Sunday, July 6, 2008

Random thoughts about the Red Sox

Bandwagon Ahoy!Would someone please look at the calender? There we go: it's July.
This means that regardless of how the Red Sox (or any of their opponents) are playing, there's still a chance. I bring this up because I grow weary of panicky Red Sox fans, the unbelievably pessimistic bunch who have replaced our usually cocky friends from the Bronx, and the nouveau rich Rays "fans" who are printing up World Series tickets already that NOTHING has been decided. It's July. If you don't believe how inconsequential the standings are at this point in the season, please find a Mets fan and ask him or her about last year. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Hooray for Tampa Bay and their impressive start, but its means nothing unless they can carry this into September and October. The Ray's fan base (who didn't exist prior to July, apparently) will again be purely mythical if they're lack of experience ever catches up with them. I'm sorry - I'm not impressed by a week where the Rays roll over the Marlins, Pirates, the Lowell Spinners team impersonating the Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals. That's what Tampa Bay is supposed to do with that collection of teams.

Pink Hats I have two problems with the so called "Pink Hats" and only two. 1. Pink is not a color of the Boston Red Sox. It is not a color of any major sports team - with the possible exception of Juventus. 2. Jason Variteck is not going to have sex with you.
Other than that, we're completely cool.
I love it how the media is trying to spin the friction between the Red Sox diehards who predate the massive post 2004 bandwagon and their new bizarrely colored opponents in Red Sox "nation" as some form of sexism rearing it's ugly head. In fact, I think the real friction is between the people who had to go through the late forties, 1967, 1975, 1978, 1986, the abysmal playoff series in 1988, 1990, 1995, and 1998, and the cataclysmic stupidity in 2003 and the late comers who have latched on to the "Nation" silliness or whatever the Rem Dog is selling this week. While it's fun to pose Wally the Green Monster in different positions or vote for the president of Red Sox "Nation", none of this has a thing to do with rooting for the Boston Red Sox. Can we please get back to supporting the baseball team and stifle any talk of us being a "nation" and not a fan base? No wonder everyone now hates us; how presumptuous it is for Red Sox fans - or anyone else! - to describe their rooting experience as nationhood! While rooting for a team should be fun, baseball is an enjoyable enough sport to follow on it's own merits without the additional silliness. This is a sport. Not a lifestyle.
Part of the problem is that because I root for all four "Boston teams", I can not lavish all of my time and energy on the Boston Red Sox. I root for the seemingly (ouch) invincible Patriots just as hard as I do for the hapless Bruins. You can follow four sports at one time - this is what prevents me from growing obsessed about the Sox to the point where I would join in whatever silly pink or green capped "Nation" the marketing division at Fenway is jamming down our throats this week. And it is marketing. I hate to say this, but isn't this faux "nationhood" deal the reason why everyone hates Cowboys fans?

MannyManny should have been forced to sit down for one game following his altercation with the traveling press secretary. The end. He should not have been traded, kicked off the team, put on waivers, arrested, or beaten up by the press secretary's family. The discussion of Manny's punishment was a lovely attempt to distract us from the five game losing streak, but it was a transparent one. I grow weary of the reflexive Manny bashing on the part of the Usual Gang of Idiots at WEEI.

The good old days I also tire of the grumpy old man segment of Red Sox fans (first in queue is the arch-masochist Angry Bill who has been whining and carrying on since 2004 in an apparent desire to resurrect Bucky Bleeping Dent or whatever tragedy it is he'd like to revisit) who have been moaning about the team since Yaz retired in 1983. That's a long time to hold a grudge. Besides, if you want to root for a hopeless case, you have the Bruins. The anti-hockey establishment in Boston is almost as hopelessly pathetic as the frauds who hate the "new" Red Sox for selling out. I'd love to be ignorant enough to accuse the Red Sox of selling out. Tom Yawkey's teams of the 40's and 50's were always the highest paid in baseball. And let's not sugar coat the fact that the Sox were the last team in baseball to integrate. Yeah, nothing like 86 years of misery, overpaid prima donnas, and racism to make one nostalgic, right?

I hate to sound arrogant, but I like it when my team wins a championship. It's a satisfying way for my loyalty to be repaid. If you don't know why, please understand that rooting for PC hockey makes me appreciate these things far more than I would otherwise. How can you get spoiled when you root for the Boston Bruins?

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