How the Mighty Do Fall

Article excerpt

FORGIVE us New Englanders this editorial indulgence, but who says it's just a game?

In Boston, Red Sox baseball is a tradition - a way of life. In the popular film "Field of Dreams," what ballpark do you think Kevin Costner travels to from Iowa? Our very own Fenway. (Today, Costner would have to get tickets months in advance.) Fans know the Red Sox have trouble winning it all. But they always almost win it all.

Except this year. Things aren't turning out for the Olde Towne Team quite the way the Sox executives hyped it this spring - after spending a colossal $60 million on player contracts during the winter.

The Red Sox are losing, and losing badly. What started as a cocksure season, a bought championship, is turning into a tough morality play. Boston has gone from first to fourth. Minnesota swept - at home! Not even Sports Illustrated cover-pitcher Roger Clemens could stop a disastrous losing streak. Million-dollar batters hit a spindly .215. Former stars fall. Big renegotiators flub in the field. …