Saturday, October 06, 2001

Not all the media

In an interesting, albeit snotty, column Boston Globe sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy relates a ''chat'' he had with Red Sox GM Dan Duquette:

While Dan was making small talk with his media pals, we laughed about the booing of Jeremy Jacobs, Mike O'Connell, and Harry Sinden on Ray Bourque Night.

''It was worse than what you got on Cal Ripken Night at Fenway,'' I told the Duke.

''I hope you are going to write that,'' he said (already done).

''What do you think would happen if you were introduced?'' [Duquette asked.]

Easy. They'd boo me. Everybody hates the media . . .

Oh, now, I don't know about that. Why the heck would I boo Gordon Edes or Bob Hohler or Bill Simmons or the rest of the sports media who cover the Red Sox?

But, yeah, I'd boo Shaughnessy and Ryan just for the fun of it. GMs come and go but it looks like I'm going to be stuck with the likes of nihilistic version of the Boston media for the rest of my life.

What can you say?

71, 72,

(and counting)

Friday, October 05, 2001

La Cosa Nostra

If you're a fan of the Sicilian mob genre and you're a Red Sox fan, you must check out Bill Simmons' latest at Page 2: a summary of the 2001 Red Sox season using quotes from The Godfather.

50: "Tattaligia's a pimp. He never could have outfought Santino. But I didn't know until this day that it was Barzini all along."
To the Jimy Williams Era ... It's finally starting to make sense. Count me among the fools who believed that this "talented" Red Sox team was being held back by Jimy. In retrospect, Jimy kept them going (Simmons, Page 2).

Once again, I'm in awe of Simmons knowledge of popular culture and baseball; even better, his ability to tie everything together in a unique tone of voice is unmatched. Simmons is able to speak both to the pathos of Red Sox fandom as well as the great hilarity of it all. His critiques of the team are spot on, yet, unlike so many sportwriters, he never comes across heavy-handed; you never get the sense that he doesn't enjoy every moment of what he's doing.

The linking of the Red Sox with The Godfather makes so much sense. Once you're part of Red Sox Nation, our own cosa nostra of sorts, there is only one way out . . .

And since for me The Sopranos has now become the de rigueur mob entertainment, I'll add my own Tony Soprano quote that sums up the Duquette era in my mind:

''I'm like King Midas in reverse. Everything I touch turns to shit.''

Thursday, October 04, 2001

Salvage work

It ain't all bad.

Sox fans, who have watched the team lose nine of its last 10 series and drop 23 of its last 30 games, finally had something to feel good about, as Merloni sparked a long dormant offense and Derek Lowe turned in his third straight excellent outing in his audition for a starting role next year Bob Hohler, (The Boston Globe).

But, as everyone knows, until there is new ownership and a new GM, it's going to be impossible to get giddy over much regarding the Red Sox. No, until then, it will be a winter of introspection rather than dreaming for me.

What will you be thinking of in the off season?

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Power to the People!

Like I've said many times this year, I vacillate between not being able to stomach Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy and agreeing with him completely.

Based on what I wrote yesterday morning, it appears that Shaughnessy and I are on the same page. This from his @Bat Newsletter column yesterday afternoon:

. . . the joke is on the New England fans who filled Fenway Park to 98 percent capacity in this past season. CEO John Harrington and GM Duquette have yet to apologize for what happened. Instead, they have congratulated themselves for getting you to pour through the turnstiles in record numbers. Harrington and Duquette cannot be gone fast enough. And if they dare return, fans should revolt [my emphasis]. There is no excuse for what happened this year and the absence of accountability at the top is an additional insult to Red Sox fans.

We need an organizer for our struggle against oppression ... a Cesar Chavez, a Che Guevera, a Thomas Jefferson ... if you are out there, please come forward.

Tuesday, October 02, 2001

We have met the enemy and he is us?

Red Sox fans are loyal and passionate about the team. That is a given. But is our very passion killing us? Do nuts like myself who make weblogs or other overtures send a signal to the Dan Duquettes of this world that we will put up with anything? We'll still write about the Red Sox and read about the Red Sox and go to games and watch games on TV . . . What if we stopped or organized and used our fan power to make demands. Think about it, what if a picket line was organized around Fenway with fans holding signs like ''DUQUETTE MUST GO'' or ''DUKE MAKES ME PUKE''? (I'm sure someone creative could come up with some good picket sign tag lines.) What if Red Sox fans began to boycott games both at Fenway and on TV until our demands were satisfied?

It's not a new idea. Sportswriters have been saying for years that there really is no incentive for the Red Sox to put a winning team on the field, since fans flock to Fenway and follow the Red Sox no matter what.

I dunno. I just feel that so many times the Red Sox organization takes me and other fans for granted. I just wish there were a way to send a loud and clear message that we are sick of it.

Any ideas?

Monday, October 01, 2001

Not a bad Monday

After a weekend focused on family and college football (my parents came down to watch alma mater New Hampshire play William and Mary in Williamsburg on Saturday, a loss for NH, unfortunately), it's refreshing to read some good news this morning regarding the Red Sox.

Bud Selig says the sale of the franchise is proceeding on track:.

''I haven't talked to John Harrington about that in the last week to 10 days,'' Selig said. ''But it's my understanding that it is proceeding very well. I am very satisfied that everything is on the proper track.

''Is it reasonable to expect there will be new owners in place by the start of next season? Yes, it is reasonable. The Red Sox, obviously, are one of the very great franchises in baseball, so of course we care about the quality of the ownership there. We've been blessed with great ownership, and it's important that continues.''

. . . Selig's confirmation that the sale remains on course, when he could have offered any number of reasons why it would stall - the terrorist attack, the uncertain economy, the baseball labor situation, an often-protracted confirmation process - offers hope that when the Sox open next April, Harrington will have lots of time to play with his grandkids (Edes, The Boston Globe).

And the Red Sox are going to do the right thing and give David Cone two more starts, his shoulder permitting, to trigger a $200,000 payment under his incentive-laden contract. If anyone deserves this gesture, it's Cone. He's been a shining star all season long.

Note to self: Be more like Trot Nixon in my daily endeavors.

``Losing becomes contagious and the last thing you want to do is become OK with losing,'' Nixon said. ``You've got to reach down and find something to not only help the ballclub, but also to help yourself. . . . You've got to have pride in yourself, whether you're playing football, baseball or working 9-to-5'' (Horrigan, The Boston Herald).

How true. How Zen.