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Red Sox’ sloppiness has bottomed out

Alan Greenwood

Admit it – despite August’s pratfall, you still harbored a fainter-than-faint notion, deep in the back of your noggin, that the Red Sox could go on a six-week tear and roll through the playoffs.

It’s OK; your mind works in mysterious ways. And you weren’t alone.

Well, the mystery is over. Not because of Chris Sale’s tender elbow and not because Dave Dombrowski’s tenuous hold on his job.

In the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night, trailing the Phillies by one run, baserunning that would exasperate coaches in Williamsport, Pa., this week cost the Red Sox a possible walk-off for the season’s highlight video.

Xander Bogaerts opened the inning with a double. Before anyone could cozy up to the idea of the tying run poised in scoring position, J.D. Martinez tapped a routine grounder to shortstop Jean Segura.

Boegaerts didn’t hesitate and took off – in the absolute wrong direction. Segura threw him out at third.

One out, runner on first.

Andrew Benintendi then hit a line drive to Segura, who threw to first base, doubling off pinch runner Chris Owings.

Ball game. Drive home safely.

Owings gets a mulligan, seeing as his big-league service could be timed in hours.

This is exactly the opposite of how a game would end for the 2018 World Series champs.

For the 2019 also-rans, it has become routine.

TIME TRAVEL: Aug. 24, 1964 – “The Nashua Colts outclassed the Boston Panthers 29-0 in an exhibition football game Saturday night in Holman Stadium. Paced by quarterbacks Jack Moynihan, former Holy Cross star, and George Willey, formerly of the University of New Hampshire, the Colts made an impressive showing on a soggy field.

“A surprisingly large throng of almost 1,000 fans came out in the inclement weather Saturday night to watch the Colts operate.”

The Nashua Colts were a member of the New England Professional Football Conference.

AND FINALLY: XFL II (as opposed to Vince McMahon’s first try at a rogue professional football league in 2001), revealed the names for the eight teams scheduled to begin play in February.

We bring you the Los Angeles Wildcats, New York Guardians, DC Defenders, Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, St. Louis BattleHawks, Seattle Dragons and Tampa Bay Vipers.

The problem with XFL I was the yawning canyon between its talent base and that of the NFL. In theory, football fans love the idea of more games following the Super Bowl.

But within two weeks, McMahon’s first shot at a new, edgy football league was dismissed by the masses as a pale imitation.

XFL commissioner Oliver Luck (alas, no relation to the Colts QB, was quoted by the Associated Press: “We’ve anxiously awaiting the Labor Day cuts that will take place where there will be another group of players available.”

Good luck there, Ollie.

Contact Alan Greenwood at 594-1248, agreenwood@nashuatelegraph.com, or @Telegraph – AlanG.com.