Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

No MVP for Jacoby

Maybe next year, Jacoby. (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

I want to be happy for Justin Verlander.  If I’m being honest, my first reaction to the news that he won MVP was “They chose a pitcher!!!” with much joy behind it.  So I will say that, generally speaking, I’m very happy for him.  He did an amazing job this season and he earned the unanimous voting for the Cy Young Award and obviously that translated to folks thinking he deserved the MVP as well.  I can’t argue with that.  By the rules, pitchers are eligible for the award and voters like Jim Ingraham are being petty and not following the rules by choosing to not vote for a pitcher for MVP.  (Frankly, I think every time a writer admits s/he didn’t choose a pitcher because s/he doesn’t think they should be allowed to be MVP, that writer should get his or her voting privileges revoked.)

But  here’s the thing: I’m an unabashed Red Sox homer and I will fully admit that I was really pinning my hopes on Jacoby Ellsbury winning the MVP this year.  I don’t live in some fantasy world where Jacoby coming home with the MVP Award would erase the ugliness surrounding the team right now.  I just think the kid deserved it.  (That isn’t to say Verlander doesn’t deserve it but, hey, I don’t have a vote and I wanted it more for Ellsbury.)

Also, as a Red Sox homer, Verlander winning just brings back the reminders of Pedro Martinez not winning it in 1999…after a season in which he most assuredly deserved it at least as much as Verlander did this year.  There aren’t many grudges I hold onto for very long.  I try to let most of them go.  But Pedro not winning the MVP in 1999 is one of those things that gnaws at me every year when they announce the MVP. (Other grudges I choose to keep include Alex Rodriguez and his slap move, Chuck Knoblauch’s phantom tag – Tim Tschida doesn’t ever want to meet me, I promise you – hating John Smoltz for absolutely sucking while with the Red Sox and that little bastard Jeffrey Maier.)

Jacoby  doesn’t have to hang his head for coming in second.  This season he was named the American League Comeback Player of the Year, he won the American League Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger as well.  He’ll do just fine.  But this is one award that I selfishly really wanted for him, so I might have to sit and pout about it for a little while.

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November 22, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Red Sox happenings

Congrats to Jacoby on his first Gold Glove (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

We have Gold Gloves!

Jacoby Ellsbury won his first, Dustin Pedroia his second and Adrian Gonzalez his third.  Let us rejoice in meaningless awards (with all due respect to our three winners who genuinely did good enough glove work to win the award…the fact that Derek Jeter has five of them including, inexplicably, last year will always make me think very little of the award generally).

On Monday the Red Sox spent roughly nine hours interviewing Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin for the manager’s position.  Yesterday John Lackey underwent Tommy John Surgery and today Milwaukee Brewers batting coach (and former Red Sox third base coach) Dale Sveum will go through the interview process for Terry Francona’s job.

Lackey’s surgery, reportedly, went well. The surgery means he’ll miss the entire 2012 season and possibly some of 2013. There are still three years and $46 million left on his contract.  I’ve been supportive of Lackey and I’ve been hard on Lackey…and all I can say about this is I hope it freaking works and he comes back in 2013 the pitcher I thought he would be when he signed on with the Red Sox.  I choose to be hopeful instead of negative.  Eventually something has to go right with this guy, yes?

Ben Cherington has promised that there will be possibly four or five more candidates to interview…unlike many, I’m not entirely against the idea of Dale Sveum, I have to admit.  I like the idea of someone who is already familiar with the organization coming on and I’m okay without the team getting a big name manager.  Of course, with Tony LaRussa announcing his retirement there has been a lot of fan speculation that he could come to Boston.  I’ve already stated if that ever happens I might have to become an Orioles fan.  (I should also state that I don’t believe for a minute that it would happen.)

I leave you with some Adrian Gonzalez quotes because, thanks to Peter Abraham, he took a lot of grief for his comments about it being God’s plan after the season ended and I think many folks have it in their heads that he doesn’t care about winning or losing which is, to be blunt, horse pucky:

“The only thoughts right now is trying to do next year what St. Louis did this year, and try to win a World Series. That’s the only goal,” Gonzalez said. “We’re talking about the Gold Glove, and personal accomplishments are great, but the only thing that really matters to us is winning a World Series and getting to the playoffs first and foremost, which we weren’t able to do this year.

The only thing on my mind right now is what I can do to help the team. Hopefully, everybody else on the team is doing the same thing, and next year we can come in hungrier than we were this year so we can actually get it done.”

The awards, however meaningless these awards have become, are well deserved by our fellas and I congratulate them all.  I’m looking forward to the resolution of the manager situation so I can properly start looking forward to Truck Day!

November 2, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I really have had enough

Is it safe to come out yet?

Every day it feels like another shoe is about to drop.  (The baseball gods sure have a lot of feet.)

I’m trying very hard to not harbor ill will toward the Red Sox but it’s difficult.  While many are happy just pointing the finger at Larry Lucchino for the Globe article that opened up all the wounds that were scabbing over, if Hohler is to be believed there were many people in all different areas of the organization who were happy to spill the beans on the team. The optimistic part of me says it will all make a great book after the Red Sox win the World Series in 2012 but the baseball pessimist worries it won’t work out that easily.

Over at Examiner.com, I wrote about Jacoby Ellsbury winning the “Comeback Player of the Year” award.  It’s well-deserved and something to be celebrated but it feels almost empty to congratulate him.  Because it feels like we shouldn’t be celebrating anything.  And I don’t need to tell you all that feeling this way is lousy.

No one is giving us a chance to feel better.  The team has no manager, barring something truly bizarre happening, the GM is out the door.  The owners haven’t issued any statements on the shambles that is the team…and every time we turn around someone is linking to an article about how dysfunctional and doomed the team we root for has become.  This is not fun.

I feel a bit lost not only in my allegiance to the team but in my blogging.  It seems most if not all of my fellow bloggers have decided to use this turmoil to their advantage and write entry after entry about how evil Larry Lucchino is or how horribly John Lackey has affected this team.  I suppose it’s bad for traffic, but I have no desire to keep rehashing how awful things are.  I want to write about what the team is doing to move forward from all of this and I’m getting no help from the team here.

Step it the hell up, fellas.

So I’m not avoiding blogging because I’m so devastated about what has happened with the team.  If it feels like I’m avoiding the blog (which I’m really trying not to) it’s because I don’t want to pile on.  I think we’ve all had enough.

October 14, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , | 2 Comments

Not Dead Yet

Have to get this off  my chest: I want to go back and delete every entry or tweet that I’ve written defending John Lackey in any way.  I won’t get into why (you can Google it and find out for yourself) because I hate feeding into the gossip mongers, but if the story is true in my mind there is NO defense for him and, really, I couldn’t care less what happens to him from here on out.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

But about that game…(not that first one which we will not speak of but that second one)

Holy cow.

When Mark Teixeira doubled in two runs and then scored on a bad throw in the first inning I yelled, out loud for the baseball gods to hear me, “I’m done!  I’m SO done with this!” and stormed out of the room with the television.  I paced around until the next inning began and then sat myself down in front of the television and kept watching until the very end.  Apparently I wasn’t “done” but I needed to finally let the frustration out.

And I’m glad I didn’t give up because the way the game was won, while more than a bit painful at times, was beautiful.  (Beautiful as in “That baby is butt ugly but his mother thinks he’s beautiful”, beautiful.)

Continue reading

September 26, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Is this fun?

I’m all over the place this morning.

First off, I just have to say that while I get it’s easier to edit a game that began at 1pm than it is to edit a game that began at 7:10pm and went on for almost four hours, I still found it ridiculous that NESN chose the game that the Red Sox lost yesterday to re-air last night.  Plenty of us are crazy enough to stay up to watch (or re-watch) a win…when you have the choice, why show the loss?  Luckily, I actually did get to see the second game yesterday and not the first so it all worked out well for me.

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September 20, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Late Night Loss

Nice try, Jacoby (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

Okay, so here’s what happened, Dustin Pedroia flies out to Ichiro with Jacoby Ellsbury on third base. Ichiro rifles the ball back to the infield and Josh Bard tags Ellsbury out while Ellsbury practically wipes him out in the process. Bard rolls onto his back and the home plate umpire, standing directly over Bard’s body, calls Ellsbury safe because it looks like he dropped the ball. All of the Mariners practically attack the home plate umpire in protest and all the umpires get together and tell Terry Francona that, sorry, the home plate ump made the wrong call and Ellsbury is out. Tito, understandably, wigs out and gets himself tossed from the game. The Red Sox, already down 5-0 thanks to a God-awful Josh Beckett first inning, lose what turns out to be a very important run and go on to lose the game 5-4.

Watching the replay, Don and Jerry immediately take the “they made the right call when they overturned the home plate ump’s call” position (contrary to what some Mariners fans with the NESN feed were gabbing about last night) and watching the replay it is OBVIOUS the umpires ultimately got the call right.  It stinks that it hurt the Red Sox as much as it did but, really, it was the right call and except for Tito who didn’t have the benefit of instant replay in front of him before he argued with the umps, anyone who saw the replay knew it.

What I found interesting and, yes, refreshing is that after this game.  After the Red Sox mounted a comeback and failed to take over the lead and win the game, when asked about the play at the plate (after having seen the replay), Jacoby Ellsbury’s response was:

“It looked like he held onto the ball. He made the tag and then he pulled it out with his bare hand to show that he got me. From my angle, it looked like they got the call right.

Now, as painful as I suppose this could be, I bring this up for two reasons: The first being, it absolutely infuriates me when there is a call like the one last night where it seems another umpire had a better view of the play than the umpire making the call (which, as an aside, I still don’t get here.  Watch the video, umpire Mark Ripperger was standing over Josh Bard and STILL got the call wrong) the umpires more often than not DON’T get together to make sure the right call was made.  I don’t expect this on every play but for crying out loud is it so tough to do it on plays that are really significant?  (Jim Joyce totally destroying Armando Galarraga’s perfect game is one and Jerry Meals, just this July, ending a 19-inning Pirates/Braves game by calling an obviously out Julio Lugo safe at home both come springing to mind.)  Last night it happened in the fourth inning of a 5-0 game with two outs.  While the call, ultimately, hurt the Red Sox because had it stood the score would have been tied, it still didn’t determine the outcome of this game.  Joyce’s call and especially Meals’ call did just that.  Every play in baseball is important but there are times when some hold a bit more importance than others and I know this isn’t lost on the umpires so why the heck don’t they take a couple of minutes more often to make sure they get the damn call right?  I’m glad they got the call correct last night.  Bard took quite the hit and still held on to that ball…between Ichiro’s throw and Bard’s response, that was one hell of a play.  I’m just sorry what happened with the umpires last night doesn’t happen more often because, people who complain about how long baseball games are be damned, it really should.

The second reason I bring this up is Jacoby Ellsbury’s reaction to it.  “They got the right call.”  Interestingly enough, that was Julio Lugo’s reaction as well when Jerry Meals made the wrong call.  I, and many others, defended Lugo just by saying “Well, did you expect him to say it was the wrong call?” but look what Jacoby did.  Lugo watched the replays (and if you watch them, Lugo’s reaction betrays his post-game confidence) and still came out with “He made the right call” (adding, according to reporters, a smile).  So I refuse the whole “What is he going to say” argument because, really, it’s not so terrible to tell the truth in those situations is it?  The umpire admitted it was the wrong call, the League admitted it was the wrong call.  They aren’t going to take away the run or your win so why be a jackass about it?  Jacoby gives me reasons every day to like him more.  MLB umpires, not so much.

So we get a rubber game today.  In August, the Red Sox have tied a series (two wins bookended by losses against the Indians) and won two series (losing the first game of the series against the Yankees and the last game of the series against the Twins).  They are having a good August.  They’re having a good season.  I’m not about to let one late night loss ruin my weekend.  Tim Wakefield brings the knuckleball today in another attempt at his 200th win.  Have at it, fellas!

August 14, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Appealing to All

One of Madison's favorite Jacoby shots courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

Earlier this week, when Jacoby Ellsbury hit a game-winning home run that marked his second consecutive game-winning hit, my 10- year-old niece (after jumping up and down and yelling “The Red Sox win because Jacoby is AWESOME!” about a hundred times) began a monologue directed toward her mother about exactly WHY “Jacoby is awesome”.

Unassisted by me, she pointed out to my sister that “Sure, he’s the best-looking baseball player EVER” but she was quick to include the fact that he “can hit and is AWESOME in the outfield!”.  (She’s 10.  “Awesome” is the word of the month.)  She went on to tell us that some of the boys at her school like Jacoby but think the only reason the girls like him is because he’s “cute”. (Madison, my niece, has three Jacoby t-shirts.  A red one with the number 46 on it, a navy one with the number 2 on it and his American League All Star t-shirt that she “REALLY” wanted because it marked the first time he was in the All Star Game.  She doesn’t live in these shirts, but except for the All Star shirt that she only just got in July, she occasionally does wear them to school.)   Madison isn’t afraid to admit to anyone that she thinks Jacoby is a good-looking fella, but she also likes to remind people that, in spite of what a good many had to say about him last season, he’s a good player as well.  She’s ten and she gets this.  I am, as you might suspect, very proud. Continue reading

August 7, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , | Leave a comment

A Day at the Fens

I had to take at least one picture of Jacoby for my niece!

This season has been one in which, for me, I haven’t traveled much to Fenway, so it was a pleasant surprise when I was gifted with, essentially, a day at Fenway yesterday.

It was supposed to begin with a tour, but at the last minute we decided to bail on it.  (As an aside, if you have never been on a Fenway tour, it is best to not go with me or Kelly, the friend who gifted me with the day of joining her at Fenway.  We don’t react well to a lot of it given it is full of misinformation used just to amuse those who don’t pay attention.  See?  I’ve already thrown water on it and we aren’t even there.  Really, don’t bring me to a Fenway tour…you’ll regret it immediately.)  So after a morning enjoying some caffeine at Eastern Standard, we made our way to Fenway for the boSox Club meeting in the EMC Club featuring Terry Francona, John Farrell and Larry Lucchino.

Highlights included Tito mentioning that the thought MLB was brilliant for having David Ortiz ask players to perform in the Home Run Derby (he said he loves watching it and the fans enjoy it but the players really try to avoid it but no one could say “no” to Papi!), and Larry Lucchino telling a Trot Nixon fan that the Red Sox have been discussing with Nixon a scenario where he could come back as a Red Sox player and retire the way Nomar Garciaparra did.  (After I tweeted Larry’s comment it was retweeted as Larry having said they ARE bringing Trot back and the Red Sox are planning on retiring Trot’s number.  Good Lord, it was like the telephone game.)  There was also a brief discussion of the call at the plate to end Tuesday’s game.  It’s fair to say that regardless of Tom Caron (host of the afternoon) telling John Farrell that the replays were, at the very least, inconclusive, John wasn’t buying it and believed the call to be a bad one.    In spite of this, John was genuinely pleasant and had nothing but nice things to say about Sox fans and his former team.

When the luncheon was over, having tickets to the game that wasn’t starting for another five hours, we decided to make our way to Jerry Remy’s to hang until we wanted to make our way to the park.  We had lunch (yes we went to a luncheon before hand…where they ran out of food, so we went to Remy’s to eat.  Live and learn.) and enjoyed the air conditioning.  After some oddness (we had a pleasant waitress most of the time and then she switched tables.  Our next waitress we never met because, we were told, she refused to serve our table. Very odd…I wasn’t aware waitpeople could refuse to serve a table (our guess is because we weren’t going to be a big enough tab for her).  All in all, though, in spite of the weirdness at Remy’s, and not getting lunch at the luncheon, the afternoon was a heck of a lot of fun.

Even more fun was the evening.  Kelly scored us really great tickets (field box behind the Red Sox on-deck circle about five rows off the field) so we had a wonderful view of Tim Wakefield and the entire field.  The weather, hot, definitely, hot, wasn’t as oppressive as we expected it to be, we even got a little bit of a breeze, and even when the rain came it was refreshing (until it was overwhelming and we took cover until it ended.)  We stayed until the end and got to see a great game.  I could have lived without the guy who, even though he didn’t have tickets for our section, brought his camera and his child (I’m guessing to be not even one or JUST one year old) to the wall of that section making his child a prime target for foul balls just so HE could get some pictures and beg for a ball (which he didn’t get – thank you baseball gods).

You get a lot of interesting moments sitting near the on-deck circle.  Seeing Jacoby smile at the chorus of “JACOBY” yelled by a group of women was amusing.  Watching Papi wave at the little kids calling to him was just so sweet.  For the most part, we had a good crowd around us (although, really, the tradition of kids yelling “here! here!” or “ball! ball!” drives me crazy.  Not that I begrudge the kids who want a ball, but the process is so rude and you almost never hear one of them thank a player, ball or bat person or umpire for getting a ball) and the well-played game, fun fans and not so horrible weather really put together a great night.

I’m hurting a little this morning.  Not because I enjoyed myself too much, but because, even in almost 80-degree weather, the person behind me enjoyed himself a cup of clam chowder and then deposited the remains of it under my seat.  After a small allergic reaction, Kelly kindly disposed of the killer food and I used Bud Light as an antihistamine and all was well.  (The after effects of an allergic reaction, even small, for me end up making me feel like I was in a fight where I took quite a beating.)  I’m a lot of fun to be around, huh?

Did I forget to mention that, while at the luncheon and waiting in line I turned around and was face to face with Wally?  I collected myself quickly enough before I screamed but, really, he scared the heck out of me.  Just wasn’t expecting a giant, green monster to be standing next to me.    I got a handshake and a kiss on my hand for my troubles.  I’m a goof; I love Wally.

It was also fun to follow the Yankees/Cleveland game on the scoreboard (and, during the rain delay, on the video board).   I know full well that it’s relatively meaningless right now, but nothing baseball-related would make me happier than the Red Sox going into the All Star break in first place.  It’s a small dream.  Not too much to ask, right?

July 7, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Walk Off Happiness

Photo capturing genuine joy taken by Kelly O'Connor last night and used with permission.

Many is the time a game stresses me out so much that I shut off the volume…why I’m not sure.  To drown out the disappointment of the crowd or announcers?  Maybe I think if I don’t HEAR it then it didn’t happen (or isn’t as painful to deal with).  In any case, I didn’t shut the volume off last night because the game was stressing me out.  I shut it off so I could hear something else and then I just didn’t turn it back on.  This happened at the start of the ninth.  With Ellsbury and Pedroia both on base, Adrian Gonzalez up and the volume still off, I stood up in anxiousness. I had a good feeling about it but I was still bouncing around a bit. itI didn’t even have time to pace when I saw the ball heading toward the Green Monster and I just started saying, calmly, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…”.

It was a nice way to end that game.

If you watched this game, I don’t have to tell you that the first six innings were a terrible letdown after the weekend the Red Sox had.  By the bottom of the sixth, I had resigned myself to the idea that they just weren’t going to take this one.  But by the top of the seventh, when the score was 6-5 Orioles after having been 6-0 Orioles at the top of the sixth, I was convinced they would pull the game out. It’s amazing what can happen in four innings, isn’t it?

Chris Tillman pitched a good game and left the game with that cushy 6-0 lead.  His teammate Jeremy Guthrie can commiserate with him on what it’s like to lose that lead and have the team lose the game. I’d like to feel sorry for them but, really, I don’t.  I’m greedy.  I want my team to win and if they have to crush the spirit of their opponent in the process, well, so be it.

Not so incidentally, Kelly O’Connor, as she was for the Mother’s Day Miracle, was in attendance at Fenway Park last night and, along with the above photo which is on the short list of my favorite Red Sox celebration photos ever (Jed Lowrie looks positively giddy!), she got some fantastic shots that you must check out.

Dustin Pedroia added to his legend last night with a classic at-bat in the ninth that followed a Jacoby Ellsbury stolen base and set the stage for Adrian Gonzalez to, once again, be the hero.  But, really, the win was a team effort.  These guys didn’t give in after being down 6-0 in the sixth.  It was a beautiful game to watch from that point on.

Adding to that happiness is the New York Yankees squandering their 5-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays last night in the sixth as well to end up losing the game 6-5.  The sixth inning was good to Red Sox fans last night and I thank the Baseball Gods for that.

Yesterday the Red Sox put John Lackey on the 15-day disabled list with a strained elbow.  What this means, aside from sparing us a Lackey outing tonight and this weekend versus the Chicago Cubs, is that Tim Wakefield is on the mound against Baltimore tonight (and against Chicago, most likely, this weekend).  I’m always eager (yet anxious) for Tim Wakefield starts this season.  I’m not ready to let go just yet…I’ll admit it.

It’s probably no more than any other season and I just don’t remember it, but this year there seem to be an awful lot of two game series.  After these two games against the Orioles, the Detroit Tigers are in town for two games before interleague play begins on Friday against the Cubs.  The Red Sox have a good chance this week to keep up the streak…I’m looking forward to more of the happiness!

May 17, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jacoby Ellsbury and the Pink Hats

Jacoby on Thursday in Fort Myers courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

Tom Brady is a very good quarterback. Can we all agree on this? I mean, if you’re a football fan you know this and if you aren’t you can Google his stats quickly enough and decide that, yes, he’s good at what he does.

It is also fairly obvious that, like him or hate him, he’s an attractive man.  He just is.  And because of these two things, because he’s attractive and because he is good at his job, both men and women seem to be fond of him.  Not all men and women, but a good lot of them.  We can all agree on this, yes?

(Stay with me, I promise this is baseball-related!)

I have never, in the entire time Tom Brady has been with the New England Patriots, read where people assumed the only fans who like him are women or people who don’t know anything about football but just latch on to the most popular player.  Never.  As a matter of fact, I have actually read criticism of people who claim to not like him because of the lifestyle he leads.  Articles and blog entries abound at how we shouldn’t let Brady’s off the field persona cloud our judgment of him as a football player because of how good a player he is.  There are also the ridiculous amount of articles and blog entries dedicated to his looks (almost always about his hair) as if we should genuinely care about how Tom Brady looks.

So I ask this:  If it is understood that Tom Brady is a handsome man who does his job well…not only understood but his looks are often mentioned as another reason Mr. Brady is so great…if this is acceptable by the sports media both mainstream and in the blogosphere, then why do so many people have a problem with the fact that Jacoby Ellsbury happens to be a fine looking man?

It seems to be a foregone conclusion to many professional writers as well as bloggers that if you proclaim that you are a Jacoby Ellsbury fan you are a (wait for it) “Pink Hat” fan and completely ignorant of the game.  Hell, the Boston Globe pays Peter Abraham to call people “pink hats”. In regard to his blog entry about Jacoby creating a Twitter account, Abraham remarked:

This could be the biggest news for Pink Hats since the invention of the pink hat.

First I need to say that if they ever track down the creator of the phrase “pink hat fan”, I will find the person responsible for it and spit right in his or her eye.  Secondly, Peter Abraham, though extremely thin-skinned when it comes to anyone daring to criticize him, is a good writer.  That he reverts to using a term most likely coined by some rabid WEEI listener is just sad.  He can do better.  Anytime I read someone using that phrase and it isn’t surrounded by a criticism of it, I get a good idea of exactly what that person must think of women fans.  When I read a woman fan using it, I just hang my head.  No matter how many people defend it as being all-encompassing of fair weather fans who know little about the game, that is bull to me.  The only fans you see at the park, for the most part, wearing pink hats are women.    They don’t call them “alternate color wearing fans” and you never read insults about fans who show up at the games in camo caps or other non-team colored apparel.  This is about women, plain and simple.

It’s especially obvious that it is about women when the term gets thrown around as liberally as it does when talking about fans of Jacoby Ellsbury.  Now, let’s get back to my mentioning Tom Brady.  I don’t mean to imply that Jacoby Ellsbury will end up being as good at baseball as Tom Brady is at football.  I’m showing the double standard.  Because if Jacoby was as good as Tom there wouldn’t be the stigma of being a fan of his.  Johnny Damon was, in his time, considered a good-looking guy…especially when he was in Boston and pre-caveman days.  I sat at a bar one night where grown men shouted “Johnny Damon I love you!” to him as he was there hanging with some other players.  It was okay for all of us to like Johnny because not only was he handsome but he was good.  (Also, this isn’t to say Jacoby isn’t or won’t be good.  Personally, I like watching the kid play and think he has a lot to offer, has given the team a lot and will continue to do so as long as  no one is out there trying to break his ribs.)

I rarely say this because it’s rarely true, but I’m convinced the vitriol thrown at the fans of Jacoby Ellsbury is based on pure jealousy.  I have no doubt that even if Jacoby hit .100 all season, never stole a base and committed error after error in the field, that he would have a large following of fans because, yes, the man is fine.  But, as I’ve stated about a million times since this blog began, finding someone attractive doesn’t equal being a bad fan.  It’s about time some men realized that.  It is perfectly acceptable to find a player attractive.  Men find the likes of Heidi Watney and Erin Andrews attractive and talk and write about it incessantly.  I’m sorry that, unless you’re a gay man, as a man you have no one to appreciate visually when you’re watching baseball and instead have to obsess on sideline reporters.  I’m not sorry that, as a heterosexual woman, I have plenty to visually appreciate.  But appreciating that Jacoby Ellsbury is most likely the best looking player in MLB today doesn’t take away from other parts of being a fan and I’d sick of people like Peter Abraham perpetuating that stereotype for a joke.

If a man tells me he’s a baseball fan, I don’t immediately start peppering him with questions so he can prove it to me.  Yet I’ve lost count of how many men, upon finding out I blog about the Red Sox, say something along the lines of “I bet Jacoby Ellsbury is your favorite player” with the implication being that he couldn’t be my favorite player because he plays well, that, if he is, it has to be because he’s handsome.  It’s unfair to me, it’s unfair to all women and it’s unfair to Jacoby.

But back to Peter Abraham.  After blogging about Jacoby’s Twitter account, he took to Twitter to complain that a fan commented that he was bashing Twitter with that blurb.  His response to that was a sarcastic “But I’m on Twitter” so I responded to him that the idea he was bashing Twitter was ridiculous when it was obvious he was bashing women fans of Jacoby’s.  Predictably, he never responded to me.

This blog has a decent following of both men and women.  Our live chats are fun and full of not only references to baseball but many other topics.  Folks are almost always respectful of one another…which is nice…and if they aren’t it quickly gets settled.  Aside from the period of time when I was on WEEI.com, it’s almost a baseball Utopia here because the women fans who visit know they won’t be dealing with men who have no respect for them as fans and the men know they’ll get some fun and intelligent baseball talk.  A very small part of this is due to my moderating the more offensive comments.  The larger reason for it is because, thankfully, this blog seems to attract people, both men and women, with a deep passion for the game and an appreciation for their fellow fans.   This pleases me more and more each day.

So what is the point of all my rambling this fine Saturday morning?  I’m not sure.  Maybe just to get this all off of my chest.  The season will quickly be upon us and I’m excited for that.  I’m not excited to reading about “Pink Hats” from the likes of Peter Abraham and because of that I feel it important to set the mood for the season.  I’m not suffering fools or insults thrown the way of women fans lightly this year.  You’ve all been warned.

It’s important to point out that Peter Abraham is certainly not the only mainstream sports writer to use the term (or to insult fans of Jacoby’s)…but he’s the latest and, in my mind, one of the more respected writers which is why I found it so bothersome – even if only in a “lowly” blog entry.  Have some respect but more importantly here, be professional.  Is that so difficult?

Also, for the record, head to Fenway Park on any given day and you will see many, many Jacoby Ellsbury t-shirts and jerseys being worn.  I’d be lying if I said the majority of them weren’t on women or children but I’d also be lying if I said that there were no men wearing them.  With each year he’s on the team, Ellsbury jerseys and shirts show up on more and more men.  He’s a good player, people like him and he’s a handsome guy.  He, nor his fans, should be embarrassed of any of these things.

(For those interested, Jacoby’s Twitter account is @JacobyEllsbury.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a handsome fella in his own right although Abraham doesn’t mention “Pink Hats” when referring to him, is also officially on Twitter @Jarrod_Salty39.)

March 19, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , , , , , | 12 Comments