Dan Shaughnessy at The Boston Globe is optimistic about the Red Sox. Their hugely successful stint in Fenway this past week suggests, as Shaughnessy claims, that their late season woes are finally turning around--just in time for the post-season. We'll see.
What's intriguing to me, if you'll permit me a really concrete distillation of structuralism, is the way that Shaughnessy deploys the trope of a puzzle to contextualize his article. Sure, it's a colloquial metaphor. However, it's interesting to read the team's season against the broader backdrop of a World Series Win--and against the broader backdrop of the recent Red Sox history--and against the even broader backdrop of Red Sox failures in the 20th century. In short, meaning for Shaughnessy absolutely depends on the structure coming together--on the pieces falling into all of the right places. Should the Sox fall short, should their season collapse, should they not win the World Series, than their efforts, if we follow all of this to (at least one) logical conclusion, will be rendered meaningless, as the pieces of their season collapse in fragments around them.
Again, this is sports, and so it's a cliche at best to claim that it only matters if you win. That said, the way that 2008's Rays were romanticized even despite their loss to the Phillies suggests that second place can mean quite a bit--perhaps even more so if you're a Sox fan.