The refrain of "one time" will be a familiar one to anybody who has been exposed in any small way to the televised poker phenomenon that seemed to take over networks both sporting and otherwise a few years ago. It was a plea to the universe: "just this once, this one time, let me get that one great bit of luck to stay alive."
Two general rules for the use of this:
- It is for use primarily when the petitioner has gotten themselves in a bad situation.
- Unless it's very early on in the proceedings, the petitioner is actually saying "this fifth/sixth/twentieth time."
That second rule seems to diminish the impact of the mantra. If we lived in a world where karma was scientific law, the man who had asked so many times before and received occasionally would be less likely to get what they want then the one who has been denied time and again.
I bring all this up because fans of the 2012 Red Sox had been asking for "one time" for most of the first four months while the Red Sox occasionally played at contention without ever really getting over the hump, providing the convincing series win, or establishing themselves against the best. About the closest we got was when the Sox took three straight from the Tigers before losing the fourth game, and even then they only managed to jump a couple of games above .500.
With that in mind, I think the Red Sox owe it to their fans. They owe us that "one time," and while I realize I might be jumping the gun on this, I want to cash in my karmic credit. I want to win this series. All I ask is a few good games. Not a miracle revival of the season, just a series win against the New York Yankees in Fenway Park.
It's not a matter of the Red Sox not losing anymore. After going 1-11, those who aren't up to dealing with this level of garbage have already taken their leave. Losses are no longer even particularly burdensome. On some level, it's gotten to the point where a loss, if it can be achieved without bad performances from important players (Pedroia, Lester, Ellsbury, Buchholz, Ross, et bullpen), is not really even a negative. It's just normal, the natural state of the 2012 Red Sox.
But for once there's something to be had from a win, and as a result, there's something to lose in the event of a loss. While there's little possibility that the Red Sox are going to see their ideal playoff scenario play out (well, ideal accepting the clear wall that's developed between those contending and those not), it's entirely realistic that the Yankees can miss out on the division title, or even the one-game play-in for the two wild card teams. And the Sox can help make one of those scenarios a reality.
All they have to do is win a few games. Easier said then done, obviously. This roster is terrible, and shouldn't be beating anyone, much less the Yankees. But even the 1932 Red Sox--the worst team in the franchise's history--managed to take two wins in a three-game stretch against the Yankees. The Astros just took a series from the Reds!
We Sox fans may have asked for our one time plenty of times this year, and we've certainly had that "one time" in history (2004, anyone?), but they've yet to actually cash any in this season.
So fro all the people who've sat through this awful season from the beginning, I bey you: one time.