Saturday, March 24, 2007

Q: I find myself actively HATING the new Red Sox. Since winning it all in 2004, it has been a complete nightmare for me -- from the out of control bandwagon of Pink Hat wearers, etc., to the Chavez Ravine-esque feel of games at Fenway now (arrive in the third, leave in the seventh!), to the well-moneyed cabal of front office carpetbaggers with a "hometown boy" dangling at the forefront like a Tammany Hall vote wrangler at the docks of old Manhattan, to the string of bad personnel moves -- we are mirroring EVERY SINGLE bad aspect of the post-2000 Yankees. Everything that every fiber of my being loathes. Their obsession with catching up to the Yankees has made them forget about what got us the title in the first place: a TEAM.--C. Fleming, Boston, Mass.

SG: You know, I felt twinges of this reader's anger this winter, because the truth is, I never wanted to root for a team that bought championships like the Yankees, even though our 2004 payroll was easily nine figures and we landed Schilling, Pedro and Manny mainly because we were one of the only teams that could afford them. Even so, it was always more fun believing that the Red Sox were the "underdogs" in the ongoing blood feud because we didn't spend as much money as the Yanks. But when they have similar payrolls? Not as much fun. So I was bummed out. For instance, the Dice-K signing seemed excessive to me at the time, and I would have much rather seen them go the "Moneyball" route with right field and try to get lucky there (like they did with the Mueller-Ortiz-Millar signings in 2003) over just saying, "Screw it!" and throwing $70 million at J.D. Drew. There was no art to the way they slapped together the 2007 team; they started writing big, fat checks and that was that.
And then spring training rolled around and I watched a couple of Dice-K starts. That's all I needed. The guy's great. If you're a Red Sox fan, you'll be checking the paper every day just to make sure you don't miss one of his starts this year -- he's not as overpowering as vintage Pedro, but he has a similar arsenal of pitches (including a ridiculous collection of off-speed pitches) and a real swagger on the mound. You always feel like you're in good hands with him. Same with Papi and Manny. And Papelbon. Lugo and Drew are enormous upgrades over Gonzalez and Nixon. Beckett looks ready for a comeback year. Schilling looks like he has one last good year in him. And so on. And so on. And now that the one question (closer) has been resolved with Papelbon's willingness to take the job back, it feels like we're headed for a monster season. It's the best team that money can buy. Literally. And you know what? It's not my money. So screw it. I'm on board. Even if there's absolutely no difference between the Red Sox and Yankees anymore.
(Well, except for the fans. We have jobs.)

You know what? I'm with SG. I don't want to be that team that overpays for mediocre talent. I hate people who bought their Red Sox shirt because it was trendy. I hate that only rich people can get good seats at Fenway. I hate the pink hats and everything they don't bring to the game. I hate girls that cut Red Sox shirts. I hate how the media tries to make themselves the story. I hate people who scream on EEI. I hate that we couldn't find 3 million dollars for Trot but that we found 103 million for Matsuzaka. I hate boys that wear Red Sox hats but don't know what WHIP and VORP and who the numbers on the wall in right are. I hate that the 2004 Red Sox were dismantled. But you know what?

I love David. I love Jason. I love that every 5th day we are going to get to watch Matsuzaka. I love Fenway. I love road trips. I love Joshua, and I think he's going 18-6 this year. I love that Papelbon is going to be going for the save all season. I love Mike Lowell. I love Youuuuuuuukk. I love the Red Sox, even if we do overpay for players. I love that 19 and 18 now mean Beckett and Dice-K and not 1918. I love them.

Also, who wants to go to Cambridge with me this afternoon and kick C.Fleming right out of Red Sox Nation? I'm confiscating his hat and his Pedro jersey.

1 comment:

Katie said...

amanda, that was pure poetry.

seriously, my eyes welled up a little