Old Man Shaughnessy has a lecture today for all you young whippersnappers, those of you who don't know what it was like to suffer like him.
It starts off celebratory:
Five playoffs in six years. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Then he feels the need to provide us with a math lesson, for those of you too dense to realize what has happened in sports over the last few decades.
There was a time (as late as 1968) when only one of 10 teams in each league qualified for postseason play. That's two of 20. Today, it's eight of 30 making the playoffs - not quite like the old NHL, which took 16 of 21, but it's considerably easier than it was in the old days.
Then he has to tell us what it really was like to suffer.
Those of us who grew up in the 1950s and '60s remember the hungry years.
And reminds us of one of the great sports cliches.
So we are careful not to be too casual about this.
Yes, Dan. We all need to be reminded that the Celtics can have the third worst record in the NBA, that the Patriots can go 5-11, and that the Red Sox can be a dysfunctional mess under stagnant ownership and a weak general manager.
So Dan has established his moral authority over us. Now it's time to look down his nose at the players.
Having said all that, does anybody else find these early-accomplishment celebrations a little overdone?
The Red Sox have baseball's fourth-highest payroll. They had seven players in this year's All-Star Game. Do they really need to cover the lockers with plastic wrap and spray one another with champagne because they have officially qualified as one of the final eight teams in this year's tournament?
But Dan Dan does a quick 180 degree turn, quoting Terry Francona:
"Just because we've had success in prior years, I don't see why this group shouldn't celebrate what they've accomplished. We know we have more baseball to play."
- Five playoffs in six years is good
- But it isn't all that special because it is easier to get in the playoffs
- You don't know what it is like to suffer like I do
- Still, others team don't come close to doing what the Red Sox have done
- The players shouldn't celebrate because they should have won
- The players should celebrate because Tito said so
I think there is a medical diagnosis for this type of behavior.