I'm sick of Red Sox fans.
Let me rephrase. I'm sick of Red Sox fans who blame every little teeny tiny thing, like a five-game sweep, on every single possible outside force or reason, without really understanding that all the blame lies with the Red Sox owners, management and players. I'm sick of the persecution complexes and the conspiracy theories and the out-and-out whining. I'm sick of being surrounded by people unable to have a discussion about baseball
because they can't see past their own hurt feelings and sadness. I'm sick of the act of being a baseball fan being relegated simply to throwing sand in the eyes of someone you don't like. I'm sick of baseball not being fun.
Ask my wife: nobody has ever hurled as many off-color, impossible-sexual-move-suggesting, vulgarities at Derek Jeter as I have. Because he makes me madder than just about any baseball player who has ever lived. And you know why? Because he's really, really fucking good. And he's really fucking clutch. And he has won a lot. At our expense, especially. But he's a great player, having maybe his best season yet. The idea that you can string together 2,000 consecutive "cheap" hits to create this fraud of a career is a pathetic notion, one that discredits anyone who makes this assertion look like they've never been a real fan of baseball
. So Pokey's catch was better (and it was); does that make Jeter's catch bullshit? No. So Papi and Manny put up their own huge numbers; does that make Jeter's numbers or contributions to his team meaningless? Of course not. Guess what folks...Papi's not gonna let you put his
MVP trophy on your
mantle at home. Neither's Manny, if he even took the time to go pick it up if he won. The Red Sox have fans who celebrate Manny's consistently selfish, lackadaisacal play and plaster "Manny Being Manny" on t-shirts and signs. That's bullshit. McAdam in the Pro-Jo today said that Manny was so upset about what he thought was a hit Friday night being scored an error that he lobbied MLB to change the call, and threatened to sit out Saturday's game in protest. In the middle of a fucking pennant race. That is fucking embarrassing to anyonoe who has ever worn the scarlet letter.
The Red Sox are fronted by three conspiratorial, thin-skinned whiners, general managed by an overmatched and overrated "whiz" kid, and managed by an apologist of the biggest kind. Nothing's ever anyone's fault. Cano's double yesterday shines the biggest spotlight on the difference between these two teams right now. He pulls a ball in the whole between first and second, hustles all the way; Loretta makes his usual 110% effort to get to it, it gets by, and there's Pena, loafing in right field, not aggressively backing up the play. And it turned a single into a double. If Pena's charging hard on that ball, anticipating that it might get by Mark, then he probably holds Cano to a single. And Abreu doesn't drive him in from first with his hit. But there it is. Cano took the chance, was agressive and heads up, and caught us slacking. So who's gonna step up and say to Pena, "What the fuck, dude?" My guess is no one. Somebody will say, "Well, you know, Loretta makes that play 9 times out of 10, and you know, it's Wily's bat that we need right now, and you know..."
Theo had a chance to step up and take responsibility for our horrendous pitching staff. Did he? Not really, he sort of deflected it on to the Holy Grail of RSN, the salary gap. Did he say, "Ya know what, when it comes to pitchers the last two years, maybe we haven't really been as good at evaluating talent and value as we thought. And that's my fault." No, of course not. Because it's not his fault, right? He just can't spend as much money. Not that the idea of just spending the money you do have more wisely
has anything to do with it. Maybe not throwing $40 mil at Edgar, or whatever ungodly sum we're paying Clement, or maybe being able to see the anomaly that Seanez's numbers were in the NL last year and not overvaluing Tavarez's contributions to another NL team. Maybe not throwing what will most likely end up being a horrific contract extention at the dumbest pitcher in MLB, Josh Beckett. Maybe keeping a half-decent minor league catcher in reserve who can actually, I don't know, catch the ball, and maybe hit .250 in the process. Maybe not undervaluing key members of your own team, and I'm gonna finally come out and say this: losing Damon was a colossal mistake, not just because of how he played this weekend, but because of what he meant to the team. Of course Crisp makes the whole thing look much worse by comparison, but still, we are developing this pattern of low-balling key people, and then spinning them off as traitors when they leave. Dr. Charles makes sure the Red Sox look like the spurned lover, left at the alter for the richer enemy. Spin control like that makes sure nobody upstairs has to take responsibility for shitty personnel decisions.
With all that hot air coming from Yawkey Way, it's no wonder that such a large portion of our fans end up spouting the same worthless rhetoric. When did it become so hard in America to admit that somebody is just plain better than you? We rail on people like DaaaaYankeesWin, who is obnoxious sometimes, but sounds like a baseball fan, making salient baseball points. When did the dialogue become so poisonous? I have several Yankee fan friends and yeah, we trash talk, but we talk about the game
mostly; the numbers, the trends, we argue for our favorite players, and rail against the ones we despise. But when they make a great point, or when their team just flat hands our ass to us, we make a point to acknowledge the other team's accomplishment. We don't just say, "Yeah, ok, you swept five in a row, but you know, you suck because your starters' ERA was high." Who cares if the Yankees starters' ERA was around five for the series; WE JUST LOST FIVE GAMES IN A ROW TO OUR MOST BITTER RIVAL.
It hurts. But don't blame it on anything other than us getting out-pitched, out-hit, out-hustled and out-managed for five straight games. Don't blame it on money or injuries or umpires or annoying rival television announcers. And don't diminish or refuse to acknowledge the accomplishments of the victor, because it comes across as cheap whining, sore losing and it diminishes your stature as a fan of the game. It relegates you to the sort of fan we always decry, the one who only roots to be on the winning side, not one who roots for the love of a the best game there is. We've all been guilty of being the former; would it kill us to remember how much fun baseball can be when you concentrate on being the latter?