These are hard times in Beantown. It's not the local economy. There is no crime spree. Morale is as good as ever in one of America's great cities, That is, except for . . .
Red Sox Nation is suffering mightily this summer because the favorite sons, the Boston Red Sox, are having a miserable year. It is plagued by injuries to key players, unexpected slumps, dissension, disastrous starting pitching, a lack of confidence in new manager Bobby Valentine for the local fans, and Boston media and a general inability to put together a meaningful winning streak.
When the Red Sox are struggling, the city goes into a shell. People don't smile as much at one another. It seems like it rains every day, even when the sun is shining outside. It's fairly illogical that a city should invest so much of its heart and soul in the win-loss record of a bunch of baseball players.
But, of course, this syndrome is exactly what goes on in Boston. And in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and everywhere else there is a major-league club. Naturally, when the Bosox are winning big, night after night, the citizens feel like winners. I know, I know. It really makes no sense!
What's worst of all, the Red Sox badly trail the hated rival New York Yankees. The Yankees are gliding through an error-filled, star-crossed season of their own — which is all the more galling to the good people of New England.
The Red Sox come into Yankee Stadium on Friday night for a weekend series. It could be make-or-break time.
Don't despair, Red Sox fans. Baseball is probably a lost cause this season, granted. But you still have the Patriots, the Celtics and the Bruins — all of them champions in the past decade at one time or another — to look forward to.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution," which Penguin will publish Aug. 7. Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
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