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Summarizing the Sox: Embracing the Role of Spoiler

If you can’t win anything of value, it’s fun to make sure no one else does either.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

It’s Week-In-Review time! Here’s what was happening in Red Sox Nation, 9/12/22 - 9/18/22.



A real ordinary week yields a real ordinary record. Two tight, but entertaining, losses to the Yankees were followed up by a series win against the Royals. You hate to lose to a team like Kansas City at all, but the reality is that the Red Sox are in a similar boat so I find it hard to get too bent out of shape over it.

Run Differential


Again, the run differential is a pretty good indicator of how the week went. They dropped two games to the Yankees by a combined three runs. Those losses are painful but at this point, it’s enough for me to see New York sweat a bit. The Sox took the opener vs. Kansas City by one run and traded blowouts to bring them nearly back to even.

Player(s) of the Week

Triston Casas and Reese McGuire

The kids are alright, especially when they face Gerrit Cole. He blasted a two-run home run off of Cole in the second inning of Tuesday’s game against the Yankees.

I love watching Cole get shelled. He makes so much money and his personality seems so “Hollywood” that I can’t help but root against him. Cole is a Goliath whose failures are made more enjoyable by the fact that his kryptonite seems to be Red Sox rookies. Whether it’s Casas, Jeter Downs, or Rafael Devers — Red Sox rookies find ways to tee off on Cole’s power fastballs. Again, making the Yankees bleed in any way possible is fun.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t shout out Reese McGuire, who’s made the post-Christian Vazquez transition as smooth as possible. He’s batting .417 with nine RBI through 27 games in Boston and he hit his first home run as a Red Sox this past week.

I have no idea how the catching innings will shake out next season, but McGuire is making a strong early case to be considered as at least a platoon guy alongside Connor Wong.

Nemesis of the Week

Aaron Judge has terrorized just about every team in the American League this year and his latest visit to Fenway provided no relief for the Red Sox. He hit two home runs on Tuesday — one of which tied the game at six in the eighth inning — and he reached base six in six of 10 attempts this week while the Yanks visited Boston.

Favorite Red Sox Content

This section is getting increasingly hard to write as the Red Sox approach the end of the regular season and difficult conversations about who to extend and re-sign become more serious. The outlook is becoming increasingly bleak so I am going to try and think more positively.

As a fan, I allow myself to fantasize about imaginary worlds in which all the players on my favorite teams are best friends and this week, I was able to revel in the fact that it might be somewhat true about Kevin Plawecki and the Red Sox. When a team is bad and there’s not much else to look for, I search for moments like the ones Plawecki’s teammates treated him to on the way out from the Red Sox.

“The family atmosphere is real,” [Alex] Cora said. “It was fun just to hang out with them and talk to them in a more relaxed environment with our guard down. It wasn’t about winning ballgames, calling games or being last place in the East. It’s being real. We were very real yesterday.”

I like when people are nice to each other. Sue me.

Bold Prediction for Next Week

Michael Wacha dominates game one in New York as the Red Sox win and Rich Hill flummoxes the Yankees for six innings, holding them hitless for four the following evening. New York, overly eager and desperate to reestablish a stranglehold on their division, will start swinging out of their shoes while the Red Sox eek out a series win.

Dennis Eckersley Quote(s) of the Week

For the remainder of the season, I will devote a section of this regular post to that gem of a commentator.

Is Eck an astrology guy? What is his sign? His thoughts on the psychic energy of crystals? I would not be completely shocked to find out that he tracks when Mercury is in retrograde.

Looking Forward

The Red Sox will hit the road for a couple of interleague games in Cincinnatti before visiting the Bronx for three games against the Yankees. Brayan Bello Day is Tuesday, while TBD is set for a Wednesday start. 2023 AL Cy Young winner Michael Wacha gets the nod on Thursday in New York, followed by Rich Hill and Nick Pivetta.

This Week in Red Sox History

On September 18, 1993, the Yankees trailed the Red Sox 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth at Yankee Stadium. Down to their last out, the Yankees put a man on for the powerful catcher Mike Stanley, who was coming in to pinch hit. Stanley lifted a harmless pop-up to left field that Mike Greenwell corralled for what should have been the final out, but a fan ran onto the field and forced third base umpire Tim Welke to call timeout.

Red Sox manager Butch Hobson was incensed but it made no difference — this fan had timed his arrival on the Yankee Stadium turf perfectly. Welke made the right call and there was nothing the Red Sox could do about it. Stanley ripped a base hit back at Greenwell with his mulligan and sparked a three-run rally that sunk the Sox.

Stanley played two more outstanding seasons in New York, making the 1995 All Star team before joining the Red Sox in 1996. He was never quite the same player again.

Watching archived video from that night, I am struck by the permanence and gravity of some dude, who had likely been drinking a bit, saying to himself or perhaps a similarly inebriated group of friends “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if I did?”.

He never touched a ball, bat or glove. He never saw a pitch, played the field or even put on a uniform. He didn’t hand in a lineup card or call for a substitute. And he still turned an otherwise innocuous night into a painful memory and distinct chapter of one of sports' greatest rivalries.

Oh, yeah. Roger Clemens also struck out 20 batters three years later. So that was pretty cool too.