RAREFIED : understood by only a small group of people : only for people who know about a particular thing *

rarefied 2The other day a sports reporter indicated that you could experience rarefied air surrounding the pitcher’s mound at Fenway Park.   His point was that the pitching was so good that it was unusual.

To have used the term rarefied means one of two things:

  • either the situation was unique to the point that you had to be an insider fan to understand it, …or…
  • you were so high into the sky that the oxygen was limited, causing light-headedness.

The reality is that it could well have been either.    The Red Sox have been so bad that they were running a string of ten (10) losses in a row. At the same time, John Lester was pitching so well that it sent the heads of the Red Sox Nation into outer space with joy.

This has been anything but a confident year for the Red Sox.   Facing the loss of such players as Jared Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury, plus having half of the starting lineup on the Disabled List, the World Champion Red Sox were playing like a junior college team.    10 losses in a row is unheard of in Red Sox lore.

Then there’s the pitching staff.   There are a couple of weaknesses there, including  Clay Bucholtz, but there are stars also, including especially John Lester, who has been strong and powerful.   Given the weakness in other parts of the club, it is almost like breathing pure oxygen when Lester is on the mound.   Perhaps that is what the reporter was indicating when he said it was like rarefied air.

Red Sox fans are a unique bunch.   They know more about their players than fans in any other ball park in Major League Baseball…at least according to some “experts” in the field.   And they are unable to be swayed away from their devotion to the team…unless the Sox stop winning games.  Then, the most devoted fans of the hanging sox can be brutal.  They want the Manager to resign.  They want previous stars to be traded. They want Fenway Hot Dogs to be cut to half price.   It is a crisis.

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those years when rarefied air is unusual at Fenway Park.   Unless, of course all the bluster and fuming uses up good oxygen, leaving the fans dizzy and fainting.   How could you tell?

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(*MerriamWebsterOnline)

Photo Credit: Sports Pickle

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