Do or Die Time For Sox

Morning links are going to be sparse the next few days due to some scheduling conflicts, but I’ll get you what I can in the time I have…

For the Red Sox it’s do or die, now or never, trot out whatever clichés you want, they need to win tonight to keep their season going. Otherwise the Rays join the Phillies in a FOX nightmare World Series. Of all the possible matchups, that one is probably only ahead of Brewers/Rays in terms of national appeal. Instead of Red Sox/Cubs, Red Sox/Dodgers or even Angels/Dodgers, FOX looks to have Tampa and Philadelphia as the primary markets in the Series. Even a Boston/Philadelphia series would be attractive.

Dice-K is on the mound for the Sox tonight, hoping to extend the season at least one more game. Get all the coverage over at RedSoxLinks.com.

Over on Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp looks at Quicksand Cassel. He notes however, that this team’s problems run much deeper than quarterback.

Michael Felger has his Patriots Mailbag at WEEI.com. It’s a contrast in style with the Mike Reiss version. Get the rest of your Patriots news at PatriotsLinks.com.

The Bruins lost 4-3 to the Canadiens last night. Check the stories over at the all-new BruinsLinks.com.

Hopefully I’ll some more stuff as the day goes on today…

  • Angry Old Bastard

    While I agree a Phillies/Rays series might lack “national appeal” (no STOOORY LINES???) If you just enjoy baseball, it looks like a good series. Both teams have a wealth of exciting young talent.

    • will

      The lack of “national appeal” is being touted by the media because the reporters will have to think about what to write about as opposed to the spoon-fed Manny vs. the Sox story. Typical lazy reporters.

      • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

        Exactly. The only thing relevant is that both the Phillies and Rays EARNED their way in. Good for both teams and bad on the media for ignoring the Phillies.

  • http://www.fangsbites.com Ken Fang

    Rays-Phillies would not draw ratings for Fox. The Red Sox are always a national draw, similar to the Cubs. While Philly is a major market, Tampa-St. Pete is not and they do not have a national following like the Sox.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      …yeah Ken, that’s pretty obvious. But once again if you enjoy the GAME OF BASEBALL it’s should be a good series. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass less about Fox’s ratings…Both Philly and Tampa are loaded…. It’s not like the Cardinals snuck in there, where you would have Albert Pujols and a cast of mediocre players.

      I think the Rays and Phillies are both fun teams to watch. ( if it comes to that.)

  • Chris

    Too many wheels have fallen off the Red Sox wagon for it to matter whether they lose in five, six, or seven games. This does not have the feel of a 2004 or a 2007 comeback, so all of this ‘hoping for one’ won’t pay off. As for Rays-Phils, I’ll watch. I have a dislike for all things Philadelphia, so I’ll root for Tampa Bay. They are simply this year’s version of the Florida Marlins with only slightly longer shelf life. But eventually the fact that they are a ‘small-market’ team will catch up with them. The natural order of things will return.

    • Rick Mc

      What did the comebacks in ’04 and ’07 feel like? The Red Sox got smoked at home in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS. Who contemplated that the Red Sox would come back. It took Game 4 to think they had a chance. All it takes is a win tonight to make people change their minds.

      • Jason Coyote

        I would say it just gives people two extra days to think that they would have a chance. While we keep hearing the Sox have Beckett & Lester (or flip the order if you wish) for Games 6 & 7, the Rays have Shields and Garza, who have both shut down the Red Sox in this series.

        You didn’t get into specifics on the ’07 comeback, but the Sox had more going for them than this year’s team does. A hot Beckett was starting in Game 5, so the general thinking of fans and media was if Josh could pitch well that night in Cleveland they would go back to Boston riding some momentum and facing some shaky Cleveland pitching. Much different scenario this year, and it’s the Rays who are riding the hotter pitching right now.

      • Chris

        We weren’t full of injuries in 2004 & 2007; we just weren’t playing well. This time, we’re injured AND not playing well. That’s the difference.

  • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

    Does a shootout loss really count as a loss? It’s basically a tie where the Toilet Seats took an extra point because they were good at someone that was only moderately related to sport of ice hockey.

  • Siggy

    I disagree. I think people nationally are sick of Boston and the Red Sox and will embrace Rays/Phillies. I know I will.

    • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

      Then why are you on the Boston Sports website?

      • Siggy

        Because I live in Boston. It looks like the Sox are done (the karma bank does not allow three withdrawals when a team goes down 0-3, 1-3 then 1-3 again, let’s face it) and Tampa/Philly will be a good series.

    • Jason Coyote

      Disagree a little with you, Siggy. Same argument could be made for the Yankees of ’96-’03 as the Red Sox today. When NY was in the World Series you would have just as many baseball fans tuning in to watch them lose as win. If it improbably turns out to be a Boston-Philly WS you will have plenty of anti-Boston folks checking out the games and pulling for the Phillies.

  • Chris

    That overused “If you like baseball, it’ll be a fun series to watch” argument is getting ridiculous – if you’re a baseball fan, any WS matchup would arguably be fun to watch, so quit relying on that.

    What Bruce and Ken say is correct from the standpoint that neither team can claim to have the type of following that either of the other two possible WS contenders – i.e. Sox and Dodgers – typically enjoy. As a result, a potential Rays-Phils WS won’t have the same widespread appeal. While some number of people outside of Philly and Tampa will be happy to see said teams in the Series, casual fans won’t tune in to the degree that they would have had they had a chance to see a team go back-to-back.

  • http://www.fangsbites.com Ken Fang

    Chris is correct. People like familiarity and the Red Sox bring a brand to the table for MLB and Fox.

    I hate to say it, but not having the Yankees in the postseason hurt TBS in the ratings. While I loved seeing the Yankees out, TV executives did not. TBS’ ratings were down more than 20% this season as compared to last season.

    While having RI’ers Rocco Baldelli and Dan Wheeler in the WS if the Rays make it might raise the ratings in Providence, they won’t translate nationally.