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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

Red Sox Nation is not happy

Sox_2 Yeesh, can't anybody take a joke?

I decided to have a little fun the other day as we all got ready for the big series between the Rays and Red Sox and wrote an apparent suicide note about the 10 Reasons to Hate the Red Sox. I thought it might stir a little playful banter with a few bored Red Sox fans out there. I didn't realize I was sticking my hand into a wasp's nest ...or a bear's den .. or whatever is a really, really bad thing to do.

A blogger at the Boston Globe decided to pick apart my list one by one. Jerry Remy, the legendary Red Sox announcer and the leader of Red Sox Nation, held up the page on Tuesday night's NESN broadcast of the Rays-Sox game. Word is that my name is being soiled all over New England talk radio.

And now I'm hearing the phrase "You've Got Mail'' in my sleep. The e-mails have poured in -- from New England, from Sox fans here in Tampa Bay, from California, from Texas, from pretty much everywhere. They range from long impassioned opuses of how great it is to be a Sox fan to why I'm an idiot to my favorite e-mail which was a mere one word and, unfortunately, cannot be written here.

I've written more than 200 e-mails back to folks who have written me and almost all of them, in the end, seem to get to the point of the article. And what was the point? If you stuck around until the end of the piece -- and I get the feeling that most of those people angry with me were the ones who only saw the headline and couldn't see the end because of all the steam coming out of their ears -- is that people hate the Red Sox BECAUSE THEY ARE SO GOOD. Think about it. Who hates the Royals? Or the Pirates? Or the Rays, for that matter? We save our hatred for winners: the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Cowboys, Duke basketball and, until recently, Notre Dame football.

Yet, come on, the other reasons did have some vailidity, did they? I mean, Curt Schilling does talk too much, doesn't he? The Red Sox are one of the richest teams in baseball, are they not? Manny Ramirez pushing a team employee is NOT cool, is it? Coco Crisp shouldn't charge the mound after being hit in the leg, should he? Some in Boston did run Bill Buckner out of town, didn't they? And, in the end, if one city wins a bunch of championships, all the other cities get tired of it, do they not?

But in the end, the biggest point made -- the gist of the entire article -- was this: People hate the Red sox because THEY ... ARE ... GOOD. I raved about their lineup. I called their manager the best in baseball. I praised their GM. I called their ballpark the best in sports. But that didn't stop the e-mails from pouring in inviting me to do what his physically impossible for a person to do by himself. I get the feeling that I won't get Red Sox Nation off my back for the rest of my life. Or until I write 10 Reasons to Hate the Yankees.

Until then, excuse me, I have to go make sure my car tires haven't been flattened.

[Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 2:42pm]


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