Monday, July 09, 2012

Tommy Lee Jonesin' Into The Break

I opted for the t-shirt sign tonight. I had "The Media is Toxic" on the front and "Ignore WEEI" on the back. I went in for early BP with my Nomar shirt on the outside.

Once the main gates opened, though, I slipped into character in the men's room, and headed right down to the camera well by the Sox dugout. It's great how the photographers thought it was hilarious, while the writers got all pissy. This guy told me I was painting them all with a broad brush. I told him how I was talking about certain people and that I had to keep the message short and to the point for a t-shirt. Later I realized I should have said "Well I'm tired of Red Sox fans being painted with a broad brush as panicking reactionary assholes who hate the team." Anyway, I looked in the dugout and there was Robert Stanbury Olney--the man who called our clubhouse "toxic" in the first place, the reason I had that phrase written on my person.

I followed him around the field, and did all I could to get him to see the shirt. I think he might have, because when he finished this report, he just looked at the ground and escaped right into the dugout. I know Josh Wilker is friends with the guy, and I don't think I ever had a problem with him, but we needed that toxic shit like a hole in the head. I hadn't even thought for a second that I'd be showing my "toxic" shirt to Mr. Toxic himself--should have known, though, since it was an ESPN game. Duh.

Back over in the first base well, in the purple shirt, is Jessica Rinaldi. She thought my shirt was hilarious and took a bunch of pictures with it. I caught her name from her tag and looked her up. She works for Reuters and has a photography site which has really good stuff.

I liked seeing the R2-D2 building behind the Bud Deck. And it kinda looks like that guy is wearing a crown. Kinda.

I walked all around. (Had a standing room ticket.) I showed that shirt to every fan at the game. Or at least 15-20,000 of them. Here I am out behind section 6, trying to get a good shot of this guy in the Yanks' bullpen sitting on two of those containers that people seem very worried a baby will die in, and using a chair to put his feet on. You can't see the chair. It was either show you a blurry chair, or a focused non-chair.

I finally made it to the good seats in the 8th--specifically the spot where I'd be in the background of the close-ups of righty batters. I'll have to check the recording to see if I got on.

This "It's the Great Pumkin, Charlie Brown"-y moon was one of the highlights of the game, as we pretty much shat the bed tonight. The other highlight was Jeter dropping an easy pop-up, then making a bad throw, then not being quick enough to get Punto on a grounder. I later looked at the board and thought, "How do the Yankees only have ONE error when Jeter has THREE?" But you know scorers today. My mom also called me to tell me that Ciriaco indeed slid under Jeter's tag--therefore, he did two things he "never" does. Screwed up the easiest of plays, and tried to sneakily "sell the call" when the runner was safe. Yeah, that's the guy I want to "teach my kids to play like." She also told me I missed a lot of Jeter worship on the broadcast, something the Joy of Sox thread confirmed. How many mistakes does this guy have to make in a game before people admit he's NOT a god?

Here's more of that moon.

And more. Fair or foul?

Another Ciriaco shot.

Midnight in Boston.

I don't know why a Yes cameraman was there, but he stowed his camera beneath his seat.

And more of the moon--I hate that this is a Bud commercial but what am I gonna do?

The shirt went over pretty well. I had two different conversations with slightly drunk people. And usually random fans don't start talking to me. The shirt did it. I had a few others tell me they were with me, but mostly I feel like people didn't get the "toxic" reference. I also didn't see any other anti-BostonSportsMedia signs. Oh well. With all the people that linked to my posts about it, I think we got a lot of people reading about the protest and realizing some of us are pissed. And that probably went further than any signs at the park. Anyway, thanks to everyone who took part or supported the campaign. I feel like I'm ready to go back to fully ignoring these mediots again now. I tried as hard as I could to get my point across to as many people as possible, and now, like Tommy Lee Jones at the end of The Fugitive, "I could use the rest." As can the Red Sox. I am so done with this first half.

Bonus first-half-ending video:

This is right after the final out, a third of a mile from Fenway. Most people go to Kenmore. I don't. It's just so weird to be that close to where thousands are gathered and are dispersing into the night, yet there are zero people, and only a few cars. At some point I stopped filming by accident. I went all the way to my car, and ended it with a "so that's your cousin." But that got cut off. Oh well.

Love your passion, but in the end everyone still sees a .500 team on the field, a team ravaged by injuries, and not playing up to their high payroll. Actually they haven't played up to their payroll in the last two baseball seasons, so it does get to the point where the team looks 'toxic' to the fans, and it does seep out from inside the clubhouse. Can you tell me exactly what part of the toxic label you disagree with: Josh Beckett? Fried chicken? The players running Francona (your favorite manage) out of town? It's hard to imagine that all of this was made up to rile up RSN.

Lastly, I don't really get your Cano post but I'm not supposed to I guess. I mean, I've seen Ortiz (plenty of times) do the obligatory slow trot to first base before. No different than Cano. And when Manny was with Boston I've seen him commit way more egregious acts, but yet I never saw you post pics of that and ask for either of them to get benched. It's just odd that you'd focus on that rather than talk about the baseball that was played. Is that what you mean when you go off on the media for 'erroneously' focusing on the Red Sox toxic clubhouse, when they should be focused on more important stuff like Cano not being benched for his slow trot to first base? Just seems like a straw man argument on your part there. Also, isn't it the media that's created this whole 'Yankee class' and 'mystique & aura' stupidity...yet you buy into all of that. Go figure!

Anyhow, good luck and happy baseball the 2nd half.
You just said "fried chicken." That's why I did this whole thing.

Moving on, I did an entire thesis here once on what's in Manny's head when it comes to running out balls. I have criticized Papi on not running out balls since at least when BSM was commenting here, and he hasn't commented since probably 2006. Have also talked about it as recently as this year. But Cano has been the king of nonchalance for a while now. To hit a hard grounder and never even START running is taking it to a new level.

So you've never seen a Yankee fan talk about aura and mystique and generally act like they and their team/stadium are better than everyone else('s)? I've rarely seen them NOT act that way and grew up surrounded by them.
DaYankeesWin, you missed the point in bringing up the "mystique and aura." You are correct that the media created that, or at least perpetuated it, (and you even label it as "stupidity"). And I think that's Jere's point. He's NOT buying into it. He thinks it's annoying and untrue. Nevertheless, the idea that the Yankees have a mystique and aura is now part of our "reality," just like the idea that the Red Sox clubhouse is "toxic" is now part of our reality.

Re: "The players running Francona out of town."

The idea that the players ran Francona out of town with the September collapse is more B.S. revisionist history that WEEI uses all the time now. That's what the media does. They lie and mislead. (And not just local sports media. All media, about all topics, including life and death ones.) They make stuff up, repeat it enough, and through repetition it becomes "fact."

It is my understanding that throughout last season, Francona was already a lame duck manager. The reason he didn't feel supported by ownership (his own words) throughout the season was because--very conspicuously--they never offered him a contract extension in spring training nor at any point in the year. So it was already likely he was gone anyway--save for if the Sox won the World Series, in which case he might've been extended as a P.R. necessity.

The only thing different that happened to Francona because of the September collapse is that he was smeared all to hell on the way out of town. (And honestly, that might've happened anyway, collapse or not.) And I can't put that one on the players. We have sleazebags for owners, and a remorseless media as their cohorts, and that's not the players' fault.
As far as the DaYankeesWin's mention of "fried chicken" as if that were confirmation that the Sox clubhouse is/was toxic--that mention right there is proof positive of how much the media has created its own reality. DaYankeesWin, look at what you just typed. No, it was probably not made up that the players on occasion ate fried chicken. So in that regard, "fried chicken" wasn't a media creation. It's how the public has been programmed to regard "fried chicken" which is the creation.

What was made up--and shows how absolutely malleable most people are, their sense of right and wrong shaped by societal and environmental pressures--was the idea that Beckett eating fried chicken was (1) morally wrong, (2) not something a decent human being would do, (3) the reason the entire team collapsed in September.

No informed or smart fan should be pointing to baseball players eating the occasional piece of chicken as proof of some deviant behavior. "I do declare! Those Red Sox players are positively ghastly. I heard that some of them even ... eat chicken on occasion. Oh, I know it surely must be a sin to speak so ill of people, but my hand on my dear uncle's grave, I believe it to be true. Oh, it gives me the vapors just thinking about it!"

And here we are today. We live in a reality created by popular consensus, and that consensus is shaped very much by the media. We "know" that in Sally Field's famous Oscar speech she said, "You like me, you really like me." We know that Pearl Harbor was a complete surprise sneak attack. We "know" that eating fried chicken is evil and so aberrant that no decent human being would ever indulge in such behavior, much less a baseball player. We "know" that the September collapse caused Francona not to have his contract renewed. We "know" that Youkilis had to be traded because he was a "cancer" (for whom, God only knows). And we know that the clubhouse is "toxic."

And in keeping with Jere's most recent post, now we "know" that the Yankees are always very humble. And when Mickey Mantle hit his 500th homerun, the Yankees did virtually nothing to acknowledge that, because they're just too classy. Acknowledging milestones is something only the Red Sox would do, because their behavior is so deviant compared to other baseball teams.

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