Is this the most boring Red Sox team of the 21st century?

I’m beginning to think so.  Here I looked at the mid-season stories and concluded there were more bad stories than good ones.  Three weeks later I think the situation has actually gotten worse: there are no interesting stories at all.

I went to the Red Sox-Twins game on Thursday night.  Around the ball park, scalpers were offering tickets at half price.  The House of Blues across the street appeared to be livelier than Fenway:

Slash was playing.  Wikipedia tells me his latest album is Apocalyptic Love.  I am not familiar with Mr. Slash’s oeuvre, but the line for his show snaked around the corner.

Inside Fenway, the Red Sox managed two hits (both by Gonzalez) against three pitchers no one had ever heard of.  Lester pitched well (better than he’s pitched lately), but not quite well enough.  The biggest cheer of the night was when the Jumbotron showed the the US ahead of China in the Olympic medal count.  Mercifully, the game didn’t take long to play (Lester didn’t walk anyone, and there were no within-inning pitching changes.)  Here is the view from my seat.  There’s a runner on third, so the infield is playing in:

Lester got out of that jam, but it wasn’t good enough; the Sox lost 5-0.  The next night they got 14 hits but managed to blow a four-run lead and lost in 10, 6-5.  To the Twins.

A team can be fun to watch even when it’s not very good.  Sometimes all you need is an interesting player or two — you’d stick around an extra inning to see Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz hit.  But right now Ortiz is still injured.  Gonzalez is playing well, but he has zero charisma.  Nobody on the team has any charisma.  Jon Lester trudges glumly off the mound like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders–which he probably does.  Carl Crawford swings at bad pitch after bad pitch and grounds out meekly to second.  Ellsbury isn’t doing anything, and neither is Pedroia.  Pedro Ciriaco seems to be quickly falling back to reality after a great start.

The couple next to us was from Cincinnati.  They stuck around for “Sweet Caroline” at the top of the eighth, and then headed out.  They weren’t alone.

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What makes me happy (baseball edition)

Let’s face it: baseball is boring.  Nothing much happens in the course of a game.  For every minute of action, there are five minutes of crotch-scratching and sunflower-seed-spitting.  The Red Sox this season have been particularly boring: win a game, lose a game…

And then something like this happens….

Tie game, bottom of the eighth, Ryan Kalish on first.  Bobby Valentine puts on a hit-and-run.  Kalish takes off with the pitch.  Mike Aviles bounces a ball to first.  Kalish reaches second — and keeps running!  He beats the tag at third.  Daniel Nava hits a single to center, and Kalish scores the go-ahead run.  The Red Sox win.  How did that happen?

The Red Sox don’t look like they’re going anywhere this year: too many injuries, too many stars underperforming.  Tonight Jon Lester is underperforming yet again.  But just for that one moment, they were exciting.

Now back to the crotch-scratching.