Originally posted on Extra Pine Tar  |  Last updated 8/24/12

“State Of The Sox” is a weekly Friday piece detailing where the Red Sox currently stand in Major League Baseball and whether or not they can be successful going forward. We apologize if, at times, it comes across as a bit harsh.

Don’t pack it in yet. There’s still hope.

As of today, the Red Sox still have a .8 percent chance of making the playoffs, which is roughly the same chance you have of dying in an asteroid apocalypse during your lifetime.

It’s a good day to be a conspiracy theorist and a Sox fan.

If you still believe that the Red Sox can make the playoffs, despite being 13.5 games behind the slumping Yankees and 8.5 games out of the Wild Card with 37 games to go, I’ve got something else that might pique your interest. The team is 59-66.

The season has been over a while. For the few people still watching, the appeal is the same as seeing a car wreck on the side of the street and slowing down to have a look. It’s terrible, and it’s gruesome, but you can’t look away. That’s how I am. I find myself being critical even when good things happen, and I expect them to blow games they should win (i.e. last night’s game to the Angels. That was just insulting).

But I’m in the minority. I know most people aren’t watching the car crash Red Sox anymore. College football starts next week, the NFL starts the week after, and those are much more worthwhile ventures then watching a group of guys pack it in down the stretch after already packing it in for the majority of the season.

If you are watching though, let me give you a few more reasons to stop – and no, I’m not talking about the majority of the team not attending Johnny Pesky’s funeral. I’d rather keep this civil, and if I start going off on that topic it’s hard to know where this thing might go. ExtraPineTar.com might be shut down for good, and I might have a few lawsuits on my hand. So I’m going to leave that alone, for now.

Let’s look at some other stuff instead, some tangible stuff.

  • The Sox are 29-37 at Fenway Park this season. There’s a better chance of Josh Beckett joining NAMBLA then the team finishing the year above .500 at home. The last time they finished below .500 at home was in 1997, when they went 39-42. From 2003-09, a dominant stretch for the team (obviously), they won 50 games at home every single season except one. Say they win 35 games at home this year – that’s at least 15 games below where they have been when they’ve been successful.
  • They’ve scored 611 runs, the second-most in all of baseball behind Texas. They’ve scored more runs than the Yankees. Yet, they’ve lost 14 one-run games, they’re 2-7 in extra innings and they lost a 14-13 game in extras (which happens to double as a one-run loss and an extra-inning loss) to the Angels on Thursday night. They lose more games like that then any team in the history of baseball (I have no science to back that up). Seriously. How the hell do have the second-most runs in baseball, but you’re seven games under .500? I know how! You win games 13-1, lost them 2-0 and lose them 14-13. That’s the recipe.
  • The fourth-worst record in all of the American League belongs to the Boston Red Sox. They have a worse record than the Seattle Mariners, and the Sox hold a slim three-game lead (two in the loss column) over the mighty Kansas City Royals. The Oakland A’s are 10 games over .500, using Moneyball to kick the **** out of whatever technique the Red Sox are using. The A’s have the second-lowest payroll in the majors. The Sox have the third-highest.
  • In the month of August, the Red Sox needed to get hot in order to have any chance of getting back in the race. Instead, they put on a September, 2011-esque performance, as they’re currently 6-15 in the month after getting swept by a slumping Angels team at Fenway park this week. With eight games let in the month, they still have the potential to finish a sterling 6-23 heading into the last month of the season. With a little luck, they could even fall into last place in the American League East (2.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays!)
  •  Bobby Valentine is the manager of the Boston Red Sox
  • The Red Sox were 43-43 at the all-star break. That’s not good, but it had them squarely in the Wild Card hunt. Since then, they’re 16-23. That’s not good, and it has them squarely out of any hunt except the hunt for worst Sox team of the 21st century, which they’re about to wrap up.
  • Heading into the 2011 season, people were saying things like, “Do the Red Sox have TOO MUCH pitching?” They had five aces, except that none of them are anything that even resembles an ace, unless your idea of an ace is pitching like Darren Oliver after a night at IHOP. John Lackey has missed the whole season (but still traveled with the club!), Dasiuke Matsuzaka might as well have missed the whole year, Josh Beckett has pitched like Josh Groban, Jon Lester has pitched like John Lithgow and only Clay Buchholz has been decent – until he gave up 12 hits and seven runs his last time out. His ERA is 4.47 and we think he’ been good. The staff ERA is 4.35, which is 24th out of 30 Major League teams. They’ve given up  the fourth-most runs in the AL and the sixth-most in all of baseball.
  • If the Boston Red Sox went on the greatest run in all of baseball history and won their remaining 37 games, they’d win 96 total games. That would still likely not be good enough to win the division. Simply to finish .500, the Sox must go 22-15 the rest of the way.  That’s a .594 winning percentage, a clip that they haven’t won at since the middle of the 2011 season. Sounds reasonable.

I’m a broken man. When I talk about the Red Sox, I waver between getting really angry and not being able to speak in anything other then expletives and the word “hate,” or I just say, “They suck man. All of them,” and look at the ground. I sound like Bobby Valentine during his postgame interviews with Jenny Dell. I can’t make eye contact, and I sound tired. This team has taken away my passion for baseball.

That might be their biggest accomplishment of the season.

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