We're nearing October. The Yankees are in town. There's a chill in the night air.
These ingredients used to create one of the best three-day sports feasts in the world. Today, they create a heaping meal of irrelevance.
The Red Sox (63-78, 16.5 games out of AL East) might as well be out of sight and out of mind for the Boston sports fan at this stage. In case you haven't been paying attention (and judging by NESN's ratings of late, you haven't), Boston has won just five games since Aug. 17. The Sox are fresh off a sweep at the hands of "Senor Pipe Dream" John Farrell and the Toronto Blue Jays.
It's not just bad on Yawkey Way right now. It's, to borrow a word, "miserable."
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Even the little things that used to make bitter Red Sox fans happy (i.e. beating the Yankees even when the home team was well out of the pennant race), won't do much to satisfy the masses right now. Even though New York is in a neck-and-neck battle with Baltimore (and Tampa Bay) for the AL East title, there would be a general feeling of "where was this all season!!!????" cynicism in town if the Red Sox were somehow able to sweep the Yankees this week.
The mood of the fandom has quickly gone from joy, due to last month's trade of three major contracts, to one of fear, due to lack of trust that management will make correct decisions going forward.
The Yankees, meanwhile, will likely look at the Red Sox this week as just another opponent. The interest in the "best rivalry in sports" hasn't been this low since, arguably, 1993 when the Sox went 80-82.
That chill in the air will make Boston baseball fans happy for one reason tonight -- that being we're just one evening closer to the end of this "miserable" season.