Chass's Tuesday column is one of the worst pieces of journalism from an apparent professional I've seen in years. It is headlined: "Exorcism Is Not Complete Until Red Sox Win the A.L. East":
The one thing the Red Sox have not done in this era of the renewed rivalry is finish ahead of the Yankees in the American League East, winning the division championship, of course. For the Red Sox to finish second while the Yankees place third would be an empty achievement. Being the division champion is what it is all about for the Red Sox this season, whether they admit it or not. Which is a roundabout way of saying the Red Sox have blown it.Yeah, I still get misty-eyed when I think about that 1995 Red Sox team that won the East. Man, those were the days. ... And Boston has blown the 2005 East already? If so, what does that say about his beloved Yankees? I also like how Chass dates the "renewed rivalry" from 1996, so he can forget about the Yankees winning the 1995 wild card.
Eighteen days ago, the Red Sox were six and a half games ahead of the Yankees. ... [T]he Red Sox should have taken off and left the Yankees in the dust. ... [B]ut then George Steinbrenner stirred his troops and the Red Sox were unable to match the Yankees' torrid play. The Yankees have won 12 of the 14 games they have played since they trailed by six and a half games; the Red Sox have won 8 of 14. The distance between them shrank to two and a half games, which it remains only days ahead of Boston's next visit to Yankee Stadium.Check out how Chass gives Steinbrenner credit for the Yankees' "torrid" winning streak. So Boston went 8-6 and New York is still only tied for third place, but all that means is bad things for the Red Sox.
[The Red Sox] can live on their wild-card laurels of last season, but ... the Red Sox need to win the division title. Nothing less will do. The Red Sox have finished second for seven successive seasons and missed the playoffs three of those seasons. The Yankees have done it the smart, safe way most of the past decade. They took no chances on another second-place team squeezing past them into the playoffs, finishing first the last seven years and eight of the last nine.2004 -- our "wild-card laurels"!! I live in New York, but I seem to have missed all the coverage of the Yankees' 2004 AL East championship parade through the Canyon of Heroes. ... Can anyone send me some links to that? Murray?
But have you seen Boston's pitching? David Wells, who had pitched poorly before, returned from the disabled list last week, and Oakland battered him for seven runs in an inning and two-thirds. Randy Johnson was not nearly that bad against the Mets.Chass avoids any mention of Arroyo, Clement or Miller. And it appears that the nicest thing Chass can say about the Unit is that he's not as shitty as Wells. ... While noting the first-place Orioles, Chass closes:
The Red Sox, on the other hand, better get hot and stay hot. Otherwise, it is just another second-place finish for them.SoSHer Rick Walker bottlecap calls Chass's column "the last inarticulate grunts of a dead language."