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30.7.07 0211
The 7 - Baseball - On Death and the Red Sox Nation...
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Boston Idol
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#1 Posted on 3.7.04 1901.31
Reposted on: 3.7.11 1901.34
In her landmark book "On Death and Dying",
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross outlined the five
stages that dying patients go through
while trying to cope with the knowledge
of their impending death. These stages
can also be applied to the Red Sox Nation
and the knowledge that this generation
of Red Sox are not going to beat the
Yankees or win the World Series.

First Stage: Denial

When the Red Sox suffered through a short
losing streak in early June it became
clear that something was wrong. They
had played .500 ball for a month and
had given back their lead in the AL East.

But the Red Sox Nation refused to allow
that their team was faltering. They made
excuses about injuries. They claimed that
Nomar and Trot would turn everything
around when they returned, not allowing
that they might not immediately play at
peak levels and not crediting that their
replacements had not been that bad. They
suggested that Derek Lowe might regain
the form of what is looking more and more
like a career year. They blamed Millar's
slump on moving to right field to cover
for Nixon, forgetting that Millar had
been slumping since July of last year.

In fact denial was the dominant state of
the Red Sox Nation throughout June, right
up to the series with the Yankees. Just
a few days ago, some claimed that the only
difference between the Yankees and the
Red Sox was their record in one-run games
and argued that was bound to even out
despite it being a multi-year trend.

Second Stage: Anger

A series against the Yankees in New York
saw the mood of the Red Sox Nation shift
from denial to anger. The Yankees blew
out the Red Sox 11-3 in game one. Any
team can have a bad game, but the Red Sox
Nation, led by the Red Sox owner, was so
focused on beating the Yankees that one
loss became a huge letdown, even though
the Red Sox had taken 6 of 7 games from
the Yankees in April.

Another loss in the second game of the
series caused the anger of the Red Sox
Nation to explode. Nomar wasn't playing
well because he was still sulking over
the A-Rod debacle, Millar was washed up,
the "Derek Lowe Face" had returned, and
manager Terry Francona was a combination
of M.L. Carr, Pete Carroll, and Butch
Hobson, according to the Red Sox Nation.

The Red Sox players themselves got into
the act with ace Curt Schilling angrily
confronting Scott Williamson and accusing
him of being soft, despite what was later
confirmed as a serious arm problem.

Third Stage: Bargaining

With the Yankees steaming to a lead of
more than eight games in the division,
many in the Red Sox Nation changed their
tune and said that they would be happy
with a Wild Card, of course maintaining
that the team deserved no less success.

Bargaining took on another form as the
Red Sox Nation began to offer up various
sacrifices to spare the team. Get rid
of Nomar. Get rid of Millar, too. Fire
Francona. Get rid of Derek Lowe Face.
At least a half-dozen surrogates were
offered in place of the entire team.

Fourth Stage: Depression

Depression is likely to settle in over
the Red Sox Nation if the Red Sox don't
quickly jump ahead in the Wild Card race.
Already some are describing this as the
end of an era, the end of chasing that
illusive World Series victory, at least
for this generation of players.

Fifth Stage: Acceptance

What the Red Sox players really need from
fans who consider themselves to be their
most faithful supporters is acceptance.
Like an obsessive parent, the Red Sox
Nation has crushed the spirit of their
team with unrealistic expectations.

The Red Sox have a good team. Released
from the nonsensical sort of pressure
that renders a verdict on an entire
season based on three road games in
late June, the Red Sox players might
be able to loosen up and win enough
games to make the playoffs, where it has
been shown that anything can happen.

Cannibalistic attacks by Boston media
and by members of the Red Sox Nation
in the national media will not help
this team, they will ensure another
round of failure and recriminations.

Like other Red Sox stars before him,
Nomar will be driven out of town by
an angry mob, only to see that mob
turn their torches on management when
Nomar plays well for another team.

The only curse on the Red Sox is the
ingrateful Boston fans and the Red Sox
fanboys in the media with unrealistic
expectations who have turned baseball
into a metaphor for their own sense
of insecurity and eternal failure.

The city of Boston will never be as
successful or revered as New York City,
just as New England will always be a
backwater to the rest of the country.
Nevertheless, Boston and New England
are charming places to visit or live.

Likewise the Red Sox will never overtake
the success of the New York Yankees and
their plethora of World Series victories.
Nevertheless Fenway Park is a charming
place to watch a baseball game and this
Red Sox team is more entertaining than
at least half the teams in the league.

The Red Sox Nation in Boston needs to
learn to enjoy life, despite the often
crummy Massachusetts weather. The
Red Sox fanboys in the national media
need to treat their favorite team with as
much respect as any other team rather
than turning on them at the drop of a
hat, or a three game series in New York.
The Red Sox Nation everywhere needs to
learn to enjoy a team that consistently
plays better than most teams in baseball.

Only then will the Boston Red Sox be
free from the curse that haunts them.

Frank

"And there was Nomar, the fading superstar
who helped the team blow two games in
Yankee Stadium, then showed little
interest in even watching the third
one. He's been declining steadily for
three seasons now -- his body breaking
down, his defense slipping, his lack
of plate discipline a bigger problem
than ever. He always seemed to enjoy
himself on the field, almost like a
little kid, but even that's a distant
memory. Maybe his spirit was shattered
by the rumored deal to Chicago last
winter. Only he knows the answer to
that one. For his sake, I hope he's
getting traded this week. After last
night's display, there's no going back.
Bring on the Pokey Era. Please."
- Bill Simmons, ESPN.com

"Nomar Garciaparra is one of the best
and most popular players in the history
of the Red Sox franchise, but it's time
for the Sox to make a deal for their star
shortstop. Thursday night's ridiculous
"day off" in what turned out to be the best,
most important, and most painful game
of the season was the final indication
that it's time for Nomar to go."
- Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

(edited by Boston Idol on 3.7.04 1701)
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redsoxnation
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#2 Posted on 3.7.04 2101.37
Reposted on: 3.7.11 2103.14
This team has played poorly since May 1st. The problem was that many Red Sox fans didn't see/refused to recognize these problems, considered those who voiced concerned to be overly panicked, and only concerned themselves on whether Schilling or Martinez would start Game 1 of a playoff series. Meanwhile, there are some of us who have been watching the wild card standing since Game 1 of the regular season.
Millar can't drive the ball. Considering he has no other skills besides hitting, he's below worthless at this point.
Lowe is an enigma. He might throw a no hitter his next start, he might get knocked out without retiring a hitter.
They have a bunch of DH/1B, unfortunately, those that can hit, can't field. Those that can field, can't hit. And Millar can't do either.
There is no curse. It was made up by some nitwit to make money off of books. But, if you want to believe in The Curse, I can also sell you front row tickets to the mating ritual between Big Foot and the Lochness Monster. People have spoken of them, so it must be true.
As for the shortstop: He hasn't had the ability to consistenly drive the ball since the wrist surgery. His defense is erratic at best. Perhaps the public humiliation of the past few days has helped, as it could light a fire under him, much as whenever Manny Ramirez has done incredibly idiotic things, he ends up going lights out for a few weeks afterwards.
As for all star players who leave Boston coming back to haunt them: Mo Vaughn sort of puts a few holes in that theory.

(edited by redsoxnation on 3.7.04 2202)
Boston Idol
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#3 Posted on 3.7.04 2336.39
Reposted on: 3.7.11 2336.41
>> Perhaps the public humiliation of the past few days
>> has helped, as it could light a fire under him,

This seems like spin to apologize for the braying
jackasses who were calling for his head based on
the first two weeks returning from an injury.

>> As for all star players who leave Boston coming back
>> to haunt them: Mo Vaughn sort of puts a few holes in
>> that theory.

No doubt, but an ingrateful Red Sox Nation never gave
"The Duke" credit for letting Mo walk, instead blaming
him for letting Clemens go even though Red Sox Nation
rallied behind Duquette and wrote off Clemens.

But heck, I'm not bitter. I predicted the team would
implode without Grady Little to blame and that is
exactly what we've been seeing. Terry Francona is
being compared to Butch Hobson, M.L. Carr, and Pete
Carroll, despite being over .500 so far.

I love New England and particularly Boston, so I can't
sympathize with the inferiority complex that drives
people to root for a "loser" because it is a "loser."
John McAdam said that if the Red Sox ever won a World
Series he would lose part of his identity. That is an
honest insight into the culture of victimization that
pervades the Red Sox Nation. They transfer their own
feelings of inferiority onto their ballclub. They sit
waiting for the next failure so that they can have an
excuse for more suffering and resentment.

Not speaking about you, I don't know you, but one can
read it between the lines of Simmons, Shaughnessy,
John Henry, and many others. The Red Sox are the
cross they have chosen to bear. They wouldn't know
what to do if the team didn't crucify them in the end.

Frank
Big Bad
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#4 Posted on 4.7.04 0227.53
Reposted on: 4.7.11 0228.42
New England can get away with supporting a 'loser' baseball team since their basketball team has more titles than any other, the hockey team has a load of history and a few championships, and the NFL team has won 2 of the last 3 Super Bowls. Cry me a river, Boston.
Jakegnosis
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#5 Posted on 5.7.04 1642.52
Reposted on: 5.7.11 1643.13
    Originally posted by Boston Idol
    New England will always be a
    backwater to the rest of the country.


That's a pretty stupid thing to say, not to mention offensive to those of us who live here. What about the midwest, for chrissakes? Or the deep South? That's just a dumb statement, pal.

I did like the rest of your post, however.

Big Bad, your argument only holds water if you presuppose that everyone cares about the Patriots, Celtics and Bruins as much as they do the Sox, which is untrue. The Red Sox are far more popular than the Patriots despite the recent Super Bowl victories. The Red Sox are THE team in New England.

I personally loathe basketball, don't follow hockey and watch maybe two football games a year and could care less. The only sports team I genuinely care about are the Boston Red Sox, and having successful teams in sports that I either hate or don't care about isn't a salve for a bad baseball season.
Boston Idol
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#6 Posted on 6.7.04 1019.18
Reposted on: 6.7.11 1021.01
>> New England will always be a backwater
>> to the rest of the country.

> That's a pretty stupid thing to say,

You seem confused.

I grew up in Portland, Maine, but that does
not affect how the rest of the country views
New England. They see it as a backwater.

> not to mention offensive to those of us
> who live here.

Don't take it out on your baseball team.

> That's just a dumb statement, pal.

Go fight the rest of the country.

> I did like the rest of your post, however.

Thanks!

My solution, if I still lived in New England,
would be to ignore the rest of the country,
other than fleecing them by selling them
faux antiques and those tacky Road Runner
lawn ornaments as they are driving through.

I've spent the last twenty-five years living
in a densely populated suburb. A backwater
is all in how one looks at it. I will say
this, the DVD selection at Sam's Club sucks.
I couldn't find any seasons of "The Sopranos."

Frank
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