“Ah, you hate to see another tired man lay down his hand like he was giving up the holy game of poker.”


The Boston Red Sox are on a historic tear, 12 10 games ahead of the Yankees.  The fans have been behind the team with record support.  The bullpen’s contributing, the new call-up players are fan favorites.  And we’re 12 10 games ahead of the Yankees.  How sweet it is, right?

As of July 10th, 2007, the Boston Red Sox are 53-34, having gone 5-5 on their last ten.

Oh NoesAs of last year’s All-Star Break (July 11th, 2006), the Boston Red Sox were 51-32, having gone 6-4 on their last ten.  They ended the season 11 games behind the Yankees, in a slump that most fans were ashamed to be seen watching.

The moral, as always: it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

When I did debate in high school, we’d play Hearts in the long idle hours between rounds.  Our debate coach Mr. Durkin taught us the game and he was never too big of a man not to whup our asses at the game soundly.  The trick to pro-level Hearts play is to count the cards (not hard with just one deck) and know what tricks are still out there.  He made it look easy.

Bring out the bitch!In games where it wasn’t even close, Mr. Durkin would lay down his last five or six cards and just play them blind.  Flipping them over lazily one at a time, sending freshmen back to his room to grab beer out of the sink (“and I counted how many are in there”).  One or two of us would try the same stunt when we felt cocky, almost always blushing and fumbling the cards back up once we realized we’d counted wrong.

“You never play your cards blind,” Mr. Durkin reminded us, “unless you know how the game’s going to turn out.”

Let me remind Red Sox Nation, high on the thrill of an early lead, the same thing I remind them every time they end the summer down: they don’t play the World Series in August. Don’t start folding your hands behind your head just yet.  Don’t start buying that Jordan’s furniture.  Don’t throw your cards down and play them blind.

The season’s young.  Anything could happen.