Sox may have been doomed from start

September, 29, 2010
CHICAGO -- Maybe the Boston Red Sox should have known back in March, when Aaron (Bleeping) Boone of all people, predicted the Sox could go wire to wire to win the American League East.

[+] EnlargeJason Varitek
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastJason Varitek, his days with the Red Sox possibly numbered, talks with reliever Matt Fox, who would give up the winning run on the night the Sox were officially eliminated.
Boone had long since shed pinstripes for an ESPN microphone, but still, the karmic implications of a Boston heartbreaker offering such a rosy forecast should have put everyone on alert.

The numbers crunchers were just as optimistic, Baseball Prospectus pointing to its PECOTA projections as showing the Sox would win 94 games and the division. And the pen-and-laptop set had more than its share of fortune tellers -- present company included -- opining that the Sox would be playing meaningful games in October.

They were all wrong, ex-Yankee and stats geeks and dot-commers alike, reality setting in with finality Tuesday night, when the Yankees and Rays both won, officially eliminating the Red Sox from contention with five games to play.

The outcome here Tuesday night was rendered inconsequential in the sixth inning, when news of the New York Yankees' 6-1 win in Toronto reached U.S. Cellular Field; the Tampa Bay Rays' 5-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles in Tropicana Field already had been posted.

"It's only happened [four] times before," said catcher Jason Varitek, counting the times the Sox have missed the playoffs since his rookie season, 1998.

"The times I've been hurt."

Click here for the rest of Edes' column.

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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