Commentary

Struggling Red Sox inspire quotes quiz

Originally Published: April 8, 2011
By Thomas Neumann | Page 2

Winless TeamsESPN.com IllustrationDavid Ortiz and the Red Sox are reeling. Can you distinguish their panic from other miserable teams?

There's no denying it. The Boston Red Sox are off to a terrible start after losing their first six games.

Obviously, it's far too early for Red Sox players or fans to give up on the season. But considering that Boston was tabbed by many pundits to win the American League pennant and perhaps the World Series, the panic level is palpable.

So Page 2 decided to gauge the level of dismay surrounding the 2011 Red Sox by comparing quotes from the team and media commentary to that of teams who suffered historically bad starts.

The contestants:

• 2011 Boston Red Sox: started season 0-6.

• 2002 Detroit Tigers: started season 0-11 ... finished 55-106.

• 1997 Chicago Cubs: started season 0-14 (NL record) ... finished 68-94.

• 1988 Atlanta Braves: started season 0-10 ... finished 54-106.

• 1988 Baltimore Orioles: started season 0-21 (MLB record) ... finished 54-107.

See if you can distinguish which of the following quotes came from the Red Sox and which were uttered by historically lousy teams back in the day:


1. "It's not a monkey on our backs anymore. It's Godzilla."

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


2. "Most [of our] fans are smart enough to know it's a long season. If they give up on us now, they got more problems than we do."

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


3. "This is a good ballclub. We're just not showing it on the field. We don't have any losers here."

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


4. "The baseball gods are cursing somebody on this team."

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


5. "We're like punch-drunk fighters just waiting for another shot."

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


6. "Right now, we're just not living right. I don't know what's going on."

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


7. "The fish bowl is getting smaller and smaller every day. Each of us is trying harder every day. The other team is like circling wolves. They come out with guns blazing."

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


8. "We ain't going to be 0-162 or whatever many games we play. We're going to figure it out.''

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


9. "I worry about hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, not whether we are going to win ballgames."

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


10. "This was one of the worst games of my life. Tonight we played like losers. It was the first time since I've been here that we were actually looking to lose. Tonight was not a professional effort in any phases of the game. None."

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


Bonus: Which team was compared to the 1988 Michael Dukakis presidential campaign by a newspaper columnist?

a) 2011 Boston Red Sox
b) 2002 Detroit Tigers
c) 1997 Chicago Cubs
d) 1988 Atlanta Braves
e) 1988 Baltimore Orioles


Sources: Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Chicago Tribune, Detroit News, ESPN.com, Orange County Register, Sports Illustrated, USA Today.


Answer key: 1, Orioles outfielder (and former Red Sox star) Fred Lynn ; 2, a, Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard; 3, c, Cubs outfielder Dave Clark; 4, b, Tigers designated hitter Dmitri Young; 5, d, Braves catcher Bruce Benedict; 6, a, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester; 7, e, Orioles catcher Terry Kennedy; 8, a, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia; 9, c, Cubs first baseman Mark Grace; 10, e, Orioles manager Frank Robinson; Bonus, a, by Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald.


Rating guide: 0-2 correct answers: Remain calm. All is well.
3-4 correct answers: Apprehension is approaching.
5-6 correct answers: Dread is mounting.
7-8 correct answers: You're thinking back to years of suffering. Hang in there, Red Sox fan.
9-11 correct answers: You're an unabashed masochist. Enjoy the NBA playoffs, Cubs fan.


Thomas Neumann is an editor for Page 2.


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