Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jim Caple: Douchebag

I was thinking of making a separate webpage celebrating the fine examples of recent assholery toward the Red Sox. Now I have even more of a reason.

Let's look at this rationally: The Red Sox. A fun team with fans who have supported them for a long time despite the team never winning, who were made fun of, a lot, for this, who now can be happy that the team finally won, but still support them as proudly as ever, while still going to other cities to see their team, buying tickets that the local fans don't want.

Now look at it from Jim "I Better Prepare the Pee-Proof Dome for my Gravestone and Surrounding Area" Caple's point of view: The Red Sox. A team whose fans "take over" seats from--I'm not making this up--"hard-working local fans," who should keep a World Series celebration "to ourselves" like the White Sox fans did (?), and who are--ooooooh, "acting like Yankee fans." Oh, no, what will we do, we've been told by a douchebag that we're acting like Yankee fans! Everybody, let's all stop rooting for our team! and just sit quietly when they win the World Series for the first time in our damn lives!

Seriously, that whole "tell people they're acting like their enemy" threat is so old and tired and ineffective. And thoughtless! You're a writer for ESPN, you can't think of an original idea? People were saying this shit since before we won the World Series! "Red Sox fans will become Yankee fans." What, do we now only cheer when the scoreboard tells us to? Do we now sing homophobic songs at every game? Do we act like we've already won when we haven't yet? Do we only pay attention to our own players, saying "no one could be better than..."? Do we treat fans of other cities like lower-class people? Do we ignore years in which we've lost and only bring up the years in which we've won? Do we talk about our uniform like it's a fucking sacred shroud? Do we hold up signs indicating the rival must have some magical curse on their heads? Do we rub our six championships in, hmmm, anyone's face, even though most teams haven't won that many? Do we use the term "mystique" seriously?

Caple and the rest of the jealous reporters are the ones who really need to shut up, not us.

The worst thing about this article is not the line about being like Yankee fans--he even admits that he's saying that in an effort to "sober us up." I just hate when he, or anyone else, starts a sentence with "ever since 2004." He's implying that we won, and so we all decided to go out to other cities and get in other fans' faces. Look, man, 86 years without winning and still being a fan of the same team should prove to you that we've always loved our team, win or lose. Surely you noticed Red Sox fans flocking to other stadiums, while selling out Fenway Park, BEFORE 2004. I've got pictures, guy. Or look at the old game tapes. Or listen to Ken Coleman in the game from 1967, which appears on the DVD about that season. He mentions how they've seen great support for the team all year long, at home and in other cities.

Do these people think that if Dave Roberts had had one less Wheatie that night in October 2004, and had been thrown out, and we still hadn't seen a championship, that we'd all have given up? A Camden Yards with 50,000 Orioles fans? You have to be shitting me. We love our team and we follow them around. (And ask the Sox fans you see at road parks--you'll note that most of them traveled from or once lived in New England. These aren't bandwagoners.) If anything, complain about the state of a professional sports league that allows most of its teams to not have a chance to win, leaving the few teams that do have a chance forced to try to keep up with Steinbrenner.

What this guy should do is go to a game at Fenway Park. If he can find any of the visiting team's fans (this doesn't include Yankee games, naturally), he should follow them around the whole game, and see if anyone insults them in any way. We're not out to hurt anybody, we're just rooting for our team, and against the Yankees. (That last sentence could very well be America's motto for all non-Yankee fans.)

Caple: We're not going anywhere. We are proud of our team. We put up with a lot of shit. Almost all the other teams' fans got to see a championship. We are so psyched for what those guys did for us, we're still going to cheer them, as a (non-Yankee) visitor or still as one of our own. I don't see anything wrong with that. Other cities: we have no problem with you or your team, we're just in your park to root for our guys. (And we'll be rooting for your guys against the Yanks.) If this causes anger in you, consider directing that toward your fellow fans who aren't buying seats, or the league for not doing a better job of keeping all the teams on a level playing field.

Again, we can all rejoice in our mutual hatred for the New York Yankees.

Let's go Red Sox. And all other non-Yankee teams. Clap clap clap clap effin' clap.

Five games up as we move toward September.

I had started writing something about both Caple and Simmons last night and put it aside.

I like what you wrote about Caple better. Well said.
Love your response to Caple’s article Jere. As you said, his argument that Red Sox fans are “taking over seats in major league ballparks that should go to hard-working local fans” is just silly. For example, we go to the Sox games out here in Seattle. How do we get tickets? We wait in line in February on the first day that tickets go on sale. There are always tons of other transplanted New Englanders waiting in line at that time too because they are passionate fans who want to be sure to get tickets for the Sox series. Why aren’t more “hard working” Mariners fans waiting in line?

Likewise, I remember a whiny article in a Seattle newspaper about how loud and annoying “Red Sox Nation” was during the June series in Seattle. The author of the article estimated that 40% of the fans at Safeco Field were Red Sox fans. The average attendance of the three game series was 37,454. The capacity of Safeco is 47,447. If 10,000 more Mariners fans had bothered to show up to the games to cheer for their team, they could have drowned out the Red Sox fans.

Is it really a horrible thing that we want to watch and cheer for our team?
Jim Caple has a book out with Steve Buckley called "The Best Boston Sports Arguments: The 100 Most Controversial, Debatable Questions for Die-Hard Boston Fans."

The number one question: why is Jim Caple such a douchebag?

This from the guy who wrote "The Devil Wears Pinstripes." What a phony bastard.
I love to see fans of the visiting team in Fenway (Yankees excepted, of course). And I can't count the number of times I've chatted with folks who are neither Sox fans nor fans of the opposing team--they just want to see Fenway.

I've gone to seven road parks to see the Red Sox (and been part of a large crowd every time); I've also seen the Padres on the road in five parks, and while the numbers are much different, the atmosphere isn't necessarily so different. I think folks who will travel to see their team are some of the best BASEBALL fans there are.

Local fan support for the HOME team is the best way not to have to worry about the visitors...
Right on Jere
Good job, Jere.

On my blog, I just kept it simple about Caple. ("Blow it out your ass, Caple.")

These days I believe sportswriters are on a par with politicians and lawyers as far as douchebaggery.
I agree with most of what you wrote and think Caple was just having a good whine and you should send him some cheese to go with it.
Here's my objection to what you wrote. There ARE a lot more Red Sox fans since the 2003 and 2004 season and I do think more fans travel to the other parks now than they did before 2004. There are fans who live outside New England who watched the Red Sox for those two years and fell in love with our team....and that's a good thing.
I applied for season tickets at City of Palms Park at the end of spring training, 2003. Not only could I get 4 seats but I got 4 good seats. By the end of spring training 2004, there was a waiting list for season tickets. Now I understand the waiting list is about 3-4 years long.
Amen Jere! My wife and I lived in the Baltimore area for several years and we are thrilled to see the Red Sox a few times a year in Camden Yards. Is it our fault the Birds can't pull their own fans in for a home game? Should we not go to a game because we are there to see the visiting team? I've also been to Camden Yards for a non-Sox game. Think Devil Rays v Orioles makes the hot dog vendors excited? A full stadium is good for the home team’s bottom line. It might not make the player thrilled, but that’s not the fault of the visiting team and their fans.

Also, with all the Sox T-Shirts and jerseys in Baltimore, I've never seen any trouble or heard anyone being disrespectful. Does it happen? I'm sure it does, but it's not a wide spread issue. It's great to take pride in your team and be excited to see them.

Last thought - I was traveling out of the country during the 2000 Olympics. I was having a few drinks at a bar showing the games and the US team won some event. A group of US citizens across the bar cheered for their team. Would Caple condemn them for having pride in the US Olympic team just because they weren't watching the game on US soil? You can be a fan wherever you are - just be classy about it and be respectful of your hosts. I've always thought Sox fans (and most sports fans) do this no matter where they are watching the game.

Jere - Thanks for letting me vent.
Glad to see so many people defend our side!

Brenken: I agree that the team becoming more fun with all the personalties, plus the key fact that they became good enough to give us a chance to win every year, made the Red Sox a more popular team. But, like you say, it was already hard to get tix before the championship. Caple and others imply that the popularity is because we won, which is wrong.

I still haven't come across a person that suddenly is wearing Red Sox gear that I immediately get a bad taste in my mouth about because I know they just jumped on board after 2004. And when I travel to see the team, it seems like all the Sox fans are either families or college kids from New England, all of whom were always Sox fans. Of course there are the little kids who fell in love with Johnny Damon or whatever, but, again, they were jumping in with something that was "cool," as opposed to jumping on the "winning side." -- The late-90s Yankees teams had no personality, so their bandwagoning fans were buying Yankee shirts to show what a "winner" they were. Except for Jeter-ettes, but since he won in his first season, we'll never know how many screaming 12-year old girls would've bought his T-shirt had he not won anything, not been in the spotlight, etc.

sittingstill: I was just thinking of that. How on my recent trip to Baltimore, there was one "fight," and it was just drunk people, and I don't think it was O's fan vs. Sox fan. Overall, it's just 40,000 people getting along. If an Oriole fan is next to you, they'll chat with you about where you're from, etc. There are people that are really sick of us being in their park, and they get frustrated, but for the most part everyone's friendly. I've even had great experiences at Yankee Stadium throughout my life (amongst bad ones), talking to Yankee fans next to me. Some specific things, though: When I went to Cleveland, this one lady was so mad--and it was at the very end of the game, which we'd won--she muttered something at me as she passed me. As the crowd slowed, I was able to keep up with her, and I purposely stayed right behind her. She was probably too drunk to notice. And in Philly, some girl passed us, again, all mad after a loss to the Sox, and she called me a "fucking fag," and I just kind of smiled and turned around, watching her continue to run away from me, as most cowards who yell at people in crowds will. So there are people who get mad at visiting fans in their park, but, I say, take alcohol out of the mix and you'd thin out that crowd.
"Malo Caple Est":

In my blog, Caple is named to 2 of my Nasty S--- Lists;

Off to Fenway;

I always feel a little bad when I go to Camden Yards and blend in with the sea of red and blue that always permeates the stadium. I think the O's really needs to beef up their marketing staff. It's not like they don't have any star players. Maybe, if O's fans filled their stadium, the boost might motivate the players.
Add this douche to the recent Sox Public Enemy list:
1. Jim Caple
2. Joba the slut
3. MLB uniform police

Great Blog!

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