Tanner Houck made Alex Cora, Red Sox writers snap in delicious moment

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MAY 10: Manager Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox looks on during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on May 10, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MAY 10: Manager Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox looks on during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on May 10, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The problem with basing an entire season on superstition, robotic catchphrases and arbitrary dates is that, when the plan falls apart, you have to invent a whole new set of rules and move the goalposts. Red Sox fans learned that reality yet again on Tuesday night, as they lost another key series in the AL East after coasting through June against inferior opponents.

Apparently, neither Alex Cora shaving his beard, nor thousands of meatheads blindly crowing “June 28!” saved the team from faltering on June 28, in large part due to the incomplete roster they carried north of the border.

Disagree with the rules in place all you want, but they’re not going anywhere, and Red Sox closer Tanner Houck, speedy leadoff man Jarren Duran, and eventual ace Chris Sale have all opted to do the research on the COVID-19 vaccine rather than be present and effective for their team against the Blue Jays — and their postseason fate just might lead them to Toronto, ironically, for the right to play the Yankees.

Watching the aftermath of Boston non-closer Tyler Danish blowing a two-inning save as Hansel Robles desperately tried to clean up the pieces Tuesday night was extra enjoyable, and the Twitter discourse showed just how willing the anti-vaccine Sox fans are to abandon their team in the name of faux-freedom.

Even as their team face plants, thanks in part to pseudo-science, they appear to be rooting for the rights of Houck and Duran rather than the ball club they’ve devoted their lives to.

Kudos to a number of veteran Boston scribes, like Dan Shaughnessy, who recognized where a good portion of Tuesday’s (and Monday’s) blame should lie: the players sitting at home, using their body to make their choice.

Red Sox writers exploding on Tanner Houck will make Yankees fans feel joy

“Forget the Red Sox! We love Male Bodily Autonomy Now!” scream thousands of supposed Boston diehards in the replies.

Never mind the ins and outs and particulars of taking medicine right now, either. The Red Sox needed Houck and Duran to do a job the past two nights. They’ll eventually need Sale, too. All three men declined.

Meanwhile, Trevor Story was required to get vaccinated for his Red Sox contract offer to be valid. He did, though he eventually fired his agents like Freddie Freeman, which … LOL. At one point, the 2022 New York Yankees employed several unvaccinated players. Now, they don’t, though the roster didn’t change much; those players simply looked at the bigger picture.

The Red Sox? Well, they’ve been defiant in the other direction, and they’ve been losing defiantly to their closest AL East competitor all year long.

Any time you have Sox scribes comparing their team’s own players to Kyrie Irving, you know a nerve has been touched.

And then there’s manager Alex Cora, left with a barren bullpen cupboard, who chose ace John Schreiber for the heart of the order in the seventh, then went with two innings of Danish at the outset before pivoting.

Why two innings of a formerly middling reliever? In a word, Houck. In more words, he was just trying to piece things together, and hit the wrong button, which led to a miniature snappy meltdown in the postgame scrum.

Any time you can go from, “Life is good!” to the MLB managerial equivalent of, “I’m a man! I’m 40!” in two days, you simply have to do it.

The Yankees will face Boston seven times prior to the All-Star break, a new form of challenge that both teams have yet to really experience in 2022. Ideally, the spiral continues, and the timing remains perfect.

And Carrabis and his flock can “say” whatever they want. Just make sure you say it loud enough for your teammates at home to hear you.