Growing up in New England as a sports fan the Red Sox made up such a deep rooted part of your identity. Every spring despite what happened the previous fall when the Sox always fell short there was always some optimism about the upcoming year. You’d read stories about the up and coming players or the veteran who you were convinced was going to turn back the clock for one more year and you’d go into opening day with the thought that this was the year. Kids everywhere would be talking about the Sox or playing outside trying to be the next Dwight Evans or Yaz while other kids my age wanted to be Jim Rice, Wade Boggs or later on Roger Clemens. Yet this love, this devotion was completely illogical. The Red Sox didn’t stink. Worse, they dangled the illusion of winning a World Series so many times with some of the great teams they had like the 67,75 78, and 86 Sox. The 86 season was particularly crushing for my 12-year-old psyche. A whole book could be written about that game 6. Despite this perpetual agony and shitty ownership (more on that later)my fanaticism never went away even into adulthood as I watched them get knocked out of the playoffs in 95,98,99, and in 2003 (FU Aaron Boone)
When the Sox finally won in 04 there was a release of all the pent-up frustration from the last 86 years and the parade 3 days later is one of my favorite sports memories. However, since then, even with 2 more World Series titles I have soured on this team in some ways especially since 2011 even as I continue to root for the team something has changed and it’s not that I’m satisfied with what they’ve won or bored now that even another title will pale in comparison to the 1st. It’s just that a few things have really stuck in my craw over the years and there are some that have popped up in the last couple of years that have really built a well of serious spite towards this team. Here are the 5 things that really piss me off about this team and a possible solution for each one.
5. The Fenway Myth – Let me make this perfectly clear. This place is a fucking dump. What exactly is the appeal of way too small seats with obstructed views everywhere? ” Oh it’s a shrine. I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else”A shrine to what exactly? Losing? Falling short? That’s about it. Sure there have been some good moments there but you could say that about a lot of places. How about losing game 7 in 67 or game 7 in 75 or the Bucky Dent game in 78 or getting knocked out of the playoffs there in 95,98,and 99. Oh yeah I’m real nostalgic for that.The old Yankee stadium got taken down and that place had a great winning tradition. Why do we as Boston sports fans feel so attached to this place?I’ve heard it all like “I want to sit where my grandfather did” What!!!!! Do you want to get the same treatment for a cold that he got too? This mentality is insane to me. Now that Fenway has been designated a historical landmark (and like I said before it’s not a great history) it can never come down so leave it as a museum and let the mutants who love it shell out $40 for a tour so they can get ripped off like they did when it was a park. Sox ownership loves bleeding every buck they can out of gullible fans so a museum idea would work. Plus we’ve won a series in that park so there’s nothing to hold on to. It’s 2017. I want to be comfortable when I watch a game. Hell, I actually want to see what’s happening and not have to crane my neck to see what’s going on. There is nothing enjoyable about the Fenway experience. Sox ownership has tried to dress it up but you can put a silk hat on a pig but it’s still a pig. Let’s get a new God Damn stadium and become an even bigger market in the baseball world. Fenway is run down and antiquated and that’s being Mother Theresa level charitable It’s long overdue to get a new park.
4. Bad fans – Hi, um excuse me. Pardon me. HEYYYYYYY. Can you look up away from your phone for one friggin second! I see these kinds of fans everywhere when I watch a game. They’re taking selfies and checking in on Facebook so everyone knows they’re at Fenway wearing their brand new Sox hat and shirt that they paid through the nose for. They’re wondering where Tom Brady is and if he’ll get a slam dunk. They don’t care about what’s going on at the game but they’re more than happy to text their friends to tell them how drunk they are (probably on Chardonnay) The absolute cherry on this Sundae of these shit fans is the Sweet Caroline sing along. This is the worst tradition in sports. What does this have to do with baseball? This is an embarrassment to any true fan. Want to sing along? Go to Country Fest or one of the shit concerts at Fenway. There’s a million baseball based songs including the classic Take me out to the ball game. It’s a great song and fits into the flow of the game. Sox owners bare a lot of culpability on this one (more on that later) and Fever Pitch, which is just an awful movie, popularized it as well. The fans still are the ones going along with this. It’s amazing how happy these bozos are singing along to this shit while the Sox are getting clobbered 10-2. The game means literally nothing to them. So good so good so good. What can real fans do? Don’t sing. Boo in fact. Don’t feel guilty about not wanting to sing a song by a glorified lounge singer. This is not who real Red Sox fans are. It’s been a disgrace for over a decade. Can we just go back to cheering for the team, having a few beers, booing shitty play and opposing players and jumping out of out seats when there’s a big play which would necessitate actually paying attention and knowing what’s going on. C’mon Sox nation! You’re better than this.
3. The lineup – In a word these guys are consistently mediocre. They run the bases like a drunk college kid running from the cops. Every major guy has regressed from last year pretty much. Betts, JBJ, Pedroia, Hanley, and especially Bogaerts who was supposed to be a superstar and is now pretty much an average stiff. No pop, no heart. Sucks in any kind of clutch situation and always seems to have a physical issue. Betts and Bradley at least are still stellar defensively. Bogaerts is an error waiting to happen. Get this guy out of here while he still has some value. Pedroia really surprised me this year when he basically stabbed his teammates in the back telling Manny Machado he had nothing to do with his being thrown at. He completely sold his team down the river which is the antithesis of a leader which he is supposed to be. He doesn’t like taking tough questions. He can’t stay healthy anymore. He’s another guy that just needs to get out of here.
Hanley-This guy. I mean, Jesus Christ what an absolute loser. Million dollar talent. Ten cent heart. Sox ownership should have known this already since he was an asshole as a prospect here; didn’t listen to coaches, didn’t give 100%. He had a hard time dealing with the Florida media as a Marlin and they barely care about pro sports there. The guy is just dead weight and doesn’t care. Another one that we absolutely need to get rid of although with his contract it will be tough. At least he only has one season left. If I’m Sox management I make a big offer to Eric Hosmer this offseason. Great glove, he can hit for a decent average, has some pop, is a real leader. As for this year, thank God they got Nuñez and that Benintendi has been pretty good plus their pitching has really carried them thanks to Sale, Pomeranz and Kimbrel. Nevertheless it is doubtful this team does anything in the playoffs because of……
2. John Farrell – My God is this guy terrible. Just abysmal in every way. I can’t believe he once played baseball. He has no instinct or feel for the game at all. He is the worst Sox manager I have seen in my life. He has no strengths. Not a good strategist, doesn’t handle the clubhouse well and is not respected by the team. He has been a detriment to the team since the day he came here. He was even bad when they won it all in 2013. He let Brandon Workman hit in the 9th inning of a tied game 3 of the World Series because he either couldn’t figure out the double switch or thought it was a good idea to let a relief pitcher hit. Either one shows this guy can’t handle being the manager of a big league club. From not using Brad Ziegler last year for unexplained reasons or using Matt Barnes on the road this year when there’s a mountain of evidence telling you that’s an epic mistake or not bunting in obvious situations or continuing to hit Bogaerts high in the lineup when he has sucked for almost a year and a half now (I could write 1,000 words just on why Bogaerts sucks)to not doing anything when guys are constantly getting thrown out on the bases or getting gunned down stealing because ” we try to stay aggressive.” Good thinking Johnny Boy. I’m sure that won’t bite us in the ass in the playoffs. As for his command of his command of the clubhouse well he’s pretty much a joke now after news of his affair with a Sox beat reporter was made public. Pablo Sandoval is liking Instagram models during a game. David Price berating Eckerskey because Eck was a little critical and the manager does nothing. This guy was supposed to be the sheriff when he came here. He was going to keep that clubhouse in order. He’s more like Barney Fife only dumber and knows less about baseball. This guy has to go. They won’t win with him. The only reason they won in 2013 was because he had a special group of veterans that took care of business. Farrell and Chili Davis with his take, take, take hitting philosophy and the rest of this staff need to go. Bring in a guy that will hold these assholes accountable and has some semblance of baseball knowledge. I would try to lure Jim Leyland out of retirement. He could put together a good coaching staff and would be a 1,000 % improvement over the empty uniform we have in the dugout now.
1.Ownership – Truth be told these guys have some culpability for reasons 2-5 on this list. However, a lot of people love the owners and there’s an obvious reason why. The previous owners were about as bad as it gets. Tom Yawkey was a racist. That’s just a fact. Didn’t want black players on his team like Willie Mays or Jackie Robinson, both of whom he could have signed but they weren’t “his type” of players. Then his wife and the whole group that made up the Yawkey trust were more miserly and aloof than Montgomery Burns. They ran Carlton Fisk and Fred Lynn out-of-town in their primes. They put a bad product out there many years and didn’t care because they knew people would come to Fenway no matter what. Their attitude was one of deep disdain and condescension to their fan base. That’s why when the new owners took over and actually professed joy and a commitment to winning Sox fans rejoiced like we had been liberated from some tyrannical dictatorship.
Nevertheless this ownership group has made a ton of mistakes which is understandable, it happens but they’ve also done some really dirty underhanded shit and seem really preoccupied with winning PR battles and having ceremonies for every little thing rather than winning championships. The 2013 team was complete luck. They signed some veterans to bring back some respectability and professionalism to a team that had sorely been lacking it for the last couple of years before. They did a reprehensible hatchet job on Francona after they fired him after the 2011 season which was the right move but it wasn’t enough to just do that. They had to resort to the scumbag route and leak to the Globe that he had some possible issues with pills and was living in a hotel because he was going through a divorce. Way to keep it classy guys. They couldn’t just wish him well. No, they had to shit all over a guy who had represented the team with class, won 2 titles and made the playoffs 5 of his 8 years here. That’s just one of many issues these guys have. They completely screwed up the managerial situation by not firing Farrell and promoting Lovullo after the 2015 season. Instead they keep Dumbo and let Lovullo go to Arizona which now has the 2nd best record in the NL. Farrell finished last 2 years in a row. That is not acceptable for this town and these assholes kept him! Great move guys but it gets better ( or worse actually) They don’t even make an offer to Encarnacion in the offseason even though the guy’s swing is built for Fenway and it was obvious they would need a power hitter with Ortiz retiring. Did they think all those guys who broke out last year wouldn’t be affected by the absence of Ortiz this year? What a horrific error in judgement. Speaking of Ortiz, was it necessary to have all those ceremonies at the end of the year last year when the team was heading into the playoffs? That was an incredibly unnecessary distraction but God forbid they don’t milk every situation for every last dime they can. They could have honored him this year in April when the games didn’t mean as much. They don’t care about the team just the bottom line which is fine because the truth is fans want to see a winner. At least the real fans. We don’t want to wear panda hats or look at how many twitter followers certain players have. Put a winner on the field and you’ll rake in the cash. Hell, jack up the prices another 10%. Like I said before people just can’t wait to sit in those shitty seats. My solution to this issue? Well, the easy answer is they sell but that’s not happening. This team is the sweetest plum in their portfolio. What they need to do is hire a real team president who concentrates only on baseball operations. The owners can then focus on what they’re good at like having another shitty Springsteen concern next summer, Rousch racing, and all the charity drives they have which they actually do well. Focus on merchandising, TV, etc. Just leave what happens on the field and who’s playing to guys that know the game. Do that and they will win 2-3 titles in the next 10 years. Making the playoffs should be the bare minimum for this team with their resources and the young talent they have (no Xander, not talking about you) There are two teams who can outspend us and one is in the NL. If I have to tell you who the other team is go watch the Bachelor. With some good drafts there’s no reason a dynasty can’t be built here. Go Sox and fuck the other bullshit!!!!!
Categories: In be-Sween the Lines