Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Remembering Hell

Note from Cyn: I wrote this on July 3, 2011.  It’s archived in the old posts but figured it couldn’t hurt to bring it out since the Cubs are finally in the NLCS again.

I reviewed the documentary “Catching Hell” without intending to. I wrote the below because while watching the documentary I started yelling at the television and then remembered I wrote a blog where I could vent my frustrations.  So here it is.

July 3, 2011: So I’m home and going through the On Demand listings and I come across “Catching Hell“, a documentary described as exploring “the phenomenon of scapegoating by examining what the fateful deflected foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS did to Cubs fans and Bill Buckner’s error in the 1986 World Series did to Boston fans”.  Sounds like 104 minutes of fun, right?  This was made for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series and I almost didn’t watch it.  I really go out of my way, even now, to avoid watching anything from Game 6 but in buying this On Demand I made the decision to watch it.  No sense in paying to watch the documentary and skip through the painful parts, right?

I know that it is completely insane that after 2004 and 2007, watching the end of that game is still painful, but it is.  It hurt me physically to watch it.  Really made my heart and body ache.  There was never, ever, a time when I “blamed” Bill Buckner for what happened, never, but there is no denying that there were many who did (truth be told, more in the media and around the country than locally.  I’ve honestly never met anyone who held hatred or anger toward Buckner who lived in the area.  Hell, he got cheered when he came back to Boston as a player…that bit of information always gets left out of any discussions about Bill Buckner).

So I expected to watch this and be annoyed by comparing something that happened in the LCS to something that happened in the World Series (as far as the pain of the fans) but I wasn’t.  Alex Gibney, the filmmaker (and Boston Red Sox fan) did a wonderful job of showing in painful detail how scapegoating both Bartman and Buckner was so ridiculous and unfair that the personal pain kind of went away.  I’ll say this about the Cubs fans, I have a different view of them now.  I will never get over hearing the fans not only chanting “asshole”at him but yelling things like “we’re going to kill you!” and  “Put a twelve gauge in his mouth and pull the trigger” and throwing things at him.  Definitely not a high point for baseball fans.  I did NOT expect to be more upset by the Bartman incident than the Buckner one but the filmmakers really covered it in such detail that I couldn’t help getting upset for Steve Bartman (not the Cubs fans.  Definitely not the Cubs fans) like it just happened.  I was genuinely yelling “Oh my God!” at some of what was shown. How Fox and Steve Lyons hammered the visual of Bartman over and over and how the fans fed off of Moises Alou and instead of supporting the team after that, spent the rest of the game torturing Bartman.  (And, really, based on the audio and video, Lyons and Fox are as responsible for what happened to him as the Cubs fans are. )  Friendly Confines, my ass.

Ironically, anyone who blamed Buckner or Bartman seemed to forget that both games were game sixes.  Each team had an entire game to finish things off and couldn’t seal the deal.  I guess it’s more fun to blame folks than it is to accept that your team failed.

I have to tell you, too, that after watching the replay of Moises Alou’s reaction over and over, I take issue with how he acted.  His actions (or REactions) helped fuel the fire that changed Steve Bartman’s life forever.  It pleased me that Gibney says in a voice over “Moises Alou was NOT a great fielder.  Would he have made the catch [had Bartman not been there]?”  To this day, Alou is “…convinced 100 percent” that he would have made the catch.  Using technology where they erased the crowd from the shot, it does look like Alou would have made the catch.  But we’ll never know.  Is ruining a man’s life a good trade off for your favorite team losing?

The filmmaker wants to get your blood boiling and  he does.  Not only showing us Buckner and Bartman, but reminding us about Jeffrey Maier.  (Interesting that Maier gets treated like a God for legitimate fan interference while Steve Bartman is forever reviled for doing something all the fans around him were also doing.)

All in all an interesting, but also sad look at how fans protect their own feelings by picking a scapegoat so they can continue to root for the laundry.

The majority of the documentary covers Bartman and what happened surrounding what happened in game 6 but it is bookended by Bill Buckner and the Red Sox.  Fascinating to hear him talking about how he really didn’t know how he missed the ball and never watched the replay until recently where he studied in slow motion what happened.  (According to him, the ball went by his glove not between his legs. Not sure what he means specifically by that)  Buckner didn’t watch the 2004 World Series because Fox kept showing his error video.  (Yes, this film is full of more reasons to hate Fox.)

The Boston segment ends with Bill Buckner’s trip back to Fenway in 2008 for Opening Day.  A quote from him at the pre-game presser that I had almost forgotten about gives us more proof of where the whole vilification of Bill Buckner came from.

“I had to forgive, not the fans of Boston per se, but in my heart I had to forgive the media for what they put me and my family through”

On the record for the film he says that he felt the crowd “wanted me to feel better”. We sure did, Bill.

It also gets pointed out that Bill Buckner, in becoming a professional baseball player, asked for the limelight and the good and bad that came with it and Steve Bartman didn’t ask for any of it.  I do agree with this in a sense. I can’t imagine having your entire life change over something you didn’t even realize was happening at the time.

To this day, Steve Bartman is in hiding from Cubs fans.  The stories are that he doesn’t even use credit cards because he doesn’t want to risk anyone recognizing his name.  In a sense, he’s lost his identity because people don’t know where to draw the line.

“There are many who say the city should forgive Bartman but it’s really up to Bartman to forgive Chicago.”  Can’t really say I would blame him if he never did.

October 15, 2015 Posted by | 2015 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Hell

So I’m home and going through the On Demand listings and I come across “Catching Hell“, a documentary described as exploring “the phenomenon of scapegoating by examining what the fateful deflected foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS did to Cubs fans and Bill Buckner’s error in the 1986 World Series did to Boston fans”.  Sounds like 104 minutes of fun, right?  This was made for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series and I almost didn’t watch it.  I really go out of my way, even now, to avoid watching anything from Game 6 but in buying this On Demand I made the decision to watch it.  No sense in paying to watch the documentary and skip through the painful parts, right?

I know that it is completely insane that after 2004 and 2007, watching the end of that game is still painful, but it is.  It hurt me physically to watch it.  Really made my heart and body ache.  There was never, ever, a time when I “blamed” Bill Buckner for what happened, never, but there is no denying that there were many who did (truth be told, more in the media and around the country than locally.  I’ve honestly never met anyone who held hatred or anger toward Buckner who lived in the area.  Hell, he got cheered when he came back to Boston as a player…that bit of information always gets left out of any discussions about Bill Buckner).

So I expected to watch this and be annoyed by comparing something that happened in the LCS to something that happened in the World Series (as far as the pain of the fans) but I wasn’t.  Alex Gibney, the filmmaker (and Boston Red Sox fan) did a wonderful job of showing in painful detail how scapegoating both Bartman and Buckner was so ridiculous and unfair that the personal pain kind of went away.  I’ll say this about the Cubs fans, I have a different view of them now.  I will never get over hearing the fans not only chanting “asshole”at him but yelling things like “we’re going to kill you!” and  “Put a twelve gauge in his mouth and pull the trigger” and throwing things at him.  Definitely not a high point for baseball fans.  I did NOT expect to be more upset by the Bartman incident than the Buckner one but the filmmakers really covered it in such detail that I couldn’t help getting upset for Steve Bartman (not the Cubs fans.  Definitely not the Cubs fans) like it just happened.  I was genuinely yelling “Oh my God!” at some of what was shown. How Fox and Steve Lyons hammered the visual of Bartman over and over and how the fans fed off of Moises Alou and instead of supporting the team after that, spent the rest of the game torturing Bartman.  (And, really, based on the audio and video, Lyons and Fox are as responsible for what happened to him as the Cubs fans are. )  Friendly Confines, my ass.

Ironically, anyone who blamed Buckner or Bartman seemed to forget that both games were game sixes.  Each team had an entire game to finish things off and couldn’t seal the deal.  I guess it’s more fun to blame folks than it is to accept that your team failed.

I have to tell you, too, that after watching the replay of Moises Alou’s reaction over and over, I take issue with how he acted.  His actions (or REactions) helped fuel the fire that changed Steve Bartman’s life forever.  It pleased me that Gibney says in a voice over “Moises Alou was NOT a great fielder.  Would he have made the catch [had Bartman not been there]?”  To this day, Alou is “…convinced 100 percent” that he would have made the catch.  Using technology where they erased the crowd from the shot, it does look like Alou would have made the catch.  But we’ll never know.  Is ruining a man’s life a good trade off for your favorite team losing?

The filmmaker wants to get your blood boiling and  he does.  Not only showing us Buckner and Bartman, but reminding us about Jeffrey Maier.  (Interesting that Maier gets treated like a God for legitimate fan interference while Steve Bartman is forever reviled for doing something all the fans around him were also doing.)

All in all an interesting, but also sad look at how fans protect their own feelings by picking a scapegoat so they can continue to root for the laundry.

The majority of the documentary covers Bartman and what happened surrounding what happened in game 6 but it is bookended by Bill Buckner and the Red Sox.  Fascinating to hear him talking about how he really didn’t know how he missed the ball and never watched the replay until recently where he studied in slow motion what happened.  (According to him, the ball went by his glove not between his legs. Not sure what he means specifically by that)  Buckner didn’t watch the 2004 World Series because Fox kept showing his error video.  (Yes, this film is full of more reasons to hate Fox.)

The Boston segment ends with Bill Buckner’s trip back to Fenway in 2008 for Opening Day.  A quote from him at the pre-game presser that I had almost forgotten about gives us more proof of where the whole vilification of Bill Buckner came from.

“I had to forgive, not the fans of Boston per se, but in my heart I had to forgive the media for what they put me and my family through”

On the record for the film he says that he felt the crowd “wanted me to feel better”. We sure did, Bill.

It also gets pointed out that Bill Buckner, in becoming a professional baseball player, asked for the limelight and the good and bad that came with it and Steve Bartman didn’t ask for any of it.  I do agree with this in a sense. I can’t imagine having your entire life change over something you didn’t even realize was happening at the time.

To this day, Steve Bartman is in hiding from Cubs fans.  The stories are that he doesn’t even use credit cards because he doesn’t want to risk anyone recognizing his name.  In a sense, he’s lost his identity because people don’t know where to draw the line.

“There are many who say the city should forgive Bartman but it’s really up to Bartman to forgive Chicago.”  Can’t really say I would blame him if he never did.

July 3, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Such a Day

I’m wiped.  I had really hoped to get in a full account of the day along with pictures, but it isn’t happening.  I’m probably going to wait a day or two as I’ll be at Fenway the next two nights.  I’ll give a brief wrap up here and pics will follow at some point.

I had a wonderful time.   SO proud of our guys and so wonderful to see Billy Buckner there today.  I’ve never been in the “blame Buckner” camp, and Buckner himself even blamed the media more than the fans for all that…even so, he got a tremendous ovation (the sound on the television feeds wasn’t close to what it was like at the park.  It was much louder, all day, at the park than presented on television).  It couldn’t have been easy for him – but good for him for doing it.  And good for the fans for their reactions.

I missed Kyle being there.  And there were others (unrelated to me) who were asking where he was as well.  I feel selfish because giving it a lot of thought, I can understand why he wouldn’t want to go.  Wound is way too fresh.  But he deserved to be there and I’m sad he wasn’t.  (And, of course, I get my Kyle Snyder batting practice jersey in the mail while I’m at the game.)

Daisuke looked fabulous.  Really had his stuff working – which made me happy.

The geniuses at Fenway played a Neil Diamond song (that ISN’T “Sweet Caroline”) instead of Okajima’s entrance music today.  Way to screw up something fun people.

That and a ‘live’ version of “Sweet Caroline” were the worst of the day.    Kyle not being there was the saddest.  Billy Buckner throwing out the first pitch was the happiest.  (Winning the game came a close second to Billy Buck.)

All I did was sit in a seat outside and watch a baseball game, yet I’m sore and tired and am very close to just dropping for the night.

Congratulations to the 2007 Boston Red Sox.  Now let’s get this 2008 title run started.

(I’ll have more on the day when I’m not ready to fall into a deep sleep!)

April 8, 2008 Posted by | Opening Day | , , , , , | 7 Comments