Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The World Series Is About To Start At Fenway Park. Again. (I Just Like Saying That.)

If you're here for my ALCS Game 7 "live" coverage, start here.

Wakefield's out for the World Series with his injury problems, so Snyder takes his place. But why isn't Tavarez taking Gagne's spot? We've got the three big starters, and then Lester/Snyder for Game Four. So what if one of the big three gets in trouble early? Wouldn't Tavarez be perfect for that role? And doesn't it make perfect sense, since Gagne can't do anything right? Am I missing something? Didn't we all decide we never wanted to see the guy again? Whatever. Hopefully we never need to use the guy, but if we do, who knows, maybe he pulls a "JD Drew that one time."

We face Francis in Game One. He gave up 7 hits, but no runs to us in 5 innings in June. Tek was 2 for 3 against him. Meanwhile, Beckett had a tough time against the Rox in the same series. Both those things can't happen again, right? Nah. And this is post-season Beckett besides. Game One is key--if we can win it, we face their rookie who's prone to control issues, with Schilling going for us.

Here's a person who thinks the Mets' collapse this season makes the Yanks' 2004 historical one hurt less. She, hoping that if she simply says something, it will be true (only a Yankee fan, people), acts like when people think "choke" now, they'll think '07 Mets and not '04 Yanks. She even goes so far as to pull some random numbers out of her ass, saying, confidently, "the Sox had the same chance of a 4-game comeback as I have buying a scratch-off card and winning a buck on it. The Mets had the same chance of disintegrating as there is of an asteroid attacking the earth." Hmmm, by that logic, she would've been the FIRST PERSON IN HISTORY to win a dollar on a scratch-off ticket. God, these dopes make it so easy! The best part is, of course, that I get to hear Yankee fans saying to other fans "your choke was worse than our choke!" Again, this is stuff I've waited my whole life for. And now they have to deal with us being in another World Series. We've now won two AL crowns since their last one.

Here's that Ryan article I mentioned earlier, but never did link. The "don't feel too bad about losing to the Indians" one. Hey, everybody, for the last time, the Red Sox don't give up. Thanks.

This guy picked up on my whole "where's the Indians curse talk?" thing. Note: the pigboinker also calls the Red Sox "just another big-money ballclub for the rest of the country to root against when the Yankees aren't around to play the villain." Did this jerkoff ever think that maybe a lot of people across the country (whose hatred for the Yankees goes back decades) might be LOVING the fact that the Yankees' chief rival is finally shoving it in the their faces? Or maybe--god forbid--they want to root for a FUN team? On a similar note, I was disappointed by CSTB who said "any remaining possibility the rest of America might ever again look favorably upon the Red Sox or their fanbase — with goodwill already in short supply — has been forever extinguished." He also lets a no-name hack named Ben Schwartz write for him, who so hip-ly said that he doesn't care about the Red Sox in such a way that made everyone think he's on the cutting edge of kinda-knows-about-sports humor. Oooh! Look, if you've decided you're going to forget about a hundred years of history and "hate" the Red Sox (when your time could be spent so much more wisely and efficiently putting ALL your hate toward the Yanks!), just say you hate the Red Sox--don't try to make it sound like "everyone" does. Besides, would you rather be seeing the Yankees in the post-season right now? 'Cuz we can just go ahead and forfeit this thing to them if you that what you want?....Don't make us pull this league over!

For the World Series Runs-By-Inning Contest, I think we'll just keep everyone in their same spot, only everybody goes back to zero. So, keep rooting for your same inning.

And as I finish this post, the Twilight Zone starts--and it's my favorite episode: Midnight Sun. Good sign for the Sox, I think, on this night where it was about 70 degrees at midnight. But fall really starts tomorrow, in more ways than one.

That chick's article was pretty amusing...

I think you're underestimating middle-america's hatred for all things east coast...and this is something I never realized until three weeks ago: For the most part, the Sox are HATED in Pittsburgh. Because of the 1903 series? No. Because they're rich and powerful and "play on an unfair playing field." Or so I've been told by many, many people in the three weeks I've been wearing a Sox cap around here. Sure, some people might hate the Yankees more, but if you're a Pirates or Royals fan, why wouldn't you hate teams like us? Let's face it, Jere: while we are exciting, we are one of a couple bulls in the china shop. America loves an underdog and right now, the "scrappy" Rox, with their much smaller payroll, are gonna be "America's Team" for this Series. We were that team in '04, but that was because we were "cursed" (and I think most of the country hoped that if we won, we'd finally shut up). Now? We're just another big bully in the sandbox. Red Sox Nation (and I'm almost completely sick of that name) is big, loud and obnoxious. You know as well as I do, I hope, that an ever-growing percentage of RSN behaves no differently or less arrogantly than the Yankee fans we routinely slam. At this point, I think that any Pittsburgher who dislikes the Yankees more than the Sox only does so because the Yanks have been top dogs longer. Just wait until we win another series or two. Since you're not a Patriots fan, you may not see it coming. But believe me- in America you go from scrappy and loveable to "the big bully" in an instant. That's the funny thing about America: it supports the underdog, till that dog's on top. Then you can be certain that dog's legs'll get taken out from under it.
"maybe he pulls a JD Drew that one time."

Jere ~ I think we already got that from Gagme in game six when he came in and pitched his 1-2-3 inning. Sure we had a big lead at the time, but that's about as good as we're going to see from him. I think the Red Sox feel the "HAD" to put him in b/c the amount of money they spent. I would rather see Yo-yo in there, although remember that hit he gave up to Bellhorn in 2004?? Hehe.
re Matty's comments: As someone who was surrounded by Yankee fans for 30 years, I'll let you know when Red Sox fans start acting like Yankee fans. Note: we'd have to have nothing go wrong for us for about a century for it to even be a possibility. Just look at the way that girl in her article says the Mets should "know their place." And I've never heard a Sox fan brag to any other fan about our 6 championships, which is more than most teams have, besides.

So, does everyone hate us because everyone loves us? Because I've heard both. If I were the average baseball fan, I'd root for the Rockies over us. Because of course I'd choose the team who's never won over the team who has recently. But it wouldn't be because I hated the other team. And "sick of" and "hate" are different. But even that doesn't make sense, as we weren't even in the playoffs last year, and were out in round one the year before. As far as hating teams, you have to earn hatred. The Cards won last year and have more championships than anyone but the Yanks, but I don't even think about hating them. The White Sox--sure, there is stuff that's hatable about them, but I don't even give them a second thought, as opposed to your Yankees, your Cowboys, your, well, I don't want to offend any Notre Dame fans who happen to be Sox fans, but these are love 'em or hate 'em teams. I don't think the Red Sox are in that category. Not many teams can be.

As for the money, it's still such a huge difference between the Sox and Yanks. They just offered Posada, at age 36, a 3-year contract. We'd love to be able to give Lowell a huge offer he couldn't refuse, and then just be able to eat the $ when he starts losing it in two years and get somebody else.

Soxy: About Gagne, could be. Yes, I remember THAT Tavarez. In fact, I just looked at my pre-World Series post from 2004, and I mention Tavarez in it!
"Since you're not a Patriots fan, you may not see it coming."

Truer word was never spoken. Remember how everyone was rooting for the Pats against the Rams in the first SB? Well, then the Pats got hugely successful and now they're "arrogant" and "evil," even. The turnaround in public perception has been nothing short of breathtaking.

Same thing for the Sox, unfortunately. In fact, they're the inspiration for Sports Illustrated's recent "Teams You Love to Hate."
About the Pats: I never liked 'em anyway. Rooted for the Rams that year because I liked the Pats even less than I liked the Rams. So I wouldn't know about going from liking them to hating them. They just seem kinda boring, though, and Tom Brady's a Yankee fan. The Red Sox are fun and play in the coolest park and, mainly, are the rival of the Yankees. All this anti-Red Sox talk is made up by Yankee media. It's like when Rush Limbaugh makes fun of "liberals" and everyone's like, "Yeah, liberals suck! I'm so cool for saying so!"
Am I supposed to hate that everyone loves us, or love that everyone hates us?

I think I don't like either. Michael Kay, you told us if we ever won we'd be like any other team! I wanna be like any other team! Make it stop!
I don't know how anyone can hate a team that does so much to fight cancer. I don't know how anyone can hate a team that does so much to beat ALS. Do you know how much community outreach Red Sox FO is responsible for?

David Ortiz. That man is the most loveable player in the majors. Tavarez didn't make the playoff roster, but damn did he cheer like hell for his teammates. Everyone pulls for everyone else. There's a ton of personality on this club. I can think of one reason to hate this team. Their success might bore some people, but cause them to hate?

The fans are a different story. There are a lot of bad apples. With a fan base as swollen as this one, there are bound to be. Six states alone have to share this one team, let alone transplants throughout the country and other people who have taken a shine to them. You don't hear bad things about any of California's teams because there are, like, a MILLION of them!
Oh, and one more thing: To anyone who hates the Red Sox so vehemently - if your team goes to the WS more than once, are you going to root AGAINST them? Are you going to start hating yourself and the team that you once loved? So ridiculous.
This just in...Fenway voted one of the WORST SPORTS ARENAS


Boston's Fenway Park voted one of sports' "worst arenas"

This one's pretty funny though...

Dumb things baseball fans get excited about
I think the lamest instance of Red Sox hate would have to be around the time of the 2005 season opener. ESPN and other sports outlets gave it a lot of coverage, and then the guys FROM those same groups complained about all the coverage the sox were getting. I could understand people from other parts of the country not having any interest in it, but it isn't like we decided to impose coverage of the ring ceremony on anyone, ESPN did. And then whine about much attention a celebration intended for New England was getting on THEIR national network.
I think some of what I said is being misconstrued; I don't hate us! My basic point, and maybe I didn't make it well, is that there are LOTS of people who do hate us. Is there a huge disparity between us and the Yanks in terms of payroll? Hell yeah. But I understand why a Pirates fan has no interest in us complaining about how unfair the Yankees' advantage is over us. When put that way, we (by "we" I mean any Sox fan that pulls out the salary whine about the Yankees) do sound obnoxious. What I was saying is that I do understand why people may not like us. I don't care if they do, it was just surprising to me to find that a National League city really couldn't stand the Red Sox; at least one that has no real reason to dislike us. I know Cardinals' fans who don't like us for beating them in '04, but that's different. Do you think the average middle-America fan knows about the Jimmy Fund? Probably not. I don't think we're hateable, and I think anyone who does hate us is being mislead by the media, to a certain extent. But if I rooted for the Brewers, I'd be pretty sick of the Red Sox by now, too, as well as the Yankees and the Mets and every other team that has a financial advantage. Ah, nevermind. I can see this will be a circular argument, so fire away...
Well, coming from "middle-America" myself, while I certainly don't hate "all things east coast" (I love your big cities, culture, the coast and so much more!), I do hate the Yankees and (since shortly after 2004) the Red Sox (believe me, it doesn't take any more effort for me to despise 2 teams, or 3 or 4 if necessary). I also don't mind the Patriots or Boston College's football team, seeing as things are much fairer in their respective leagues. But seriously now, even if the Red Sox' team salary is roughly $45 million less than the Yankees', it's still $50+ million more than the majority of the teams in MLB (and still about $20 million higher than the team salaries of the Rockies and Indians combined!). Additionally, when you look at the numbers, the percentage of difference between the highest salary teams compared to the majority of other teams in MLB now is much greater than it was in the 90s. While the Yankees are at the front of this greed train, Boston is right behind them (arch enemies, really?).

Jere, you can feel like your team earned the World Series this year with mad skills, teamwork, etc. all you want, but I guarantee you that many, many people (including myself) are going to say exactly what you and us had both been saying to the Yankees for years: C'mon, we all know you basically bought your ticket to the championship!

Therefore, I have to give much more props to GMs, coaches, and players of teams like Cleveland and Colorado, working on team salaries of $55-60 million dollars this year. Even if they didn't or don't win, that's far more impressive in my book than anything that the Red Sox end up accomplishing on their bloated $145 million team salary (not to mention the $50 million spent just to negotiate for Dice-K!).

I respect the Red Sox for winning like they have been, so enjoy your victories, Jere, but I wouldn't be bragging about them too much either. Otherwise, we in "middle-America" will just laugh at your naive pride.
86 years of no winning. Yankees: winning for a century. When we win, I'm gonna be proud of my team no matter what anyone thinks. And ecstatic that it's killing all the people that made fun of us all that time.

And my god, think about this. We have people that came in and had to squeeze every penny out of a tiny park, without naming it after a stupid corporation, by the way. They made the farm system work again. And we all stuck by our team who never won and kept supporting the team, and that includes monetarily. That stuff led to a solid club.

When we "buy" a player, it's a risk. The Yanks can get whoever they want and not worry about it.

I don't know, this is just stupid, because it doesn't really matter. We all have our team we root for and who the hell cares. I've always said I wished they would make baseball more fair. But it's not. And I still wonder if it's about money or success. You say you started hating right after 2004. We had a lot of money right before we won, and you didn't hate us them.

So if you hate both, who do you root for when it's Red Sox vs. Yankees? You know, this is all the damn Yankees' fault, as we're basically a moneyball team that had to use a lot of money to keep up with the Yanks. This is how Steinbrenner ruined baseball. And you do know that all Yankee fans and Red Sox fans hate each other's team, as always, no matter how much you use that tired "you're the same" line, right? And that the two fanbases have entirely different experiences, from the arrogance vs. humility to the "scoreboard tells them when to cheer" vs. not. And the "fallback on 26 championships" vs. not, and the "never knew how to lose" vs. "have had to deal with losing and know life isn't all about winning." I just still don't get how any Yankee-hater could see the Red Sox do better then them and not just go "ha!"

Naive pride? I stuck with the "cursed" team. My whole life. Me and anyone else who stuck with them deserve all the success we see from now until a long time from now.
My basic point, and maybe I didn't make it well, is that there are LOTS of people who do hate us.

Matty - I totally understood your point. My response wasn't aimed at you, but more anyone who has hatred for team. You are very articulate!

The money argument doesn't wash with me because - as Jere pointed out - we have the unfortunate position of being in the same division as the Yankees (who have a crazy budget). You don't have a snow ball's chance in hell of winning when you are competing against that unless your payroll is evenly matched. So, yes, Steinbrenner ruined baseball.
And there, bloggers and blogettes, are the perfectly shiny two sides to my idiotic coin...
Realize Matty's above comment refers to my last comment and Chris' comment. Me having to moderate comments causes people to comment without seeing possible other comments that happened recently. Another thing to blame Yankee fans for.

But back to "naive pride." When have I ever, in four years of this blog, acted all high and mighty over some random team? Everything I say here is for Red Sox fans or directed at Yankee fans. Sure, I'll get mad at a team--like when they lose to the Yanks. But overall, you don't hear me saying "Take that, Brewers fans, the Red Sox are in the World Series and you stink!"

I'm proud of the team, and I try to rub our success in the face of Yankee fans ONLY. In fact, I've shown that I'm proud of ANY team who beat the Yanks.
So many new points, I'll try and respond to them all…

To Jere and everyone else, please don’t get me wrong, I still hate the Yankees more than I do the Red Sox, and I'm sure this is the general sentiment of Americans. Nevertheless, I’m quite happy to see both teams lose, and here’s why…

I agree with you that the roots of the problem are in MLB as a whole, but particularly in Steinbrenner and the Yankees, choosing as they have to not set salary caps. However, I don’t think this point gets Boston off the hook. One could argue that if the Yankees alone had moved in this direction, there may have been greater outcry across the board, ultimately leading to the much needed salary cap. Instead though, Boston chose to go right along with New York (beginning with stealing Pedro from the Expos, right?). Consequently, over the last few years, we’ve had other metropolitan regions that are big enough (LA & Chicago) moving in the $100+ range. The result, in my opinion (though I could be wrong), is that MLB now has hardly any chance of forming a salary cap.

Besides, just because the Yankees started it, doesn’t make what Boston did okay either. Even if the Yankees are more to blame, this doesn't make outrageous team spending the "norm" or "right". When someone else does something you think is wrong, that doesn’t mean that you can justifiably do the same.

Plus, let’s not forget that there is something called the wild card now, and has been for some time, which makes the excuse that you're in the same division as the Yankees a little less significant.

And please don't think I'm trying to deny that the people working in Boston's system haven't done a good job either. Clearly they've done better than the Yankees and with less money. Nonetheless, I stand by my point that it’s not as impressive as the hard work and skills of other teams in the playoffs (the Indians and Rockies come to mind) working on less than half of Boston’s salary.

Oh, and why didn’t I hate the Red Sox prior to 2004? Well, basically, I could sympathize with you a little more at that point, since you hadn’t won a world series in so many years. Additionally, the team salaries for the Yankees and you guys were only just beginning to get ridiculously out of hand. This isn’t to say that things weren’t already out of hand in previous years with the Yankees, but the truth is that the highest team salaries really started to reach gargantuan proportions (compared to the lowest team salaries) around 2000-2001, and whether you like it or not, Boston was one of the few teams that decided to hypocritically follow right along in the money spending party. In my opinion, until every team can do the same thing, which is likely to never happen, this practice will likely always look bad to me, regardless of who does it. And for what it’s worth, I didn't want the Angels in the World Series either, considering their salary was $100+ million too.

I’m open to criticism though, so let me know what you think.

And like I said before, I still respect your team and I’m impressed by them too. I just think they’ve had a much easier job at getting to where they are, in contrast to the majority of the teams in MLB, all thanks to the almighty dollar.
Perhaps Chris has crystallized this discussion better than any of us: maybe what non-Yanks/Sox/other big money team fans are is frustrated, and that is twisted into hatred by some. The frustration I understand, the hatred, not so much.

To address one of Chris' points: When the Yankees salary scale was screaming out of hand, what choice did the Sox have but to do whatever they could, within the rules of their league (which I think most of us agree are inherently unfair)? What responsible CEO would just sit on his hands and say, we're not attempting to compete on principal? Is it hypocritical of John Henry to complain about the Yanks' payroll while constantly inflating his own? A little bit, of course. Is it as bad as Jerry Reinsdorf famously railing against the salary explosion then signing Albert Belle to a monster deal? I don't think so. I understand your point that the Sox are complicit in driving up salaries, but I think it is a measured, necessary reaction made in order to compete in their own division. But the situation exists in every division:
NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Dodgers
AL East: Yanks/Sox
AL Central: White Sox (although they are notoriously cheap in some ways)
AL West: Angels

So the Yankees started it, but there's obviously plenty of places to look if you want to get angry about financial disparity in baseball. It's not just us. I'd love to see us whip everyone with a scrappy $60 million dollar ball club; that just isn't feasible considering the competitive climate in which our team plays.
Thanks MattySox.

I completely agree that Boston isn't the only team doing this and my hatred spreads far beyond them to all those large city teams you mentioned above. Nevertheless, Boston was one of the first to follow the path that the Yankees laid out, and for the past 4 seasons (since 2004) they've quite comfortably held onto that #2 spot team salary list. Therefore, I feel pretty justified in giving a little bit more of my hatred to the Red Sox (behind only New York), especially considering they've won (likely) 2 world series recently. The other Sox team is a very close runner-up though.

And perhaps I should clarify my rhetorical usage of the word "hate." Truly, "hate" is a strong word, and I certainly don't hate the Red Sox or the Yankees even remotely close to how I hate genocide, poverty, and a plethora of other evils and problems in the world. It is just baseball after all. Additionally, I personally don't see myself as literally hating anybody, even someone like Hitler; I tend to think love is better way to solve problems for everybody (even if it sometimes has to be a sort of hard love). In this regard then, "hate" needs to be seen as the hyperbolic term that it is for most Americans when they use it to describe a sports team (at least for me this is the case). The same goes for "love" -- hopefully one doesn't "love" a sports team like they "love" their spouse or partner or children.

In some respects then, I think you're right to suggest words like "frustration" or "annoyance" as more appropriate. At the same time, however, I'm not sure I can completely give up the word hate either. After all, a large part of me still thinks it is a fitting term for describing my feelings toward the rising money spending tendencies of the big city teams in major league baseball, which increasingly takes away any legitimate sense of fair competition in the league.

Those are just my thoughts on the matter though.

Post a Comment

If you're "anonymous," please leave a name, even if it's a fake one, for differentiation purposes.

If you're having trouble commenting, try signing in to whatever account you're using first, then come back here once you're signed in.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States