Sunday, July 8, 2007
The All-Star Break Blues
Here it is, the All-Star break and the Sox have an 11 game lead in the AL East. They have one of the best records in baseball and seem like a lock for the post-season. So why is it that I haven't warmed up to the 2007 Sox? Why is it that I have a hard time liking this team? Is it the Pink Hats? Is it the fact that I'd have to take a second mortgage out on my house to bring the family to Fenway these days? Is it the fact that they're actually selling a CD of the songs Dice-K listens to before his starts AND people are actually buying it?
Well, it's all of the above and more.
I guess the real problem is that this team doesn't seem to have a soul. The Red Sox have become clinical, business-like in their approach to winning. While trying to compete with the nefarious New York monsters, they've become the Yankees. They spend a ridiculous amount of money to field a team that looks brilliant on paper, plays brilliantly on the field, and has absolutely no character. Historically, the Red Sox have been the blue-collar rebuttals to the opulence of the Yankees. They've always been the lovable losers, the underdogs, the dirt-dogs. Dare I say that I miss those guys?
A perfect playing metaphor for this can be found in JD Drew. Let's remember that the Sox jilted Trot Nixon to put this putz in right field (Drew even stole his fucking number!). They're paying this guy a grand for each time he takes a dump in the clubhouse, and he's about as boring to watch as the Republican National Convention. It's apparent, to me at least, that this guy gets paid to play baseball. If he has the fucking sniffles, he's out of the line-up. There's no passion, no verve, no style whatsoever with JD Drew. He plays the game like a bad porn actor humping a blow-up doll.
Like a good book, what made the 2004 Red Sox so amiable were the characters--- Kevin "Cowboy Up" Millar, Johnny "I sold my soul and hair to the devil" Damon, Billy Muellar, Trot, Derek "Glug-glug, let me grab my crotch" Lowe, Pedro "The Princess" Martinez. This is also the team that Theo Epstein liquidated the next year for the Edgar Renteria's and JD Drew's of the baseball world; guys with stellar stats and the personalities of pubic hairs.
Listen, I'm not going to stop watching and rooting for The Olde Towne Team. The Red Sox are in my blood and always will be. But this season I'm getting the sensation of team that has been bred for success, like private school brats, and will do everything the foster the image of "success." The next time the private school brats take the field at Fenway Park, take a gander at the crowd. They're being applauded by their peers.
***(correction, The Red Sox have a 10 game lead. Guess who made the last out with a little pussy pop-up to third and a runner in scoring position in the ninth inning? He didn't look too upset after choking in the clutch, yet again. My point exactly. I miss you, Trot.)