Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mr Papelbon would like to talk to Red Sox Nation about the word 'Panic'

It is both recurrent and amazing. Year after year, the same thing, over and over. Two, three, four game losing streaks and the denizens of Red Sox Nation race each other to slam their sweaty palms down hard on the Panic Button.

Why does this have to happen? Other teams go through losing streaks, often much longer than anything Red Sox fans (since 2003) have had to go through. Why does it have to be so much more painful when Boston hits a losing streak? The answer is obvious, and the answer is not pretty.

A certain element of Boston's fans have become so self aggrandized that losing streaks are nothing short of unacceptable. These fans have lost sight of the fact that baseball is in effect a game where you try to manage failure. If you bat ten times, three successful trips is deemed a good days work. Losing a few games in a row isn't just a part of the game, it is entirely inevitable.

The sad part if the Boston sporting media plays into the hands of these blow in, bandwagon fans, by producing polls after a four game losing streak screaming 'IS IT TIME TO PANIC?!'. Pathetic. In short, pathetic.

You can excuse a fan in some ways for diving for the panic button, but how can you excuse the Globe or the Herald, who have seen it all before, for validating and indeed encouraging said panic levels? You have to think that they may view losing streaks and panic as good copy. If that's the case, how far down the abyss has sports journalism in New England fallen?

A four game losing streak, heck, a seven game losing streak, is not the end of the world. How a team copes with adversity like this defines said team. If anything, now is the time to hit a bit of a wall, make adjustments and then move on. A losing streak in July means very little, a losing streak in September can be fatal.

We will leave the final words to Boston's closer. Over to you Mr Papelbon.

''What, me, Panic?''


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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

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