Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Say "forget it" just for spite

Only good vibes for the Crab Man tonight. (Photo taken by me in Baltimore – 2008.)

So I “hate” the Yankees, right? Sure, I suppose in the realm of baseball fandom you can use the word “hate”. I took immense pleasure out of the 22-4 drubbing the Indians put down last weekend and I am quite pleased whenever they lose. Heck, even when they were playing the Rays this year I wanted them to lose. So I suppose you can label me as a Yankees-Hater.

With that in mind, why is it that I’m not more charged up about this weekend? I even went to a few different Yankees message boards to read the Yankees fans trash talking the Red Sox and their fans and I came away from it feeling quite…meh.

I didn’t get riled up reading Yankees fans insulting Kevin Youkilis or David Ortiz. I just kind of laughed at the idea that it’s stupid to be concerned about a pitcher who consistently throws at the head of specific players (or playeR). But there was no fire in me. I wasn’t compelled to log in and write a mean-spirited response.

This has been happening for a few years now. I still don’t like the Yankees or a good portion of their fans (I actually do know some Yankees fans you wouldn’t feel the urge to boil in oil) but I guess the intimidation factor is gone for me. Hell, I follow Nick Swisher on Twitter and laugh at a lot of his stuff. (I think the reason there, though, is I still don’t consider Swisher really a Yankee. I feel like he’s wearing a costume when he plays and he’ll rip it off soon enough. I have no idea why I feel like that.) So when the Yankees come to town, or the Sox go to the Bronx, I’m not thinking “Ooh, the Sox HAVE to win these games because it’s the Yankees!”, I’m thinking, “I want the Sox to win these games. As a bonus, we get Yankee losses if they do. It’s win-win!”.

This isn’t to say there aren’t a few things about this weekend that have me a little on edge. Tonight’s game definitely does. But it has nothing to do with which team wins the game. Joba Chamberlain is pitching and my worry is that Kevin Youkilis ends up getting hurt or doing something that gets him suspended.

I’m going to digress for a moment. All that stuff I just wrote about having no fire when it comes to the Yankees? Not entirely true. Joba Chamberlain gives me fire. (Sorry Mark Teixeira. You can beg for boos all you want, but I just don’t care enough to “hate” you the way you want. You are an annoying bastard, though, I’ll give you that. More on you later. I’m digressing in the middle of my digression!) He could bake cookies for the homeless and I’d still not like him. I think he’s an arrogant punk. (Not exactly a unique description in sports, I know.) The Yankees and the media amped up the hype machine on him and he seems to really believe all of it. He consistently throws at Kevin Youkilis’ head yet gets nary a handslap for it. He gets arrested for DUI and, again, gets a slap on the hand. He’s coming into his own in an environment that continues to tell him that he’s special and the rules don’t really apply to him and he’s loving it. So Joba makes my blood boil. And if he throws at Youk tonight, not only will I want to set him on fire, but you’re going to have 37,000 + fans in the stands, many of who will most likely use his assholiness to start their own fights. So, essentially, I sit here wondering what kind of jerk Joba will be tonight and hoping I don’t sit near any Yankees fans (not that the Yankees fans at Fenway during a Sox series are any worse than many of the jerks who claim to be Red Sox fans and only go to a Yankees/Sox game to start trouble – but if there are Yankees fans near me, that makes it more likely I’ll be around a fight if Joba decides to keep at Youk. I don’t go to games for fights, on or off the field, so I’d rather avoid that if I could. ) Plus, honestly, I hate Yankees fans in Fenway. I went to Yankee Stadium twice (in red Red Sox gear) and had less trouble with Yankees fans than I ever have at Fenway.

So my three wishes for tonight at that the Sox win, that Joba just pitches and doesn’t try to show everyone his manhood, and that there aren’t any Yankees fans near me in the stands. I don’t ask for much, huh?

One note about Mark Teixeira: He’s trying way too hard, don’t you think? Guy is hitting .222 and all he can think about is how the Sox fans are going to boo him? I’m pretty sure he should be worried about the possibility of a Lester/Beckett/Masterson combo blowing him away this weekend. Has there ever been a player who has come out and, essentially, begged for fans to boo him? It’s a little pathetic, Mark. I like the idea of everyone just greeting him with absolute silence. I think it’s inspired. I also think it’ll never happen. It’s too tough to turn it down a few notches once you get to Fenway for a Sox/Yanks game. The transition from booing Johnny Damon to silence for Teixeira will be impossible to make. So, since I think there’s no chance of the wall of silence for Teixeira, I really do hope that the Fenway Faithful boo his ass back to the Bronx. Especially after Lester serves him with a Golden Sombrero tonight.

Now more on Joba. Could someone please explain to me how this quote:

“None of that, man — just play the game the way it’s supposed to be, and that’s about it,” Ortiz said, referring to Chamberlain.

“This is a guy, as good as he is, the next step for him will be to earn respect from everybody in the league. He’s not a bad guy, but when things like that happen, people get the wrong idea.”

equals trash talking from Big Papi? Yankees bloggers seem to have their panties in a united bunch about Papi’s words. I’m guessing mostly because almost all the headlines that accompany the story say something like “Papi warns Joba not to throw at Red Sox”. I don’t see a warning and I see no insult toward Joba here. As a matter of fact, he COMPLIMENTS Joba. But for Yankees fans (and the team) to pretend this isn’t an issue is laughable:

Considering he has fired four pitches either near Youkilis’ head or behind Youkilis in the last 20 months, Chamberlain quickly has emerged as a villain to Red Sox Nation in this rivalry.

There were the consecutive pitches to Youkilis — one of which sailed behind him — in August of 2007 that got Chamberlain suspended. Another close call occurred last July at Yankee Stadium, when Chamberlain threw high-and tight to Youkilis, nearly starting a bench clearing brawl.

Chamberlain uncorked another fastball three weeks later at Fenway that sent Youkilis to the dirt. Angry glares were exchanged.

I can live with angry glares. As much as I’d like to see someone put the beatdown on Joba if he pulls this crap tonight, I’d much rather see the Red Sox just win the game and come out of it with no injuries and no possible suspensions.

My wants are simple.

I end with one request of Mr. Jon Lester: Win, Crabcakes. Just win.

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April 24, 2009 - Posted by | 2009 | , , , ,

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