New York Times (October 31st) reported Red Sox’s victory in the World Series under the title, “Red Sox Rout Cardinals to Win World Series”

It begins with the following sentence:

For much of the 20th century, the Boston Red Sox were a symbol of frustration and pain for an entire region. As popular as they were in their corner of the nation, either they were good enough to lose in agonizing fashion on baseball’s grandest stage, or they were just plain bad. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/31/sports/baseball/boston-red-sox-rout-st-louis-cardinals-to-win-world-series.html?hp

I’m comfortable with the expression, “they are good enough to win,” but feel somewhat uneasy with “they are good enough to lose,” no matter whether it’s in agonizing fashion or in happy fashion. If you are good enough (at game"), logically, you shouldn't lose (the game).

Is “good enough to lose” a common expression? What does it mean? Can I say "My son was “good enough to fail" the college entrance exam," / "He was good enough to be fired because of frequent boobs," by the same token?

1 Answer 1


The author means: they were in that period good enough to get to the world series and then lose anyway or just plain bad on other occasions

My son was good enough to fail Harward i.e. just to get in was an achievement

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