Bad decisions…bad relationships…they don’t have to be made worse when exiting them. Staying classy is not that hard to accomplish.
Person doesn’t work out after they’re hired…you calmly advise their services are no longer required and wish them well.
Begin a relationship that doesn’t go as hoped…you calmly let the other person – or persons – know you don’t want to continue on and again…wish them well.
Maturity in moments like these help keep bad decisions and bad relationships from becoming a “Falling Down,” “Fatal Attraction” or “War Of The Roses” scenario…where the spurned spiral off into full-blown, all-out revenge mode. (Michael Douglas stars in all three of these films…weird…I digress)
Enter the post-season of the Boston Red Sox.
It was enough they blew a nine-game lead in the wild card race and missed the playoffs on the last day of the regular season. Really, it was.
The organization and its players could have quietly analyzed what went wrong down the stretch, why they could not sustain their excellence from the middle of the season, etc. Calmly and collectively, they could have put their minds together and decided who should stay, who should get a talking-to…and who should go.
Well…that didn’t happen, did it?
For those of you not following events in Beantown since the great Red Sox collapse of 2011, I give you Tracee Hamilton’s excellent summary in the Washington Post.
I liked her article for a number of reasons, but the main one is it illustrates the plight of Red Sox fans. Long suffering (in parallel with those of us in Philadelphia), once their famous Curse was lifted the fan base grew to monstrous proportions throughout the country as many Boston fans in hiding now felt it safe to come out of the closet…which then brought upon the franchise high, weighty expectations. And rightly so. When you finally find success after so many years of frustration and then demonstrate a substantial, financial willingness to keep it humming along you don’t ever want to backslide into irrelevance again.
Whether you jumped on that burgeoning bandwagon when the Red Sox first started winning regularly some years back or have been their fan for fifty years, the pain is the same when you get used to being at least near the very top of the baseball world 24/7, 365…are considered an annual lock for the post-season…and you then come up short of the playoffs…especially with such a big lead in hand.
The best sentence from this article:
“If everyone in the organization hadn’t spent the aftermath renting buses to run over one another, it might have blown over.”
For whatever reason or reasons, the organization and its players just couldn’t leave a disastrous end to an unfulfilling season alone. They had to start yapping and yakking.
And the local media dished. And the national media blew it up. And the enormous, global fan base couldn’t get enough because of all the newly-released “reasons” for this Fall’s…fall.
It doesn’t really matter what’s 100% true of what’s out there now and what isn’t. The people who have to come in and clean up this toxic mess will need to be in full Hazmat gear and have already signed “next of kin” releases before they go anywhere near the entrance to the Boston locker room and front office.
Red Sox fans…it didn’t have to be this way.
Now…comparisons among fans – who had a soft spot in their hearts for those long-term Boston faithful who waited so long for glory – more than ever will now be made between the Red Sox and their sworn enemies, the “Evil Empire” New York Yankees. Those dreaded divas to the south of New England now have company within baseball’s “Department of Drama.”
That may be even more disheartening than the finish to Boston’s season.