Four more games of misery remain.
If last season's September swoon didn't digest in my stomach at the same rate as my grandmother's leather turkeys did in my youth, this season has brought Red Sox Nation a continuous slow, raw burn of indigestion from Opening Day.
Not even a sweep of the archrival Bronx Bombers can put a positive cap on the season from hell. Well, maybe if it resulted in the Yankees missing the postseason altogether, it might at least allow the Nation a quick chance to smirk.
Stamford's own Bobby Valentine remains a popular scapegoat for the team's plunge into baseball's outhouse, but the stench emanating from Fenway Park goes much deeper than the skipper.
Status quo seemed pretty darn good to me. How about you?
Heaping loads of money on big-name stiffs like John Lackey, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, shipping out prospects and trashing a now-departed manager who helped the franchise win two World Series are among the blood that sits on the Stooges' hands right now.
Forget about worrying about the Evil Empire, the Red Sox turned into one with the help of the Stooges. George Steinbrenner would be proud because the Sox have basically turned into the 1980s Yankees, and we know how well that group turned out.
Maybe saving the money they threw at Lackey -- to be a fourth starter no less -- and retaining their proven closer in Jonathan Papelbon might have been a good idea.
Maybe instead of shipping Josh Reddick to the A's for Pap's replacement in the off-season, the Sox could be the ones benefiting from the left-handed hitter's power surge (29 homers, 79 RBIs) while locking up right field for the next 5-10 years.
A few weeks back, my father-in-law and I attended a Sox-Yankees game up at Fenway, and for the better part of eight innings, the ballpark was about as lively as a morgue.
I never thought Yankee fans had much of a heart when it came to anything regarding Boston, but on this night, not even they wanted to kick Sox fans when they were down.
It was the equivalent of Lucy van Pelt suddenly becoming nice to Charlie Brown and letting him kick the ball for once.
Outside of a brief -- and lame -- "Yankees Suck" chant in the eighth, the only noise that came from the Red Sox faithful was the slight roar, from those that hung around, when Jacoby Ellsbury drove in the game-winning run with a single in the bottom of the ninth.
A few weeks prior, my wife and I went up for a Sox-Angels game, and the highlight of the evening for fans seemed to be booing Bobby V. every time he came out to change pitchers -- and that was often as eight of them were used in a 14-13 loss in 10 innings.
Not only has the team become unwatchable on television, but also the joy of attending a game at Fenway has even been drained away.
And don't even get me started on the lame sellout streak the Stooges shamelessly promote despite plenty of available seats each night.
So where do the Sox go from here?
I'd be shocked if Bobby V. makes it to a second season, but with the Stooges, all bets are off. Of course, with Terry Francona gone and Theo Epstein in Chicago, someone needs to take the blame, right?
There's plenty of payroll available now, but who is worth the money now on the open market? Josh Hamilton is the best of the bunch but brings with him major baggage.
Do they throw big money at the aging Big Papi to at least give the franchise another face for the next few years along with Dustin Pedroia?
Do they ship out impending free-agent Ellsbury to try to recoup some of the young talent they lost in previous deals?
Would anyone even want anyone else?
Down on the farm, a few good men remain, including former UConn ace Matt Barnes and a few hurlers who came over from the Dodgers in the Gonzo-Crawford-Josh Beckett deal, but most of them still seem to be a few years away.
With the Red Sox being one of baseball's high rollers, a long-term rebuilding project seems out of the question. But, as they are currently constructed, the Sox might be only slightly better than the Mets, and that doesn't say much.
But hey, with the baseball postseason on our doorstep, the Stooges have plenty of time now to focus on fixing the franchise's future, OR restoring the misery Red Sox Nation has known for much of the previous century prior to 2004.
Well, unless they are called away because Liverpool FC is filming another special.
Larry, Tom and John -- thanks for a great year!
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