In keeping with what used to be an annual rite in New England, the Red Sox experienced a letdown when the games mattered most. However, the Babe is no longer a convenient scapegoat in this post-2004 Boston baseball era.
Apparently the Orioles must now share in the blame.
Again from Shaughnessy (emphasis added):
There was nothing fluky about this outcome, folks. It was a three-game sweep, a Boston beatdown in which all of the locals’ flaws were exposed. Just as we feared, the 2009 Red Sox were artificially enhanced by home-field dominance (56-25 at Fenway) and a lot of games against the Triple A Orioles. Ultimately, the Franconamen were a team with too many holes to win a World Series.
Triple A – Yes, the Orioles are now held in that low of regard by the Boston faithful.
The Red Sox mediocrity against teams outside of Baltimore was a point of local concern even before the postseason, as I noted in a previous post. Here’s hoping the Orioles can help Red Sox fans develop more realistic expectations in the future.
With apologies to my friends who are loyal to the Red Sox, Boston’s final meltdown couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Looks like there won’t be any RiverDancing from Jonathan Papelbon this season.
Speaking of Papelbon, O’s Minor League Pitching Coach Mike Griffin likes how Chris Tillman, Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez, and Jason Berken stack up against the likes of Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen and Clay Buchholz.
Here’s an excerpt from Steve Melewski’s article on MASNsports.com:
Griffin has a track record of developing Major League pitchers. While in the Boston organization he worked with the likes of Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen and Clay Buchholz.
He said the Orioles’ foursome he worked with the last two seasons, compares quite well to that Boston group.
“This group right here is ahead of that (Boston) group. Because they are learning faster. They are getting the things they need to get done quicker. That’s why they are in the Majors quicker.”
So can the O’s foursome turn out to be as good in the Majors as those Boston hurlers?
“Probably, I sure as heck hope so. Let’s put it this way, they’re in position to do it. Now it’s up to them at this level to take the work ethic, apply it, get Kranny’s help and use it up here.”
Here’s some other quality off-season O’s reading:
-Heath at Dempsey’s Army keeps you up to speed on the Arizona Fall League. The man is a dedicated baseball fan if ever there was one.
-Domenic Vandala at FanHouse wonders, on the heels of Barry Levinson’s fantastic look back at the Baltimore Colts Marching Band, if the Orioles would ever leave town. Vandala credits Peter Angelos for his loyalty to Baltimore.
-Paul Francis Sullivan of Sully Baseball so believes there should be a Division Series Most Valuable Player that he has retroactively named the MVPs from 1995 to present. B.J. Surhoff and Mike Mussina take home the imagined hardware for the 1996 and 1997 ALDS, respectively.
Image source: Boston.com