The Red Sox are on pace to win 91 games and finish in first place. My sources, who have requested anonymity to ensure their safety, tell me this is good.
They tell me other things, my good little sources. I cultivated them, and they tell me that according to Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds Report, the Red Sox have a 99.5 percent chance of making the postseason, and even with the caveat that the Wild Card game isn’t the postseason, that’s pretty good. There are at 80.7 percent to win the division, which is also good, and fills up space as an additional tasty factoid to this article.
My sources, who are real, also tell me that prior to the season, we mostly thought 91 wins and a first-place finish would look like a best-case scenario, but this actual season has never felt like a best-case scenario, and likely won’t feel like it as we enter the home stretch, even as the Sox look to hit the bullseye. The culprit here, in the estimation of my esteemed sources, is that every day of the year is cause a referendum on the whole organization whether there’s a game or not. It is tedious, steaming and exhausting, and it works.
Even as a dedicated contrarian and generally optimistic fan, they (the sources) added, something about the rah-rah crowd — the Farrell defenders, the Sox propagandists, i.e., me — has even felt a little forced. My sources can’t tell if they really believe the Sox will be okay or are just pushing back against the perpetually negative Twitter tide, pulled by the gravity of inane talk radio, or at least the same inner forces. “I’m not sure the Sox will be okay, either, depending on what you mean by okay,” “says” a source. “World Series-or-bust is a tall order for every team, even the relentless 2017 Dodgers, and it’s not particularly fair to expect Boston to win it all every year or even any given year,” they added.
All that we can really ask, my insiders say, is that the Sox are good enough heading into the playoffs to potentially win it all, and this team is good enough to win it all. There have been Pablo Sandoval-sized bumps along the way and ugly David Price-led incidents in the clubhouse and a grand bat disappearing act, but there’s no denying the team’s talent... unless you choose to deny the team’s talent, which, hey, this is America, but you’re still wrong. Say my sources.
This team is self-evidently good, and whether or not is great is likely going to be decided by a few games in October rather than the body of work it produced this year, full stop. And look, you know all this. I’m rehashing my only real argument in lieu of a better column idea, because it’s a decent argument and it’s Friday and I owe a column and my sources, who are very extremely real and smart, are always available. But yeah, things are pretty okay for the Red Sox right now, especially in relationship to the majority of Red Sox history, which I suppose doesn’t matter if you didn’t live it but was often fairly butt whether you did or not.
My sources did live through these times (some of them, at least, as my sources are multigenerational. Don’t even worry about it), and tell me about a season, long ago, in which the Sox were headed for a last-place finish for the second year in a row behind a listless manager and a desperate front office. It was so long ago that Twitter used stars instead of hearts, my sources think. Can you imagine? I can’t, but I’m reliably told it happened, and I’m also reliably told that fans of the Yankees team just offshore of first place wouldn’t be complaining about the manager or team right now if the records were reversed.
My sources say, finally, that I always bring everything back to the Yankees, and okay yeah, I’m just trying to fill space anyway. They’re really fond of overlong articles on the team sites here at SB Nation, which is a shame. Why would you want to read all this? You already know how you feel about this team. It’s Labor Day weekend. Yeesh. Go outside already. Put away the phone. Stop reading blog(s). My sources demand it. There’s only so much time left to enjoy the summer. The Sox will still get here when you get back, and they’ll still be in first place. It’s September! Where did the time go?
(They don’t know.)