Red Sox Nation? They weren't even known as "Red Sox Nation" until they started winning championships, which in case New Englanders forget (and it seems they have) was only a few years ago. Before 2004, Red Sox fans were like Cubs fans: lovable losers. You felt sorry for them when Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner and Aaron Boone happened. Then they won a World Series and then another and now they, including all the bandwagon jumpers, parade around like they invented the game. They were more fun — and a whole lot classier — when they were cursed.
Yeah, Red Sox fans are all peachy with Bill Buckner, the supposed goat of the 1986 World Series, these days. But from 1986 until the Red Sox won in 2004? They treated Buckner like dirt, running him out of town and making him live in shame all because the Red Sox didn't have the jam to hold on to a 3-0 lead in Game 7 two nights after Buckner had the audacity to let a grounder skip between his legs.
Manny being Manny
If any other player pulled some of the stunts Manny Ramirez has, he would be considered a troublemaker. But everyone just smiles, shrugs and says, "That's Manny being Manny," and that makes it all okay? Try that at work tomorrow. Goof off and when the boss says something, just say, "Hey, that's Joe being Joe," and see what happens. Okay, honestly? I used to love Manny, and you can't deny he is one of the best hitters in the history of the game. But he lost my support when he reportedly shoved the team's traveling secretary over the weekend for not getting him enough tickets. That's not Manny being Manny. That's Manny being a jerk.
It's a Boston thing
The Patriots, despite their Super Bowl loss to the Giants, still have had football's best team over the past decade and probably will win the whole thing next season. The Celtics pull a rabbit out of their hats (actually two — Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen) and go from one of the worst teams in the NBA to a record 17th NBA title. The Red Sox have won two World Series in four years and are the favorites again this year. That's just not fair. No city should have that much fun.
Think of some of the legendary names in Red Sox history: Ted Williams, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice. Know what two things they have in common? They were all great players. And they were all crotchety, cranky and ornery cusses.
I know he's not around, and, sincerely, we hate to see anyone's career end on an injury. But …
Shut up. Please. Please shut up. You talk too much. Remember a few years ago when he popped off on Lou Piniella, claiming Piniella no longer knows how the game is played? (This year's NL Central standings suggest otherwise.) That's just one of like a million things Schilling, right, has said over the years — to newspaper reporters, on the radio, on TV … in his own blog! I swear, someday a YouTube clip is going to show him rubbing ketchup on that, ahem, bloody sock. Okay, we get it, you had a cut on your foot. They're rich but act poor
For years, Red Sox fans bellyached about their rivals, the Yankees, and how much money the Yankees would spend on players. Well, you know what? You guys are the Yankees, too. You win championships because you spend money. So don't act like you're the organization with all the sharp baseball minds who built through the draft and shrewd waiver-wire pickups with a tiny payroll. That's the Rays, not you guys.
Oh yeah, sure, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, right, is a genius. It takes real brilliance to recognize that Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell are, uh, pretty good and we should write them a check from a limitless bank account. No, genius is trading away a player like Delmon Young for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett.
Jason Varitek's C
Jason Varitek is the Red Sox captain, and he wears a "C" on his uniform. This isn't hockey. Why is he the only guy in baseball wearing a C? In fact, what does a baseball captain even do? Wearing a "C" is just arrogant. "Hey, look at us, we have a captain." "Hey, lookie at me. I'm the leader." The Yankees have a captain, too, but you don't see Derek Jeter feeling the need to announce to the world that he has a job that has no duties. If you want to lead, then lead. But you don't have to tell everyone that you lead.
Coco Crisp and Jonathan Papelbon
Don't get us started on Coco. He starts all the trouble by spiking Akinori Iwamura then has the nerve to storm the mound when James Shields hits him in the leg? Whatever. Everything calms down, everything is evened up then Papelbon, right, runs his mouth about the whole thing not being over. Unless you plan on grabbing a bat and standing in a batter's box, you probably shouldn't say anything. And while we're at it, does Kevin Youkilis have to wet his pants and throw helmets every time he gets called out on strikes or pops up with a runner on third and one out?They're good
Bottom line is they have more rings than any team over the past four years. And two more than the Rays. They have Manny and Big Papi banging homers. They have Josh Beckett and Dice-K blowing away hitters. They have Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell hitting gappers and Jacoby Ellsbury stealing bases. And Jonathan Papelbon throwing peas to lock down games. Their manager might be the best in baseball, and, yes, even their kid GM seems to know what he's doing. Plus, well, they do play in the coolest stadium in sports.
Don't you just hate that?