you might have to subscribe to SI to see it - sorry).
So this brings me to the most popular sentiment of the night:
And, to wrap up the evening, here's a status update that literally made me feel sick to my stomach:
If anything, I hope this ending, this season, leaves us wiser as fans. You don't win seasons in the offseason. The playoffs are a special event, not a perennial birthright. Sometimes you're on the losing end of epic chokefests. All of these things kind of suck, and for fans like me, who didn't live through much of the storied franchise heartache (1999 and 2003, but before that was before my time), this is a stark reminder that we as Red Sox fans have lived a charmed existence.
But for me, it's worth it. I have seen two World Series Championships come to my team in my lifetime, and I believe I'll live to see many more. Last night was crushing, painful, tear-inducing, because baseball and the Red Sox are my life. But the feeling I got when I saw them win it in Colorado in 2007 and St. Louis in 2004 outweighs that heartache by an indescribable amount. Being a dedicated (some might say obsessive) fan can fucking HURT sometimes - but when it feels good, it feels SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD!