My sons and a rivalry

I have written before about the fact that I am raising one of my twin boys to be a San Francisco Giants fan and the other to be a Los Angeles Dodgers fan.

It only seems right.
Why would they be Red Sox fans? They’ve never stepped foot on New England soil. Yet we’ve lived in both Northern and Southern California.

Now they aren’t really into it yet, although they love wearing their team hats.
But they are getting close to the age when you start to follow a team.
And my Giant fan son is well aware that his team “won the trophy” last year.

Tonight after dinner, they finished watching an episode of Zooboomafoo and I saw that the Giants and Dodgers were in the bottom of the 9th inning.

What happened next made me question if I am a good father.

I turned to TV to Prime Ticket and Vin Scully was calling the game.
I explained that it was Dodgers 3 and Giants 0.
If the Giants scored 4 times, they would win.
But if the Dodgers got three outs before the Giants could tie the game, the Dodgers would win.

So Aidan, the Giants fan, cheered every batter on the defending champs.
Matty, the Dodger fan, loved that the players were wearing the same hat that HE wears.

The Giants tried to rally, but Matt Kemp made a fabulous catch against the wall.

At one point Giant fan Aidan tried to cover Dodger fan Matty’s eyes. I guess his logic was if he wasn’t enjoying the proceedings, NOBODY should see it.

They each gave a “YAY” for their team. A “Go Giants!” and “Come on win, Dodgers!”
And I sat back in my seat, glowing. I was hoping that they were beginning to love this game. And seeing that I watched so much baseball with MY parents that I was passing the bond on.

Then the Giants lost.

It was the 6th time in 7 games that the Giants were held to 2 runs or fewer.

Matty gave a cheer.
Aidan rolled over on his belly.

AIDAN (The Giants fan.): Daddy.

ME: Yeah buddy.

AIDAN: I’m going to have a nightmare tonight.

ME: Why, pal?

(Aidan began to cry and pointed to the television.)

AIDAN: The Giants lost.

He came up to me, and hugged me. Tears flowing.

MATTY (The Dodger fan): Don’t worry Aidan. It doesn’t matter if you win or not. It’s all about having fun.

(I love Matty’s sentiment. But in truth, it DOES matter when it is your vocation!)

AIDAN: The Giants are NEVER going to win again.

ME: Buddy… your team won the Trophy last year. They are a good team. They just lost a game. MY team lost a game today too. But in baseball you win, you lose and you follow your team every day.

AIDAN: They didn’t even score.

MATTY: Don’t worry. They’ll score tomorrow.

(Matty is clearly unaware of the Giants inability to score.)

AIDAN: I can’t believe they lost.

Aidan sat like a lump, arms wrapped around me.
And I couldn’t help but this that I did this to him.

He was a happy boy today playing and collecting pictures of animals and I introduced into his life the emotional rollercoaster of following millionaires playing a game.

But hey!
At least his team has won a title in his lifetime.
It’s been since 1988 for the Dodgers.

This is a big step into a larger world for both of them.

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Well… we wanted an exciting September

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation for tomorrow.
Let’s say the Cardinals, Rays and Angels all win at home tomorrow.

Not an outlandish scenario.
James Shields is pitching for Tampa Bay.
Jake Westbrook is throwing for the Cardinals.
Ervin Santana is going in Anaheim.

All are capable of winning a game at home.

So what happens if they do.

The Rays would be three back in the loss column of the Red Sox for the Wild Card.
The Angels would remain one back in the loss column of the Rangers for the West and four back of the Red Sox for the Wild Card.

And the Cardinals would be a mere 4 back in the loss column of the Braves for the Wild Card and remain only 5 back in the loss column of the Brewers.

None of them would be at “It’s anyone’s race” level. But they would ALL be at the “One more bad week and you should start worrying” stage.

What team will summon the ghosts of the 2007 Mets?

I wanted drama this September.
But I also wanted the Red Sox to clinch and get healthy.
I don’t like this… not one bit.

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Seriously… if you are going to lose. LOSE. Get blown out of the water. Make it embarrassing.
Make it like yesterday when John Lackey showed that he should be cut.

Don’t do this.
Don’t have a pair of dramatic 9th inning homers to tie the game and send it into extras.
Don’t burn 2 innings from Papelbon the day before they NEED to win and avoid a sweep.

Man, Daniel Bard is making Jonathan Papelbon’s agent salivate.
And this team is making me vomit.

Time to update the tally.


April 8 – 9-6 win against the Yankees. (The Sox end their 6 game losing streak with a slugfest. John Lackey stinks but Phil Hughes stinks even more.)
April 10 – 4-0 win against the Yankees. (Beckett and Sabathia duel in a game that was 1-0 until the late innings.)
April 20 – 5-3 win in Oakland. (Red Sox survive a lead off homer and two bases loaded situations and facing the tying run at the plate to win their first road game.)
April 21 – 4-2 win in Anaheim. (The Red Sox stranded 15 men on base and Josh Beckett’s went 8 strong with no decision. But the Sox rallied in the 11th to win.)
April 22 – 4-3 win in Anaheim. (Peter Bourjos makes a 2 run errors and the Red Sox survive a bizarre passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia that let a run scored from second.)
May 1 – 3-2 win against the Mariners. (Ichiro loses a ball in the sun that turns into a 9th inning triple for Lowrie. Crawford singles him home for the win.)
May 8 – 9-5 win against the Twins. (Dice-K lets up 3 runs in the first but settles down as the Red Sox clobber Carl Pavano.)

May 9 – 2-1 win against the Twins. (A bullpen breakdown cost Beckett the decision but Cark Crawford ended the game with an 11th inning walk off hit.)
May 13 – 5-4 win in the Bronx. (Youkilis homers off of Joba and Bard and Papelbon make it more interesting than it needed to be.)
May 15 – 7-5 win in the Bronx. (Sox fall behind 4-1 but come back as Youk, Papi and Salty all homer.)
May 16 – 8-7 win against the Orioles. (Down 6-0 after 6 innings, the Sox rally and win it with a 2 run walk off double by Adrian Gonzalez)
May 18 – 1-0 win against Detroit. (With 2 outs in the 8th, Salty doubles home Crawford from first for the only run. Papelbon gets himself in and out of 9th inning trouble.)
May 19 – 4-3 win against Detroit. (Bard blows Beckett’s lead but Carl Crawford wins it with a walk off hit.)
May 24 – 4-2 win in Cleveland. (Varitek throws two runners out and homers as the Red Sox win their first game against the Indians.)
May 29 – 4-3 win in Detroit. (The Red Sox blow an early 3-0 lead but David Ortiz wins the game with a pinch 9th inning homer.)
June 3 – 8-6 win against Oakland. (Buchholz lets up 4 runs in the first but the Sox come back thanks to Carl Crawford’s 2 run single.)
June 4 – 9-8 win against Oakland. (Red Sox blow a 4 run 9th inning lead and trail in the 11th before Ellsbury ties it and Drew wins it in 14.)
June 7 – 6-4 win in the Bronx. (Papelbon strikes out A-Rod to end the game with a runner on base.)
June 9 – 8-3 win in the Bronx. (Down 2-0 to Sabathia in the 7th, the Sox score 7 runs as Papi exacts revenge after getting plunked. A 3+ hour rain delay pushed the game past 1:30 AM)
June 15 – 3-0 win in Tampa Bay. (Youkilis homers in the 7th for the only runs in Beckett’s 1 hit masterpiece.)
June 16 – 4-2 win in Tampa Bay. (Papelbon wiggles out of a 2 on, nobody out jam in the 9th thanks to Youk’s diving catch.)
June 26 – 4-2 win in Pittsburgh. (The Pirates make 4 errors and the Red Sox score 2 in the 7th to avoid a sweep by the Bucs.
June 30 – 5-2 win in Philadelphia.(An injury to Cole Hamels leads to the Red Sox bats waking up.)
July 1 – 7-5 win in Houston. (The Sox score 6 in the 7th inning to come back and win.)
July 3 – 2-1 win in Houston. (The Red Sox score a run in the top of the 9th on a walk to break a tie.)
July 5 – 3-2 win against Toronto. (Lester gets hurt but Darnel McDonald throws out the tying run at the plate to end the game.)
July 6 – 6-4 win against Toronto. (The Sox score 4 in the 4th to take the lead and Wakefield and company hang on for dear life.)
July 10 – 8-6 win against Baltimore. (The Orioles score 6 runs off of rookie Kyle Weiland in the second, but the Red Sox hit three homers in the bottom of the second to tie the game and hold for dear life.)
July 16 – 9-5 win in Tampa. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 3-0 first inning hole, but 3 Sox homers bring them back for the win.)
July 17 – 1-0 win in Tampa. (Beckett throws a masterpiece and the bullpen throws 8 amazing innings. But the Sox bats go dead, leaving 17 men on base before Pedroia drove in a run with 2 outs in the 16th inning.)
July 18 – 15-10 win in Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 6-2 lead but score 8 runs in the 8th to take the game.)
July 22 – 7-4 win against Seattle. (John Lackey beat Felix Hernandez and Mike Carp’s error helped the Red Sox score 5 in the 7th to give them some breathing room.)
July 23 – 3-1 win against Seattle. (Ellsbury gets Beckett off the hook in a tight pitchers duel when he got a 2 out, 2 strike 2 run go ahead single in the 8th.)
July 26 – 13-9 win against the Royals. (The Sox trailed in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th before the bats exploded in the 5th.
August 2 – 3-2 win against Cleveland. (Youk tied the game with a 6th inning homer and Salty dove home for the winning run in the 9th.)
August 3 – 4-3 win against Cleveland. (Ellsbury hits a walk off shot in the 9th.)
August 7 – 3-2 win against the Yankees (The Sox rally off of Rivera in the 9th and win on Josh Reddick’s 10th inning single)
August 8 – 8-6 win in Minnesota. (Down 5-1, the Red Sox rally back, then score twice in the 9th to give the Sox the win.)
August 9 – 4-3 win in Minnesota. (Darnell McDonald’s homer ties the game and Ortiz singles home the game winner as Bard worked out of trouble in the 7th.)
August 12 – 6-4 win in Seattle. (Reddick and Ortiz homered to bail out Lackey.)
August 16 – 3-1 win against Tampa Bay. (Pedroia makes a diving catch in the 9th to help preserve the win.)
August 18 – 4-3 win at Kansas City. (Sox hold on despite having three base runners thrown out by the outfielders.)
August 31 – 9-5 win against the Yankees. (Beckett blows a 4-1 lead but homers by Ellsbury and Varitek put the Sox on top.)


April 1 – 9-5 loss in Texas. (The Sox tie Opening Day in the 8th with an Ortiz homer only to have Bard implode and the Sox let up 4 in the bottom of the 8th.)

April 5 – 3-1 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox drop their 4th straight as the bats are dead in Cleveland.)
April 7 – 1-0 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow a great Lester performance on a squeeze bunt and Darnell McDonald overrunning the bag to end the game.)
April 12 – 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay. (A solid Lester performance is wasted as Kyle Farnsworth of all people shuts down the Sox.)
April 15 – 7-6 loss to Toronto. (Bobby Jenks implodes with a 4 run seventh inning as the Red Sox waste Pedroia and Youkilis homers and a clutch RBI double by Scuatro.
April 19 – 5-0 loss in Oakland. (Pedroia gets picked off, the Sox bats go dead and waste a solid Lackey start.)
April 26 – 4-1 loss in Baltimore. (Buchholz pitches tentatively and the Sox let Kevin Gregg of all people to close out the 9th.)
April 27 – 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (The Sox tie the game with a 3 run 8th only to have Bard lose it in the bottom of the 8th.)
April 29 – 5-4 loss to Mariners. (Bobby Jenks blows a 7th inning lead, wasting 2 Mike Cameron homers.)
April 30 – 2-0 loss to Mariners. (The Sox strand 11 runners and let Milton Bradley double home the go ahead run.)
May 4 – 5-3 loss to Angels. (7 hours with rain delays and stranded runners. Marco Scutaro was thrown out at the plate in the 12th)
May 10 – 7-6 loss in Toronto. (8th and 9th inning heroics, including a homer by Adrian Gonzalez, are undone by a walk off sacrifice fly by David Cooper.)
May 21 – 9-3 loss to Cubs. (Up 3-1 in the 8th inning, the bullpen and defense implode. The Cubs score 8 runs while both teams wear their 1918 uniforms.)
May 23– 3-2 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox blow a 2-1 8th inning lead when the Indians rally with 2 outs. Crawford ends the game on a double play.)
May 29 – 3-0 loss in Detroit. (Verlander keeps the Sox off base and prevents the sweep.)
June 1 – 7-4 loss to White Sox. (Konerko drives in three, spoiling a game tying Ortiz homer.)
June 14 – 4-0 loss in Tampa Bay. (Wakefield’s solid outing is spoiled. Longoria scores on a passed ball.)
June 18 – 4-2 loss to Milwaukee. (The Brewers hit three homers early off of Lester and hang on.)
June 21 – 5-4 loss to San Diego. (Ortiz hits a double play in the 9th to stifle a potential winning rally.)
June 24 – 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox strand 7 runners in scoring position.)
June 25 – 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox fall out of first as Pedroia’s error leads to a Pirates run.)
June 29 – 2-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Vance Worley duels John Lackey and slumping Raul Ibanez drives in both runs.)
July 4 – 9-7 loss to Toronto. (John Lackey’s miserable start puts the Sox in too big a hole to climb out of.)
July 19 – 6-2 loss in Baltimore. (Scutaro gets thrown out stealing and the Orioles tack on 3 big runs late.)
July 25 – 3-1 loss to the Royals. (Scutaro botches a potential game winning squeeze play in the 12th as the Red Sox lose in 14.)
July 28 – 4-3 loss to the Royals. (Crawford’s bid for a walk off homer falls just short.)
July 29 – 3-1 loss to the White Sox. (Sox blow a late 1-0 lead and spoil a solid Wakefield start.)
August 1 – 9-6 loss to Cleveland. (Asdrubal Cabrera’s second home run was an 8th inning tie breaking shot off of Daniel Bard.)
August 4 – 7-3 loss to Cleveland. (Carlos Santana’s homer broke a 3-3 tie.)
August 5 – 3-2 loss to the Yankees. (The Sox leave the bases loaded in the 5th and the Yankees score 3 in the 6th to take the lead.)
August 10 – 5-2 in Minnesota. (The Twins score 3 in the 8th, spoiling Ortiz’s game tying homer.)
August 13 – 5-4 loss in Seattle. (Mariners score 5 in the first and the Red Sox come back falls short.)
August 14 – 5-3 loss in Seattle. (The Red Sox comeback falls short as Wakefield loses a complete game).
August 16 – 6-2 loss against Tampa Bay. (The Red Sox pull a triple play but a late rally by the Rays puts the game out of reach.)
August 21 – 9-4 loss at Kansas City. (The Royals’ 8 run 6th spoils a 4-1 Sox lead and Wakefield’s bid to win 200 games.)
August 30 – 5-2 loss to the Yankees. (Sabathia finally beats the Sox and Cervelli’s homer sparks bean balls.)
September 1 – 4-2 loss to the Yankees. (Russell Martin’s 2 run double in the 7th put the Yankees on top for good. Rivera struck out Gonzalez with the bases loaded to end the game.)
September 5 – 1-0 loss in Toronto. (Beckett sprains his ankle and Brett Lawrie homered in the 11th to win.)
September 7 – 11-10 loss in Toronto. (Bard melts down in the 8th, preventing Tim Wakefield’s 200th win. Aviles is thrown out trying to steal to end the game.)
September 10 – 6-5 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox get 2 homers in the 9th to tie the game only to lose it in the 11th.)

Down to +4

Now to hand the ball to Lester in a must win game.
If the Sox lose, their lead will be 3 in the loss column.

Their April and September have both sucked.
As for October? Can we even count that they will be PLAYING in October?

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