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Soup of This Day #369: ‘Cos I Ain’t The Way You Found Me

April 6, 2014

F12berlinetta
A Ferarri F12berlinetta. It’s alright, but it doesn’t float in water – Photo: Nan Palmero, 2012. Nan Palmero is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

This is Soup #369. It immediately follows Soup #367 in the batting order of Soups. Keen mathematics types and postal delivery workers will have spotted that there is a discrepancy in that line-up order – Specifically, it appears as if Soup #368 is not stepping up to the plate in it’s appropriate place.

To which I’d only partly agree – It’s true that Soup #368 isn’t where it should be if we’re talking about regular 3-dimensional space. If though we look at time as being the ‘4th dimension’ and combine that with space into the spacetime continuum, then I think we can all agree that Soup #368 is right where it should be.

Back around Soup #304.

You see, Soup #368 was written and published at the end of March, 2013. That’s a little over 12 months past and that release date saw it listed between Soup #304 and Soup #305. I did this because Soup #368 was a review of the Boston Red Sox 2013 MLB campaign. Since the end of that campaign was some months away – Technically the campaign hadn’t actually started when I published Soup #368 – I figured that it was best to number that Soup such that it would numerically sit at a point past the end of the season it was reviewing.

Basically, my review might have been called a preview, accept I was over those, and so I changed the number so that it fitted the profile of a review.

So how accurate was my review?

Not as accurate as if I had actually done a conventional review – The kind that waits until after the games are all done. That would have been close to 100% accurate, whereas my Soup #368 review of the Boston Red Sox 2013 MLB campaign was only 96.9% on the money.

The Red Sox won 5 more games than I accounted for. This though is what I’d call a good surprise.

I don’t, as a general rule, like surprises. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for most of my adult life and so if anybody jumps out from behind a couch, wearing a silly hat and brandishing streamers and balloons, I’m liable to lose my @#$% on them.

What I can handle are good surprises.

Good surprises are 1s that have a positive outcome – That’s a pretty obvious facet, but it’s not the only 1.

Good surprises need to happen in slow-motion for me. For instance if somebody were to call me up out of the blue and tell me I had won a Ferrari F12berlinetta, this would not be a good surprise. It might ultimately be a positive 1 – I could get from 0 to 100kmph in 3.1s – But I may also lose my @#$%. The net result is not necessarily a happy 1.

Also, there is no room in our carport.

If instead, somebody was to call me up and tell me that I had a 1 in a million chance of winning a Ferarri F12berlinetta, and then subsequently call me up each day thereafter with steadily improving odds, until I predictably won a F12berlinetta, well that would be ok. I would have had ample time to get my head around the carport issue.

It’s hard to imagine the Hyundai comes out a winner in that.

This slow progression to a fait accompli is what a baseball season is like. The odds change each day and mostly they follow a gentle trend. Occasionally they don’t – The Boston Red Sox 2011 MLB campaign is a case in point – In that season it looked for most of it as if we were all getting F12berlinettas, only to have to watch them being crushed by monster trucks.

I don’t like monster trucks. I’m always surprised by them and they definitely won’t fit in my carport.

The Boston Red Sox 2013 MLB campaign did not feature monster trucks. It started ok, with no expectations of exotic supercars and it just got better, until 1 day in October, when Sox fans realized that all along they’d been driving the perfect car anyway.

For instance, in April I said 16 and 11 with an opening day win against a CC Sabathia struggling for control. The latter happened – CC gave up 4 and the Red Sox beat the Yankees 8-2. The 16 and 9 though became 19 and 8.

And then my 18 and 12 May became a 15 and 15 May. That’s a net difference over 2 months of 0. So that’s ok – No real surprises, apart from me thinking that R.A. Dickey would be better for the Jays than he was. That was a bit of a downer, but hey, that’s just knuckleball.

June I said was 13 and 14. It was 16 and 11 so the gentle trend started heading back up. That carried through to the All-Star break where I had Boston at 55 and 42. They were actually at a pleasant 58 and 39. This was nice but since 2011 happened, no Red Sox fan gets complacent across the back half of the season.

By September I had the Sox at a steady 76 and 61. The Sox had themselves at a decidedly rosier 81 and 56, and that level of disparity was pretty much how it ended – Me: 92 and 70. Reality: 97 and 65.

And the Red Sox won the World Series.

That was a good surprise. I’m still feeling the afterglow now, 5 games into Boston’s 2014 MLB campaign.

That’s what good surprises do – The build up is slow and sustained – Expectations are held in check and consequently every day is a good day. 1 time some years ago I got told I had to quit playing my beloved soccer due to a neck injury I’d sustained. I sobbed and fumed for a couple of weeks, sometimes both together, hot tears marking my face. Then I got a 2nd opinion and I could play again with some remedial action. I still remember my 1st match back, the feeling of walking out onto the pitch, the smell of the grass, the buzz of not caring whether we won or lost – It was a good day.

That was the 2013 Red Sox – They were an expensive wreck in 2012, posting a 69 and 93 record. Going into 2013 they had cut some big money off of the payroll and really, were just looking to play ball. And maybe because of that, they had an absolute ball – A great big, gaudy, fun dancing ball with silly hats, streamers and balloons and nobody hiding behind a couch. True, there were no Ferrari F12berlinettas but there were DUKW vehicles and they’re just as welcome.

I’d like that again please.

Only I’m not going to expect it. Nope. Instead I’m going to predict that the 2014 Red Sox win a good number of games and are around the postseason bubble in September. I reckon 92 wins sounds about right…

Let’s go Red Sox!

‘Cos I Ain’t The Way You Found Me

2 Comments
  1. I can’t disagree on your assessment of either your beloved Red Sox or of the likely status of the carport relative to potential cars, current cars or monster cars. As for baseball in Phliadelphia I see the Phillies on the outside of the playoff bubble as they once more have decided to go all in with the very same crew that has successfully slipped farther and farther off the relevancy rails with each passing season since winning it all. The team they defeated that year, the Tampa Bay Rays, looks to me to be a strong candidate to challenge the Sox all season long. I am fine with surprises as long as they are good ones…they can indeed come “at once” and be of any intensity. However, if great change rides alongside a great surprise I too could possibly lose my @#$%. I’m not adverse to change…I just like to ramp up to it…however rare that likelihood even exists when it comes to great change.

    • That Phillies’ roster looks aged – It is concerning how many 30+ players they have in their best 9 – They’re either stable or stagnant. That’s not necessarily a problem, but they are going to need some luck to get through 162 games unscathed and you have to wonder where the inspiration is coming from – Ben Revere is alright but he’s no Bryce Harper. Then again, the NL East is about as unstable (and interesting) as it could be, so the Phillies may yet give you a pleasant surprise.

      For the Red Sox, Tampa Bay will be dangerous – Perhaps so much so that they may be moved to Montreal. Baltimore will also be a threat and the Yankees will surely bounce back from a bad year in 2013. Even the Jays may fashion a charge. As each season goes by I am learning more and more to kick back and just enjoy the baseball – Here’s hoping that whatever the results, it’s a fun year to watch.

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