Monday, July 06, 2009

Joe Haggerty: Dead To Me

Thinking of how great it would be to hear 18 straight minutes of commercials, unfunny and/or neanderthal callers, and rampant sexism and homophobia, I flipped on 103.7 FM, and sure enough, there was the talk of "what will happen?" tonight when Nomar is introduced. Now the one guy, who I've never had a problem with, Mike Mutnansky, was like me. However, Joe Haggerty was the co-host and he felt Nomar should be booed for that whole thing at the end of his time with the team. What Haggerty did was cement my feelings on Boston media people in general. This is what he said, noting that he was in the clubhouse with the '04 team:

(and I paraphrase), "Nomar said he couldn't take the pressure of the media in this town--said he felt like he was playing three games every night."

And? So you're admitting that YOU media types put all this crazy pressure on guys. And when they admit they can't handle it, you're gonna rip on them? This is what we mean when we say the media "ran a guy out of town." And this is why I hate the media for the most part. We're the fans, we're the ones who care about the team and its players. The media just wants to sell shit. They're not afraid to come right out and say that if the team goes through turmoil, it's "good for the show/paper/etc." So it makes perfect sense that a media robot would want to boo Nomar, because Nomar didn't give them what they wanted.

But he gave US what WE wanted. For many years. Even if Nomar blatantly quit on the team, asked out, whatever, for whatever reason, even IF that were true, I just don't see many of the 99 percent of Sox fans who considered Nomar their favorite or one of their favorite players for eight years holding a grudge over it, to the point where they'd miss their chance to cheer him.

AJM commented and said this one wasn't as clear cut. I think this one is very clear cut, but I will admit this: the one player's return that won't be clear cut at all is Manny. I was supporting him full-on, while many people had totally gone the other way...and then he was found to be cheating. I can't support that. But does that mean I'll boo him? No, but he made me not care so much about trying to out-cheer the booers if and when he does return to Fenway.

But as for Nomar, it's a no brainer. And I'd say EEI set this up so that they could turn this non-debate into a debate for ratings purposes if Haggerty didn't sound so sure of himself.

Another thing to remember is that we on the Internet fall into a trap of thinking this virtual world is the real world. If enough people take the time to express an opinion online, it starts to look like that's the way the world sees an issue, when in reality, this is just the voices of the very few who follow something at obsession levels. In the real world, people take their kids to the game, cheer the home team, and move on with their lives. While we were all dissecting what Nomar's body language in the dugout meant (and still remembering it five years later), most folks were changing diapers or mowing the lawn. And this may sound like I'm saying the stupid masses are correct just because there are more of them, but, I have to say, in the last few years I've done less following of the team through media sources, and it's way more enjoyable. I'm obviously as obsessed with the Red Sox as ever, but I do it just by watching the games and forming my own opinions. When I read about the team, I prefer to read other fan blogs. It still disappoints me that so many Sox fans discover the Internet side of following the team through the horrible Dirt Dogs, which I can proudly say I haven't visited in years.

I am SO glad to hear you say that about Dirt Dogs.

Just like you mentioned in your post, for me, too, it was my first foray into following the Sox in an online, RSS-able format.

But it didn't take me long to realize that it's falling all over itself trying to be clever and edgy and on top of everything, but it comes off as snarky and petty and all "here are 13 things from last night's game - 12 things we hated, and 1 we liked".

It's good to know I'm not the only one who walked away from that site and is glad to have done so.
I'm with you: I followed a blind link ( the other day and landed at Dirt Dogs by accident. First time in 4 years, and I couldn't escape fast enough.

FWIW I'll be cheering Nomar tonight.
I have no idea who this Joe Haggerty clown is; from your description he sounds like just another shock jock who needs to stir the pot to draw listeners. But I think the fact that he feels he can work this angle proves the point that I made below: there's a small minority out there who still feel that way about Nomar. To elaborate a little more, I think there's three camps on Nomar: those who never really turned on him (I include myself), those who were mad at him at the time but have long gotten over it (with '04 and '07 helping a lot in that regard), and the "He Quit On The Sox While Jeter Was Diving Into the Stands!!!!!" Folks. I personally think it's a stupid position, and I highly doubt the HQOTSWJWDITS Folks will represent anything more than a very small % of the crowd tonight at Fenway, but they're still out there.

As for Manny, if he were to return to Fenway this season in another uniform (possibly in October?), I have absolutely no doubt that he would face a very mixed reaction, with both camps being very vocal. Maybe that will change over time, assuming he doesn't sign in the Bronx before he finally calls it quits. I wasn't pleased with how he left, but I would certainly give him an ovation.
As to why these folks still hold onto their Nomar-Hate, I can only guess that they're also card-carrying members of the Fellowship of The Miserable. And yeah, they probably love Steve Silva's crappy site.
I know every player has fans that like and dislike them. But Nomar was beloved to the point where SNL had a running skit about him, basically. I feel like he wouldn't had to do something REALLY bad for a Fenway crowd in 2009 to not be on his side.
100% right. I was happy when the trade went down based on his '04 performance, but I wonder in retrospect how much of that was colored by the media coverage that year. If i was at Fenway tonight, I'd cheer him (although I wonder if he's even in the starting lineup?)
...I have to say, in the last few years I've done less following of the team through media sources, and it's way more enjoyable.

Dude, you are the Red Sox media I follow, because you cover the games and you give us the straight goods. I read the Sox stories in my local paper, and that's about it. The dissection and pontification that come from the Haggerty types aren't worth five minutes of my time.
Thanks, man.
Haggerty just mentioned your entry title on his Twitter feed.

//Nomar fallout from yesterday: I just stubmled [sic] across a random #Red Sox blog with the headline -- "Joe Haggerty: Dead to Me". That is awesome//

I don't understand for the life of me why anyone, except the media, would ever dream of booing Nomar. So glad he got the ovation he deserved!
I heard more media types being all anti-Nomar today. It's like they're still trying to make their case--they already lost this non-debate!!

Oh and I found out through your blog that DD was pro-boo Nomar too. I guess I should have guessed that.....
BDD were pro-Pedro-boo too, the dopes. I think that's the last time I clicked on them.

Even TC said on the post-game over the weekend something like, we'll see what the reaction will be. Seriously, how have they not figured this out? Nomah was the face of the franchise. One thing I'll always remember that I haven't seen mentioned this week was how he always came out after the final home game of the season - even the '98 ALDS G4 loss that eliminated them from the playoffs - and applauded the fans.

Mr.#99 (I haven't spoken his real name since I declared him dead to me when he left, and now he's a cheater on top of everything else) will actually be a conflict for me. I always was one of the "apologists" who supported him through everything up until the very end, then felt betrayed and disgusted when he sabotaged games despite my support, but there's a (very tiny) part of me that still just can't totally hate him. I couldn't cheer, but I couldn't boo.

And what about Juan Damon? I whole-heartedly boo him now, but if he signs with another team this winter and comes to Fenway next year not in pinstripes, we go back to cheering him, right?
I totally remember the Nomar clapping thing. That was great.

Damon--I just still can't believe he went and did that. I don't wanna think about cheering him right now, so we'll have to cross that bridge if we get to it. One thing people seem to forget is how we had him in 2005--so it's not like we never got a chance to cheer him after 2004 and we've been waiting and waiting. I cheered him long and hard repeatedly that year, so it's not like I'm dying to cheer him. The hope is that one day he's back on Yawkey Way running the Long-Haired, Bearded Bar-B-Q and erases his Yankee years from existence, but again, we'll see how it plays out.

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