Saturday, October 22, 2005

2005 Red Sox Summary

Here's what I don't get. I heard Red Sox fans this year say "This team just isn't the 2004 team." But I'm sure some of those people did the same thing the year before. When the '04 team was down 3-0 in the ALCS, I'm sure people said, "This just wasn't the 2003 team." To the point where some people didn't even watch game 4.

That's why I was so confused and kind of pissed that so many people just didn't believe the Red Sox could win this year. Note the key word in that sentence. It's "believe." That people refused to "believe" this year makes me think they were all full of shit the year before. You know, the people who held up "Believe" signs AFTER we'd completed the comeback in the ALCS and were playing in the pressure-free World Series.

I can understand someone saying that since it happened in '04, there was no way it could happen again the very next year. But for me, 2004 showed me that anything is possible. 2005 was the first season of my life and yours that we could look at baseball and say "I think my team's gonna win, and I have proof that there's no reason why they can't."

But instead of Sox fans taking on a new attitude, it was the same old crap. One blogger who just won't link to me picked the White Sox to win it all. This person seems like a die-hard fan who was pretty damn psyched about 2004. So why would they take a look at 2005 and say, "Hey, this White Sox club looks like a juggernaut"?

Red Sox fans "believe"--that the fucking White Sox will win it all!

I'm not saying it's not okay to make a prediction based on facts and what you honestly think will happen. But what the fuck? How about some of that "belief" that got us so far a few months earlier? Is it so important to be right? More important than the Red Sox winning? Because if you think that us "believing" had anything to do with 2004, well, just know that your non-believing had something to do with 2005.

That's right, I said it. Because I'm not a fucking newspaper reporter, I'm a human being.

Take BSMemorial. He knows more than most people about stats and all that stuff. He could have done an in-depth study of every team in the league--and he probably did--but he still picked the Red Sox at the beginning of 2005. He even admitted that it had something to do with the fact that he's a Red Sox fan. Right on, brutha. I know this isn't Jere's fantasy world, but couldn't we have had one year--one effing year--where we all said, "The Red Sox are gonna win, I don't wanna hear any of this White Sox shit!"?

Andrew said something about complaining and cynicism being every Sox fan's birthright. Well, that may have been true, but if you're still thinking that way after 2004, nothing's gonna cure you.

I know it's cool to be sad all the time and whatnot, and be all pissed at the happy people. I used to be like that myself. But maybe after living for four years with someone who wrote the most depressing, crawl-in-a-hole-and-cry-yourself-to-death (albeit really, really good) songs you've ever heard in your life, I just decided I was gonna be happy for a change. And the 2004 ALCS coincided with that break-up.

Maybe I'm just confused.

My World Series prediction?

Red Sox in (200)6.

Jere - I can't speak for anyone else, but there's absolutely a point in noting that this year's team wasn't 2004's. With 2004's team, I was stunned that they lost those first three games. I knew that that team was a great team, and that they should have competed. And, indeed, they did. With this one, though, I would have been surprised if they'd advanced far, simply because it was a different and worse team.

To me, being a fan and loving a team doesn't mean blindly believing they'll win every year; they won't. To me, it means rooting for them even if they won't win, and hoping that they will despite believing they won't. It has nothing to do with cynicism being a birthright - that was more of a joke than a truth. BSM picking the Sox at the beginning of '05 is fine. I might have done the same. Picking them at the END of '05 was a totally different thing; they simply didn't have it.

I don't really feel like me believing - in fact, knowing - that they didn't have it makes me somehow a worse fan, or some such bullshit. To be honest, I find the 'if you're a Red Sox fan you can't possibly ever believe that they won't win or that another team will' thing a bit offensive. Now, I can't really tell - to be honest - if that's what you're saying here. I suspect it's not. But Me wanting the Sox to win and me thinking they will are utterly different things, and it really is an important distinction.
Also, I'm not sure if you're trying to equate me with the few obnoxious Sox fans who acted pained that they won because there was nothing to complain about anymore. In any case, I really think you're confusing realism with gleeful pessimism. I would have been happy to be wrong about the Sox. Too bad I wasn't. Next year will be a different year, and I hope they win it all then too. But you know what? I'm not going to predict it. I'm okay with hope rather than potentially false statement.
Go Red Sox! Go Jere!
I'm not one to place bets on the next World Series before the first one is done, but one of the weirder bets I have left hanging from last hot stove season won't close until May 2006, so I have sympathy for wanting to lay bets early.
Andrew, this wasn't a personal attack on you, just so you know. And I wasn't talking about every year, just this special year where the Sox were defending champs. I don't think you or anyone else is less of a fan for not thinking the Sox will win, as many people, including members of my family and some friends, thought they wouldn't win. (Nor do I think you're sad that they did win in '04.) And I have had many years of thinking they wouldn't win. But I always feel I can will them to do good--unless Edgar's up--and that's no sillier than believing an invisible man watches over me, waiting to reward or punish me when I die. And I'm smart enough to know that Chan getting out of his chair didn't REALLY cause Bill Mueller to ground out, but I'm still gonna yell at him for it. Terrible job, Chan.
Hm. I know that I was thinking the Sox would win it all, and I was bitter and complaining the entire time. Same old Sox fan sort, but with higher expectations now? Maybe.
Superstition plays a really big part of my rooting for the Sox. If my baseball hats aren't aligned PERFECTLY, if my collection of programs is not stacked in a certain order, if I'm having a lousy day, it's all my fault that the Sox didn't win. When I finally realized I didn't have to carry that weight, which felt like a "chip on my shoulder bigger than a tree" as John Lennon said, I felt a lot better. But dammit, I still staighten those hats and mags anyways. Maybe it's out of love for the team but now I smile so much more. Such is life. Such is baseball. And so it goes.
I STILL Believed This Year. I had a great time, watching NESN, Win or Lose.

I WILL Have that Fun, Next Season, & for many seasons to come.
Jere - it's all good, man. Sorry to make a big deal of it, if I did, but it kind of stuck out for me, especially after the friendly crap given me after I declared the Sox dead in September. I'm still not entirely sure, if this isn't a 'how to be a fan' peice, what it is. Just a statement on the power of karma, if any?
Well it's a piece of something...

Weird how I'll comment on your site, only to find you've just commented on mine, on the same topic but at a different point within the thread.

Anyway, maybe it's because I've always lived around yankee fans telling me how the Sox will choke. So in my fantasy world, every Sox fan should always tell me that they won't. Like, if I want to hear someone say they think the Sox won't win, I can walk outside and hear it from anyone. So, in this one particular case, with the Sox having proven that they can win, I figured we could all just say "The Sox will win," at the very least until they prove that they can lose again. Which has happened. But it doesn't mean I'm denouncing people as fans. If I eliminated everyone who didn't agree with me on all things, well, I'd better go buy an extra pair of glasses, unlike Mr. Meredith.

I don't know, remember when Will Ferrell had been told to leave the room in his American flag underpants, and he tried to give it that one last "USA?" and they still just kicked him out? I feel like that, kind of. Like, I heard everyone say "Believe," and now 2004 has worn out its welcome, I guess, I'm sneakin' back in the door saying "Believe?"
*now THAT 2004...

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