Diehard Red Sox fans forced to pay attention to baseball games before October

Local sports fans who assumed they could stop paying attention to baseball for a few weeks were understandably perturbed last weekend after the Devil Rays swept the Red Sox in Tampa, thus drawing hazardously close to Boston in the standings.

“That was an intense series between two of the best teams in baseball,” said Frank from Haverhill. “The games were filled with emotion, drama, the prospect of failure, questionable moves by the managers…I hated it. I can’t believe we have to go through the whole thing again this weekend.”

“I mean, really? When was the last time the Red Sox were playing meaningful games in September? Like, 20 years ago?” asked Tom from Chicopee. “I was hoping for a few weeks off before the start of the postseason.”

“It’s basically like the playoffs came a few weeks early. I was supposed to go to my sister’s wedding this weekend, but now I’m going to have to get stupid drunk with my friends and watch these games against the Devil Rays instead,” said Jon from Weymouth. “This is too important.”

Sally from Shrewsbury: “My coworker was asking me if I’d seen some game against the Blue Jays this week. The Blue Jays?!?! This isn’t how I expected to spend the month of September. I’d rather be following the paths of potential hurricanes and complaining about the fact that summer is over. Eventually, I just told the guy I had a little bit of diarrhea and walked away.”

Spending his last available sick day of the year to watch Wednesday’s matinee against Toronto, Michael from North Quincy employed a little sarcasm to help ease the sting of having to show up at Fenway Park on such a picture-perfect, sun-splashed afternoon. “Oh, yeah, not being able to call in hungover until 2012 was totally worth it to watch John Lackey throw those trademark dogshit sliders to the Blue Jays. I’m not bitter at all.”

With even just a couple of wins this weekend during their four-game series against Tampa at Fenway, the Red Sox would ease some of the pain of the last couple weeks. However, some fans say the damage is already done.

“The Sox play four more games against that team (the Devil Rays) this weekend?” Eric from Saugus replied. “That’s just ridiculous. I’m sick of how long us diehard fans have to wait for the real season to begin. Jeter sucks A-Rod!! Let’s go!”

“Usually, I have some extra time to do nice things like recycle and volunteer at inner-city youth recreation centers during those few weeks after Labor Day,” said Mary from Wellesley. “But I’m a little bit concerned about Daniel Bard’s arm slot right now, okay? Maybe next year…”

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