There is no one in this town we respect more than the Herald's Tony Massarotti. Over the last several years, he has brought perspective to his coverage of the Olde Towne Team—an extremely rare commodity in Boston. He didn't bash Nomar and Manny when it was easy to do so. He never takes the NOG's formidable PR barrage as Gospel. He doesn't back down from the Big Obnoxious on 'EEI.
However, his latest appeal to the Nation not to "sweat" losing the AL East is too much to swallow. He claims that a loser's mentality can "stain" us forever. No, Tony. We are beyond that now. The curse is over. As ESPN's Bill Simmons points out, that means we never have to see another FOX graphic of Babe Ruth looming over Fenway. But that doesn't mean we have become angst-free. As Simmons also realizes, worry is embedded in our regional DNA. We can't help it. It's what distinguishes true fans from the Pink Hat crowd.
This team has squandered a nearly insurmountable Division lead with a lethargy and casualness that is unacceptable for an organization that is supposedly dedicated to excellence. They have yielded 12 games of advantage to the Empire. They are in danger of gagging away three very practical post-season advantages—home field; the ability of the "best-record" team to choose the off-day schedule that suits them best in the Division series; and the psychological dagger of denying the division to the Evil Ones for first time in a decade.
"Don't worry", says Tony Mazz—their Magic Number to make the post-season is only "4". OK, and the way this bunch is playing there will be another post-season Magic Number—"3". The number of games it will take to be eliminated from the first round.