Get the duck boats ready! We won! The Boston Red Sox won the …er…the Pawtucket Red Sox won the International League title! Bring everybody baby, because the streets of Pawtucket are going to run red tonight with Sox spirit! What’s that? That’s not spirit, it’s blood from the city’s rapidly-growing murder rate? Ah. Never mind then.
Not every organization can field two Triple-A ballclubs, but the Red Sox are not just any organization. And with the plethora of 4-A players in the farm system, can you say dynasty? Get your tickets for the PawSox now, and you might even get a shot to meet their loveable mascot…Paws! Plus, a day at McCoy Stadium doesn’t require you to undergo a reverse mortgage to enjoy the game.
By the way…would the PawSox beat the Red Sox? It’s a real question. The Red Sox are playing almost exclusively minor leaguers, and the major leaguers on the roster are playing like minor leaguers anyway. It would at least be a fun five-game series, and I’d put 100 bucks down on the PawSox at +250 to sweep the whole thing. The PawSox automatically get a win when Lester is on the mound for the big club, and there’s a chance that Alfredo Aceves would throw the series like the Black Sox did in 1919 just to get back at Bobby Valentine for demoting him from the closer’s role.
Also, is it just me, or does the fact that the Red Sox top Minor League affiliate is one game away from a championship almost add insult to injury? It’s a punchline.
“The Sox had a down year, but the PawSox sure didn’t!”
How do players who have been called up to contribute to the Red Sox limp to the finish line feel about missing out on the International League playoffs? Are they unfulfilled? Take Mauro Gomez, for instance. He was the MVP of the International League, but instead of helping his team to the title he was up in Boston helping his team lose every night.
Which is better?
And what exactly happens after you win the Minor League championship? Are the players excited? Do they get bonuses? Does it in any way help their potential Major League careers, especially if they performed well during the rigors of the International League playoff schedule? Do they take turns drinking out of the Governor’s Cup?
These are really the most important questions right now, because the Major League club is doing a woeful job of trying to play spoiler to its division rivals. I wanted to get fired up for the Sox-Yankees games the past few nights, but I couldn’t. I hope like hell the Yankees don’t make the playoffs, but if the Sox actually win a few games at this point it’s just going to piss me off. I’m going to be sitting there watching going “Oh, NOW you can win. Where was this for the other 150 games?”
It’s almost not worth it.
Plus, someone has to win the American League East, and all three teams vying for the title are despicable. The Yankees are obviously enemy No. 1, but the Rays are such a loathsome group. It’s so easy to dislike them, their manager and their non-fans. So I don’t want them to win either.
Then there’s the Orioles, who are also easy to despise after last season. They knocked the Sox out of the playoffs at the end of the season, with Buck Showalter making pitching changes like it was Game 7 of the World Series. That was after Showalter inexplicably talked smack about the Red Sox out of the blue, despite the Orioles not having made the playoffs in 15 years. The fact that he’s now backing it up is infuriating.
Who the hell do we root for? If you’re a Sox fan, you’d like to spoil the Yankees chances of winning, but that’s about the only thing that we can say for sure. By knocking the Yanks down a peg, we’re still helping out the Rays and the Orioles.
If only the Blue Jays were in the hunt…
And what a hunt it is, too. The second Wild Card has worked out perfectly, keeping a million teams in the playoff chase right up until the end. Pennant races are so much fun, and I’m ridiculously jealous of the fans of every single team that gets to watch their group duke it out with the others for a spot in the postseason.
The Sox are also only half-a-game behind the Royals in the race for fourth-worst record in the American League. Meanwhile, the A’s are 82-61 and have the second-best record in the league.
But what those teams have in September baseball, the Sox are making up for with International League championships. Would you rather make the playoffs as the second Wild Card team and get knocked out immediately or would you rather have a Triple-A title that will last a lifetime and will make the beautiful people of Pawtucket happier then they are on Tuesday nights, when they take to the streets and hunt down stray dogs? I’d take the PawSox title all day, and twice on Sunday. Poor Mauro Gomez probably would too, but unfortunately he has to go play Major League baseball. What a bummer.
While the Yankees fans will sit at home wondering how they can fix their pitching staff after Oakland beats them in the Wild Card play-in game, Sox fans will sit at home and tell stories about the 28-year-old journeymen who led us to the Minor League promised land. Oh, and the Henry group may or may not be selling the franchise. Nothing to see here, move along…
At the end of the day, who can say this season is a waste. Just look at how happy Paws is in that picture above. He’s practically wetting himself. We may not be parading down the streets of Boston anytime soon, but we’re bringing the hardware home to Pawtucket, baby. Let’s shoot some stray dogs!