Monday, November 11, 2013

Arrible Job

You know how I hate it when people forget to include the first and last year of a group of seasons. It's a much-repeated mistake: [Team Q won its Gth title in the last R years], where [R = the actual amount of years minus 1]. Sometimes the incorrect stat can gain so much momentum, it becomes the accepted one. Google giants second super bowl "last five years", and you'll find about 100 million results, to only 19 million for giants second super bowl "last four years", which is the one that's actually correct.

When the Red Sox won their third title in TEN years, not nine, even though subtracting 2004 from 2013 indeed yields nine (just count on your fingers, you'll see where the ten comes from), I listened for "the mistake." In Fox and NESN's postgame coverage, everybody got it right. Except, fittingly, for Don Orsillo, who threw out a "3 in 9" during an interview.

The other day, instead of doing something that helps the world*, I sat here checking for online instances of 3-in-9 action. I found this one. So now that I've called this kid out on what was probably just an honest mistake, let me get to the real issue:

So he writes this article about the younger Sox fans seeing all the winning and the difference between that and what the older ones have been through. Fine. But look at this line I'm about to paste on your face, and keep in mind this guy claims to be 24 years old:

I endured countless sub-.500 seasons

Whoa, ging-ga. Let's go to over to retrosheet, or the tops of our heads, and see how many times the Red Sox have finished under .500 since August 1989, when this guy was born.

You've got 1992 through 1994 (that's three seasons as much as it would appear to be two), and then 1997. Plus 2012, of course. So since he was born, there have been five sub-.500 seasons for the Red Sox. One of those was an unfinished strike season, and in another we were only one win shy of being exactly .500, but hey, we'll still count those. What I don't think we should count is the '92-'94 span, since the guy was five years old at the end of it--can we really say he "endured" those seasons?

Basically he has had to endure two sub-.500 seasons. Let's go back and look at his line one more time:

I endured countless sub-.500 seasons

Apparently this man is unable to count to two. Even Frosty the goddamn Snowman could count to five!

Anyway, I'm not actually mad at the guy, it's just funny.

Let me tell you who I am mad at, though. The guy who wrote a piece for the NYT in which he stole my "the B on our hats was Kryptonite to Yankee fans in NYC in 2005" line. And then went on to say how Yankee fans are quiet these days what with us having won again and there being so many Sox fans in NYC...and how he liked it better the old way! Jesus, another one of these bullshit "winning was the worst thing for us" articles that Michael Kay used to draft up as a defense mechanism in case we ever won.

It's interesting, though. Both that article and the one by Mr. I Can Count To One confirm that we live in a society that only seems to remember the most recent thing. After 2011 and 2012, there was so much talk of the Red Sox as annual chokers and losers, you would have thought neither 2004 nor 2007 actually happened. And now we're right back to "god, we're so spoiled with these trophies just falling out our butt holes with every step we take across the field of goldenrod we currently reside in." After last season, who would have thought we'd so quickly see another "I liked it so much better when we were losing" spiel?

The douche in question ends his article with

Perhaps it’s folly to say, but a part of me misses the old days.

You can take out the "perhaps," stoolbend. If you want the Red Sox to lose and the Yankees to win, and you're having trouble cherishing every goddamn second of being able to walk around NYC with a Sox hat on and not have Yankee fans giving you shit because we're the World Champions, you are welcome to go ahead and become a Yankee fan. IS this mofo trying to tell me that he got no shit after 2011? 2012? He says how "we just win," again forgetting that in the year before this one, and the year before that one, we didn't win.

So which is it these days? Are the Red Sox a winner or a loser, or does it depend on the previous day's result? I'll give you the answer. The Red Sox...are a sometimes winner, sometimes loser. And that, compared to being a loser, for decades and decades, is a beautiful thing. Because no team is going to win every single year. You can't expect that. You can root for it. But in the end you should be happy every time you get to see your team raise a banner. If you're still wearing the same shoes you had on the previous time they won, even better. Another thing Kay used to say was that if the Red Sox ever won, they'd be "just another team." He seemed to think that we'd trade "actually winning a World Series for the first time in our lives" for "being special." But we really did get the last laugh here. Because we're now just another team, one that wins on occasion. And we're special.

*I figure since I do something that helps the world for a living, I'm allowed to screw around with the unimportant stuff in my off hours. Sometimes.
Wouldn't the 3-9 thing be correct if you were talking about a length of time, as opposed to seasons? In the last 9 365-day segments, the Sox have won 3 titles? A nine year old kid has seen all three, he doesn't need to be ten. So, while it's correct to say the Sox have won 3 of the last ten's also ok to say 3 in nine years. (yes, technically, it's just over nine years since it was10/27 to 10/30. But, much closer to nine than ten.)
I have discussed that at length in one of my other posts about this. There's nothing right about saying it wrong--and like you said, even in the examples I've used, the wins STILL don't fall in the time period even IF you considered it right to say it wrong. If that makes sense. The best example is the baseball Giants, winning in 2010 and 2012. You'd never ever say, the Giants have won twice in the last two years. If you wanted to bring up calendar time, and your wins happen to fall within your specified number of 365-day periods (which conveniently cuts out the entire season leading to the first championship), you would really have to specify that.
Well said, Jere. I found that article that idiot wrote about a week ago, and it made me shake my head. Another who'd rather go back to the "good old days." Let him go there. I can't tell you how much enjoyment I'm getting wearing the Sox hat around NYC. The long looks I get are priceless.
My sons are STILL wearing Red Sox shirts to school everyday (their choice). I am still grinning. Special is awesome! No complaints here, man. No complaints here.

Kim (Dewey & Co.)

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