Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Last Night

Now this guy is a fan! In his worn Cesar Crespo jersey he stayed for all nine innings and cheered the team the whole night. Made me happy.

Last night at Fenway was, as surprising as many of you might find it, actually quite enjoyable.  Thanks to a generous friend, we sat in great seats, the weather was perfect (I can’t remember the last time I was at a game this late in September and didn’t need a sweatshirt or something else to keep me warm) and, heck, even the clam chowder vendor didn’t almost kill me (thanks, I believe, to the weather and the fact no one around us ordered it so he only came by twice).  The fans were vocal and cheering and there really wasn’t much in the way of negative energy (except for a few yahoos behind us heckling Vladamir Guerrero with “Retire!” which made absolutely no sense to me) until the absolute end of the game when a large part of the Fenway Faithful booed the hometown team for losing.

At a late point in the game, I was checking Twitter (for news unrelated to baseball) and someone had retweeted a Peter Abraham tweet that said something like “75% of the fans here don’t care if the Red Sox win”.  Let me just say, Peter Abraham, among other things, is wrong.  In the ninth inning, when the Red Sox were losing after having lost the lead in the 8th, I would guess there was a good 90% of the fans left in the park.  And the majority of those fans were doing their part to show support to the team.  There were so many “Let”s go Red Sox” chants at one point that they weren’t in sync with each other and you could hear them randomly all over the park at different times.  Just because these fans waited until the end of the game to show their disappointment with the team doesn’t mean that they didn’t care.  If anything I felt like the fans last night DID care, not just about the wins and losses but about the team itself.  Peter Abraham and others of his ilk would be the first to give fans a hard time for not supporting the team (Abraham and others often note that the park was quiet during tight games, ignoring the fact that sometimes as a fan stunned silence is all you can muster) and now it’s starting up because the fans WEREN’T bringing the negative?  I give up.  Today there will be a massive purging of the people I follow on Twitter because I’m not dealing with the idiots anymore.

(I’m also looking for a better Twitter client than Tweetdeck if anyone out there has any suggestions.  No matter how many times I put Abraham on a filter his stuff, even though I don’t follow him, comes in a lot through retweets…that crap ends today.)

Oh, one last note about last night’s game and the folks complaining about the fans:  The lead was given up at the top of the 8th which means it happened just before they play Sweet Caroline.  Going through my Twitter timeline this morning, I noticed a lot of people complaining that fans had the nerve to participate in singing right after the Sox lost the lead.  We discussed this at the game last night and I’m finding it really interesting that my attitude on this has changed so dramatically.  I used to be one of those people who didn’t mind Sweet Caroline but hated it when it was played during a game the Sox were losing.  It was pointed out to me that, at the very least, it helped bring life back into the stands which in turn became enthusiasm from the fans showering down to the players as they came up to bat in the bottom of the 8th.  While I suppose you can argue that the fans should be cheering MORE when the team is losing anyone who has been to a bad game at Fenway can tell you it isn’t always easy to do.  So Sweet Caroline, in my opinion, sometimes serves a greater purpose – and that’s what it did last night. For two minutes the whole park is singing and enjoying themselves and being reminded that they are there to have FUN.  (Also, it happens between innings and takes nothing away from the game, so people who complain that it does can go sit on a tack.)

The weird part about being at the park last night was pre and post-game.  Very quiet at Fenway as far as the crowd noise (which is really just people talking, right?) before the game.  Lots of people there but it wasn’t nearly as loud or raucous as it usually is.  It definitely picked up as the game began but you could certainly feel the anxiety of the fans in the air.  Fans that “don’t care” don’t act the way the fans were acting last night.

And, finally, I don’t consider my team an “embarrassment” or “pathetic”.  Those words are reserved, in my mind, to people who purposely do things that are embarrassing or pathetic (see Mariano Rivera’s quote below).  Disappointing?  Frustrating?  Absolutely.  But I think if you consider the Red Sox embarrassing or pathetic (two words bandied about throughout my Twitter and Facebook feeds over the last couple of days) you might want to consider that the team isn’t happy about how they’re playing either.  This is their livelihood.  This is what they’ve worked at their entire lives and maybe, just maybe, we could give these guys a break and be supportive instead of bashing them?  That would work for me.

The Red Sox lost and I still had a good time at the ballpark largely due to not only the company I kept last night but, much to my surprise I’ll admit,  to the attitude of the majority of the fans around us.  You know what’s more fun than focusing on the negative?  Showing your support and coming together as a fan base and cheering these guys.  That was a whole lot of fun.

I end with  Mariano’s quote because, honestly, the Yankees can’t seem to do anything without me finding something to make me roll my eyes:

“Nobody gave us a shot in spring training.” ~ Mariano Rivera, last night after the New York Yankees clinched the division

While I get that many people predicted that the Red Sox would win the division this year, there wasn’t anyone who really didn’t give the Yankees “a shot” and the closer for the team with the largest payroll in baseball saying that the night they clinch is absolutely ridiculous. That’s all I have to say about that. (Well, that and “Please God let the Yankees get booted out of the playoffs in the first round”.) Now if the Rays or the Angels end up winning the Wild Card spot ANY player from EITHER team is welcome to say exactly what Mo did. Sorry, Mo, you won’t find anyone garnering much sympathy for your team’s plight.

Please beat the Yankees this weekend, Red Sox.  If for no other reason than to make us happy.  The Yankees won the division, let them have it…you still have a chance to get in on the Wild Card and kick things back into gear (I’m thinking the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals here, fellas!).  The winning starts Friday!

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September 22, 2011 - Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Each year I do a baseball pool where you earn points for putting all the teams in the order they finish the season. This year I have 10 people competing and I added Sports Illustrated’s picks along with Peter Abraham’s picks.
    As of today, Peter Abraham and Sports Illustrated are tied with the lowest number of points. They both have only 8 of the teams picked correctly out of 30 teams.
    It would be nice if the Red Sox had a post season playoff spot clinched by now but it also makes the end of the season pretty damn exciting.
    Pass the Tums, please.

    Comment by Brenken | September 22, 2011 | Reply


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