Friday, November 23, 2007

Naive Americans

So, I hope you all did your Indian research. Mine brought me to this. It's not about those Indians, though, it's about the Cleveland Indians. I missed this one when it came out, right before this year's ALCS. It's from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. And it boggles my mind. (I linked you to page two of the article--part one gives you some examples of hapless Indian activity from 1983.) Where do they get these people? Is this a joke? This article is premised on two things that are completely false. I don't even know which one to start with.

Let's take the "whether or not there's woe" theme before getting to the "whose woe is worse" one: This guy wrote this at a time when the Red Sox had recently ended an 86-year championship drought, had just won their first division in 13 years, and were entering the ALCS as favorite to win yet another World Series. And he's acting like we were in a state of "woe," and that Fox would be "bombarding" us with talk of Bill Buckner and curse of the Bambino, or as he calls it, "all the other curses." AS IF HE MISSED THE 2004 SEASON. Even Fox wasn't dumb enough to talk about a curse that--if you believed in it--had already been broken three years ago. (Only that one Indians fan brought it up on a homemade sign--I'm tellin' you, this curse is getting really lazy lately, letting us win all the time...)

Did the guy think that all those times, pre-'04 win, that when Fox brought up all our past heartbreaks, it was just a history lesson? And that they also brought up the really positive things that happened in 1903, 12, 15, 16, and 18 that led to joy in the streets of Boston? No, dumbass, they brought that stuff up because it was the stuff that kept our drought in tact. That drought ended in 2004. We weren't sitting there last month, heading into the 2007 ALCS, saying, Woe is me...I'm so sad about Bill Buckner....we'll lose for sure.

Moving on to the second theme of the article: The guy, on top of acting like both teams are currently in a state of woe, tries to make it seem like the Indians' woe is worse then the Red Sox woe....uh, was, I guess. I'll give him this: that's debatable. But it's a debate he'd lose every time. (Again, if it was before 2004, as there's no need for a debate of "who's sadder" anymore--that honor would clearly go to the Indians. I'm starting to wonder if the guy wrote this in 2003 (look at his e-mail address at the bottom, I might be right!) and just wanted to wait to publish it until the two teams played each other in the playoffs, and then he sent it in, only to realize, Whoops, the Red Sox already put an end to their woe!)

So, he says the Indians' drought of 1949 to 2006 would be a harder one to deal with than the Sox' one of 1919 to 2004. Very key initial reason why he's wrong: His drought was WAY shorter than ours. Therefore, ours, no matter what it contained within, always ended with us not winning, just like theirs, only for a much longer period of time. He talks about how the Indians didn't play a meaningful game in September, let alone any in October, for 34 years in a row. I guess this "despair" would've been lessened had they made it to the World Series, been one strike away from winning it, but still losing. Or going to a seventh game of the World Series four separate times, only to lose each time, with three of those times seeing the opponent put the series away in their final at bat. Or losing to your rival on the final day of the season two separate times with a chance to win the league or division. Or losing a division race by a half-game due to a strike. Or even losing a one-game playoff, at home, with a trip to the World Series at stake--to the Cleveland Indians.

He points out how the Red Sox went to the World Series and lost three times during the Tribe's drought. Yet he fails to mention that the Indians went to the series five times during the Sox' drought. And won twice! (And also had a stretch of winning five division titles in a row.) I think this guy is just jealous. We've got the cooler war stories and our drought ended. Again, I think this article was supposed to be for a pre-2004 world. And also was supposed to say the Indians have suffered less than the Red Sox. That might have made some sense.

"At least the Red Sox never traded Ted Williams," he says. No, but we sold Babe Goddamn Ruth. That's what the "curse" is referring to, guy. And the part about "shrewd scouting or a savvy deal"--gimme a break. Make your own sarcastic remarks about that one.

The kicker is his closing line: "When it comes to utter despair, Tribe fans have Boston beat -- no matter what happens in these playoffs."

It all makes sense now. In this guy's mind, misery continues even after you win. You think we've got pessimistic fans? This guy's jealous of misery that doesn't even exist anymore.

Next thing you'll tell me is he was "just kidding about the whole article," Alex Beam-style. By the way, I listened to Beam's latest podcast, where he has people read his hate mail. I'm still confused. He kept saying it was "almost tongue-in-cheek," or "sort of with crocodile tears" that he said he felt sorry for the Yanks. I still think he was serious about that part. Not the parts that were obviously making fun of them--Yankee fans sent a lot of hate mail about that. But I really think he meant that it is so bad for the Yanks (and he loves it--I'm not arguing that), that he's actually feeling bad for them. I even asked him directly in an e-mail. He likes to read his hate mail, but apparently he doesn't answer personal ones. And to the commenter who I rejected who made fun of my subtlety-detecting abilities, terrible job. You could've disagreed with me respectfully, like Matty did. Also, you could've signed your name instead of going by "anonymous."

[Update, 2:32 AM: While doing "research" for a project you might hear about soon, I came across yet another article giving reasons why the Yankees should be felt sorry for and why it's "not easy being a Yankee fan." From 1981. (Three years after their back-to-back championships.) I couldn't see the whole thing, as you need to be a subscriber or whatever, but I did find a letter to the editor from a Yankee fan saying he wouldn't even feel sorry for them. Ha. By the way, I'm pretty sure that article was completely serious. Funny to think the author was in for 14 more years before he'd see a championship.]

Torii Hunter goes to the Angels. Glad to see him kept away from the Yanks. I'm still wondering what we're gonna do about center field. People are acting like the lineup is set. But there's clearly a decision to be made. You know what I hope happens? In my perfect little world? That Coco and Jacoby battle it out in spring training. The winner starts, and the loser takes his place as one of the best back-up outfielders in the league and does it happily.

Two movies we actually want to see, out at the same time: The Stephen King one and the Coen Brothers one.

Looks like there's talk of extending Tito. Apparently Michael Kay's idea of the Red Sox getting rid of the man who has led us to two championships in four years in favor of Joe Torre was exactly wrong.

My final thought for this day after Thanksgiving, whatever you wanna call it, is about Mike Lowell. You've probably been waiting for me to say, "See, I told you Mike Lowell was a great guy who cares more about playing for the Red Sox than he does about money and terrible job by the douchebag who called me 'silly' for saying so before he signed." Well, I kinda just did, but, forget I said that, and read Cyn's summary of the whole thing--it's better. (Also, to those who implored Mike to "take the best deal while he can," what are you gonna say when he's batting for us in '08? "Oh, here's mister bad businessman fool guy! Strike out you bum, you know nothing about finance! I wish you were on the Yankees right now!"? You should've been happy that your guy was happy on your team, and that even money couldn't sway him to another. To people who this doesn't apply to, Anti-terrible job! You wanna hang out? Okay, other people, you're forgiven. You can play, too.)

Good morning Jere, and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was going to say something else, but it's early, and I forgot.
In September, I went with a group of my friends to Baltimore for a couple of games. The second night there we saw Matsuzaka stink up the place and the Sox lost. Upon leaving the park, we somehow ended up talking to a fan wearing a "Google" t-shirt, so his team allegiance wasn't apparent. He was yelling about how the Red Sox suck and started imitating the ball going through Buckner's legs and chanting "Bil-ly Buck-ner" clap clap clap clap clap.


So I finally ask him if he's a Mets fan since he kept rejecting our argument that the Buckner issue meant nothing since 2004 and he responded "Hell no, I'm a Yankees fan!".

I'd love to say we were surprised. But we weren't.

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