The Value of First

“First is worst.
Second is best.
Third is the one with the hairy chest.”

Jul 31, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Daniel Nava (29) breaks his bat during the tenth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Remember this playground chant? It was usually the anthem of the sore loser who was trying to make him/herself feel better about this place in the four-square standings.

But perhaps there’s some value in it after all. Now, I haven’t been in the Baltimore locker room so I can’t testify to the hairiness of their chests, but there is a certain amount of pressure to being in first place. There is nowhere to go but down. Also, in a division as tight as the AL East, there is always a team or two breathing down your neck.

And how many times has the first place team gotten tired and/or injured during the long days of July and August and lost their place in the standings? Is being tied with or one game behind Tampa Bay in the standings such a bad thing? We play them again this season so as long as we keep ourselves within a game or two, we should be able to regain first place before the playoffs.

Or am I just kidding myself? Am I that sore loser kid on the playground who tries to claim that I didn’t really want first place anyway? Do those pesky Rays make me nervous?

The beauty of first place is that in order to be in first place you just have to win. In order to get back into first place once you lose it you have to win and the other team has to lose. Now, these are not mutually exclusive as long as you, the second place team, are playing the first place team head-to-head. But this doesn’t always happen when you need it to. I don’t know about you, but I like the feeling of being in first place. It’s a bit like having the high ground in battle. You have gravity on your side. The battle is yours to lose. You have great confidence that victory will be yours!

Can the Red Sox keep the AL East crown until the end of the war? If the fact that the Sox battled back from a 7-1 deficit by scoring 6 runs in the ninth last night is any indication, we will be victorious!!!!

Topics: Boston Red Sox, Victory

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