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Big Weekend: Giants and Red Sox Get Must Wins

October 22, 2012

The New York Giants needed to beat the Washington Redskins to avoid an 0-3 division record.  The Boston Red Sox needed to find a way to bring John Farrell back to Boston.  Both teams faced must-win situations and both came away with victories.  It was a good Sunday.

First, the Giants took the field against RGIII and the Redskins, and, although they didn’t have their best game, they played well enough to win.  Was every pass from Eli Manning accurate?  No.  Could the defense have done a better job of containing RGIII?  Yes.  However, considering that the Giants were swept by Washington last season, I’ll take this one.  A win is a win, and a 1-2 record in the divison sounds a whole lot better than 0-3.

Interestingly enough, the other Giants, the ones in San Francisco, also won a must-win.  They avoided elimination for the second straight game, beating the Cardinals to force a Game 7 in the NLCS.  The Red Sox, however, did not have a game on Sunday, because they finished the season with the miserable record of 69-93 and did not make the playoffs.  How the Red Sox managed to win on Sunday was by negotiating a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays to bring John Farrell back to Boston as the club’s new manager.

Out of all the qualities that make John Farrell a good choice, the most important is that he has the respect of his players.  David Ortiz told ESPNBoston, “I love John.  John is my main man.”  John Lester seemed equally excited about reuninting with his former pitching coach tweeting, “Welcome back John!! Can’t wait to get back to work!! #RedSox.”

If the Red Sox are going to rise from the ashes of this season, then the players need to respect the man at the helm.  Plus, if Farrell can help guide Lester back to his 2007-2010 form, then the Red Sox have an even better shot of making a comeback in 2013.

Every win is important, whether it comes in a game or in a deal, but some wins are worth more than others.  As my dad said to me today, “If the Giants can beat Dallas next week, it will be worth 3 wins.” Division wins are inherantly more valuable because of playoff tiebreakers, but there is more to it than that.  Some wins are building blocks.  They beget other wins.  The Giants victory over the Redskins has the potential to be one of these wins.

Similarily, the Red Sox are hopeful that John Farrell can be their building block.  The team could not afford to go into the off-season with their second or third choice as manager.  They needed a win and they got one in Farrell.  Like I said, it was a good Sunday.

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