[翻譯]Feeling More Like ’78, With a Bit Less Pressure

September 21, 2007


On Baseball

Feeling More Like ’78, With a Bit Less Pressure



By MURRAY CHASS

Published : September 21, 2007 / The New York Times




Now can we talk about 1978?

現在我們可以談談1978年球季嗎?



I ask that question of the Red Sox fan who several weeks ago wrote in an e-mail message, after I had dared invoke 1978 in a column, that 1978 had nothing to do with this season and anyway this wasn’t going to be a repeat of that eventful year.

幾個禮拜前, 白目的我在自己負責撰寫的專欄中提到1978年時, ㄧ位紅襪球迷在一封寫給我的電子郵件中問了這個問題, 那位球迷認為今年球季完全不能拿來和1978年球季做比較, 而當時發生在紅襪隊身上的悲劇也不可能再度重演。



Well, maybe not exactly. In 1978, the Yankees overtook the Red Sox on Sept. 13, the 19th day before the end of the season, and slipped back into a tie for first with the Red Sox on the last day of the season. A one-game playoff ensued.

不過真是如此嗎?1978年9月13日, 離例行賽結束只剩下19天的時間, 洋基超越紅襪隊取得分區領先的地位, 不過當例行賽結束時, 兩隊戰績不分軒輊, 而這也代表著兩隊將透過加賽一場的方式來決定季後賽門票誰屬。



The earliest the Yankees can supplant the Red Sox in first place this season is tomorrow, the ninth day before the end of the season.

最快在明天, 洋基就能超越紅襪取得分區領先的地位, 而本季例行賽也僅剩9天就將劃下句點。



But who, as recently as a week ago, would have thought that even that statement would have been possible? The Red Sox were five and a half games ahead of the Yankees and seemingly in control of the American League East race.

在一個禮拜前, 有誰能料到這樣的狀況會發生?當時紅襪仍然領先洋基達五場半勝差, 而美聯東區王座也看似紅襪隊的囊中物。



They had fought off Yankees threats in the first few weeks of August, when the Yankees narrowed their deficit to four games from eight, and there didn’t seem to be much time for the Yankees to mount another threat.

紅襪隊在八月前幾週也曾經感受到相同的威脅, 當時洋基一口氣將兩隊的勝差從8場縮小到4場, 不過自此之後, 沒有人認為洋基有足夠的時間再對紅襪隊造成威脅。



Back on May 29, the Red Sox built their biggest lead over the Yankees, 14 ½ games, half a game larger than Boston’s biggest lead over the Yankees in 1978. But on the first three days of June, the Yankees won two of three games at Fenway Park, a warmup to a nine-game winning streak that slashed Boston’s lead to seven and a half games.

時間回到5月29日, 當時的紅襪領先洋基的勝場數達到本季最高的14場半, 這比1978年球季紅襪領先洋基的最大差距還要多上半場。不過就在六月的前三天, 洋基在作客芬威球場和紅襪進行三連戰時拿下了其中兩場比賽的勝利, 而這不過是洋基之後一波九連勝的序曲罷了, 洋基很快地就把和紅襪的差距縮小到七場半。



I wrote during that streak that if the Yankees continued lopping games off Boston’s lead at that same rate, they would overtake the Red Sox by July 4.

當時我曾經在文章中提及, 如果洋基用持續的速率追趕紅襪的話, 他們將在7月4日前超越紅襪隊。



Obviously, I was premature. But lopping off games at a rapid rate is precisely what the Yankees have done this week, five and a half games down to one and a half in four days. The spurt has Red Sox fans reeling.

我知道我當時的預測太過草率, 但是說到用驚人的速度追趕紅襪, 不就正是洋基本週表現的最佳寫照嗎?僅僅四天內, 他們把五場半的勝差縮小到一場半, 這可讓紅襪球迷猶如芒刺在背。



“The mood is suicidal,” a fan from Maine said in an e-mail message yesterday. “The Yanks are going to win the division.”

"我們很難不往壞處想..." 一位家住緬因州的紅襪球迷在電子郵件中寫到, "看來洋基將贏得最後的勝利。"



Another Maine fan wrote: “I am in a bad mood, I’m tired and I’m angry. Too long a season, too many series with the Yankees, too much trick or treat with these Red Sox.”

另一個同樣家住緬因州的球迷也寫到, "我的心情糟透了、又疲憊又生氣, 這個球季實在太長了, 和洋基的比賽也像是永遠打不完似的, 更別提今年這支紅襪隊帶給我們多少'驚喜'了。"



A woman from Boston said there was “lots and lots of disappointment,” adding: “Something happened to this team in the last two weeks. It’s almost like they don’t want to win.”

一位家住波士頓的女球迷也表示, "我實在是太失望了..." 她補充道, "過去兩個禮拜間, 紅襪隊的表現實在太令我失望了, 看起來就像他們根本沒有贏球的慾望。"



A Boston lawyer said he listened to Red Sox games and asked: “Why am I doing this? This is a waste of time. I know the Sox will blow it at the end and the Yanks will win. And every night lately that premonition comes true.”

一位在波士頓執業的律師, 曾在透過廣播收聽紅襪隊比賽時這麼問自己, "我到底在做什麼?這根本是在浪費時間, 我早就知道紅襪隊遲早會把事情搞砸, 然後把勝利拱手讓給洋基, 紅襪隊最近幾場比賽的表現更加證明了我的預感並沒有錯。"



He added, “There truly is a foreboding sense that this is the arrival of the inevitable collapse and that they are gagging like they did in ’78.”

他繼續補充道, "這看起來就像是紅襪隊走到了事先早被預測到卻無可避免的崩潰點, 1978年的悲劇即將重演。"



Ah yes, the unmentionable 1978. The lawyer was only 9 years old in 1978, so he didn’t feel the full agony of the collapse. He’s feeling it now.

1978年, 那個紅襪球迷不願提及的球季, 當時年僅9歲的他(上述律師)並無法了解當年紅襪球迷所承受的痛苦, 而現在他總算清楚感受到了。



“There is definitely the overriding sense that this race is over, the Yankees will win the division and the proper world order will be restored,” he wrote.

"現在大家普遍都認為兩隊在今年球季的競爭已經劃下句點了, 洋基將會贏得分區王座, 而世界也將回復常軌。" 他這麼寫著。



Another lawyer, this one a Red Sox fan in New York, expressed that view about 10 days ago, perhaps anticipating the Red Sox’ collapse.

另一位身為紅襪球迷卻在紐約執業的律師也在10天前就提出同樣的說法, 似乎早已預知了紅襪的崩壞。



But he also adopted a defensive position — arguing that all that really mattered was getting into the playoffs and that in that regard, Boston was still in good shape.

不過他同時也提到 - 得到季後賽席次才是最重要的, 而照目前的狀況看來, 紅襪拿到季後賽門票應該不會有太大問題。



He wrote, “To me there is no independent importance to winning a crown before the real crown.”

他寫到, "對我而言, 贏得分區王座是一回事, 贏得世界大賽桂冠又是另外一碼事了。"



But the Boston lawyer rejected that view: “People are already saying, as long as they get into the tournament, anything can happen. But I and we all know in the deepest and truest parts of our brains that if the Sox and Yanks meet up in the playoffs, the Sox will get their butts kicked because they have been treated by the Yanks lately as the bully might treat the puny punk on the corner.”

那位在波士頓執業的律師對這樣的看法頗不以為然, "人們說, 就算洋基能進入季後賽, 也不代表他們就能一路高唱凱歌, 不過我清楚知道, 只要我們(紅襪)在季後賽遇上洋基, 我們將被打得落花流水, 就拿最近幾場比賽來說吧, 他們(洋基)就像是大人欺負小孩一樣狠狠教訓了我們(紅襪)。"



Still, there is that big difference between this season and 1978. In 1978, it was finish first or go home. Now the Red Sox have a safety net, the wild card.

不過今年球季和1978年球季的狀況還是有所不同, 當年只有分區第一的球隊能進入季後賽, 而如今就算紅襪讓出美聯東區王座, 他們也還有外卡這條路可走。



Their won-lost record is seven games better than Detroit’s. Any combination of Boston victories and Detroit losses totaling three would, if nothing else, clinch the wild-card playoff spot for the Red Sox.

目前紅襪隊仍然領先老虎隊多達七場, 只要紅襪隊在接下來賽事的勝場數加上老虎隊的敗場數總和達到3時, 紅襪就能保證取得外卡資格。



It’s also possible that the Red Sox could watch the Yankees overtake them but still have the last laugh. If the Red Sox were to take the wild card and the Cleveland Indians finished with a better record than the Los Angeles Angels, the Yankees’ first-round opponent would be the Angels, the team they least want to play.

不過就算紅襪最終只能眼睜睜看著洋基奪去美聯東區王座, 紅襪仍然有可能是最後的勝利者。假如紅襪取得外卡資格, 而同時印地安人的例行賽戰績超越天使隊的話, 洋基在季後賽首輪的對手將會是他們最不樂見的天使。



The Yankees won all six of their games with the Indians this season, but lost 6 of 9 to the Angels. The Red Sox were 5-2 against the Indians, 6-4 against the Angels.

在今年球季和印地安人對戰的6場比賽中, 洋基取得全勝佳績, 不過和天使對戰的9場比賽中, 洋基卻輸了其中6場。反觀紅襪, 除了在和印地安人的7場對戰中取得5勝2敗的成績, 面對天使的10場比賽中也拿下了其中6場比賽的勝利。



Unlike 1978, a first-place tie between Boston and the Yankees would not be played off. Assuming the Tigers are out of it, the Yankees and the Red Sox would be assured of a spot in the playoffs. And just as in 2005, the Yankees would be declared the division champions because they won the season series with the Red Sox, 10 games to 8, to the dismay of all New England.

不同於1978年球季的是, 就算洋基和紅襪在例行賽結束時戰績相同, 他們也不會面臨要淘汰其中一隊的殘酷場面, 如果兩隊真的戰績不相上下, 就像2005年球季一樣, 洋基將因對戰成績較佳(10勝8敗)奪下美聯東區冠軍, 而整個新英格蘭區也會因此而倍感羞辱。









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