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Friday, March 16, 2007


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Thanks for this, Rob and Paul. Great stuff.

Good read, Paul.

Thanks Rob, Paul. Very interesting.

So one of the best Sox reporters thinks the Sox won't pick up Manny's options and wouldn't go after a free A-Rod. Interesting.

Thanks a lot for this!

Damn, he's keeping busy. Blog, paper, web interviews (he also did a recent Q&A at SoSH).

Joe Torre: Red Sox Fans

I live in Troy, N.Y. just outside of Albany. It is all Yankees territory here. There are Red Sox fans around here who popped up out of nowhere after the ws victory (just like everywhere else). I was at the mall last night and I have my Yankees hat and my Boston Massacre 5 game sweep shirt on. This genius has a boston hat on and is coming the opposite direction from me while I'm looking the other way. As I look towards him all I see is his angry face reading my shirt. It felt so good to know that that guy walked throughout the mall the rest of the night thinking about how true it is that his team just can't cut it against the Yankees.

The reason a lot of people have become "red sox fans" the past few years is because of the notion that they are the "good guys." The hatred across all of baseball against the Yankees has never been a mystery. I think a lot of fans from other teams have just decided to become red sox fans because they've had the best chance at beating the Yankees the past few years. You can expect a backlash against "red sox nation" lol (sounds like a bunch of star wars trekies) in the coming years because they are doing everything that they once detested. It sounds a lot like Animal Farm lol.

Evil empire and red sox nation are made up terms by the red sox the past few years. It is so childish. We take it in stride by taking pride in being the evil empire. I remember in the post heading into 05' they had pullout page which had a sign that said "The Empire Strikes Back." Its so foolish what they do to coerce people into rooting for them. Its like brainwash.

Great Article by Tony Massarotti

Every winning team, including the Yankees, Red Sox and others have bandwagon fans. "Look at me. I’m a member of Red Sox Nation"

^ that might be one of the single worst things I've ever read. You can't be serious, especially with the "team can't cut it against the Yankees" line.

2004 ALCS, anyone? If not for the best manager in NYY history (Grady,) it probably would've been 2003, too.

Get real.

Steve, word of advice - it's usually not wise to say "Get real" to someone when you are trying to pin the Sox's failure in 2003 on one person who happens to be a very good manager, despite what you've undoubtedly been brainwashed to believe.

Andrew, word of advice - don't ever try to lecture a Boston fan when in the same paragraph you seriously try to imply that Grady Little is a "very good" manager.

It was every bit his fault that the series was lost, despite what you've undoubtedly been brainwashed to believe.

and Grady was part of the team, just as much as Torre or Francona are part of their teams. I don't understand your point, Steve.

This debate is a distraction from a great post. But for the record, Grady Little was a half-decent manager who made a fatal error. He was certainly not a hideous manager (though I couldn't stand his style even before he left Pedro out to wither), but he most definitely was not a "very good manager".

See, he has been brainwashed. Why would I be brainwashed, Steve, into believing Little is a good manager? He's had success with the Red Sox and now the Dodgers, plus from what I've read he's an excellent 'players manager'. He made a slight mistake in the last game of the ALCS (it wasn't like he was leaving Jaret Wright in, this was Pedro Martinez, the best pitcher in the AL), just like Wakefield made a slight mistake in the first pitch he threw in that game. Sorry, it wasn't 'every bit his fault'.

made a slight mistake

"Understatement of the Millenium" award is no longer up for grabs.

The Grady-doesn't-yank-Pedro thing was like watching a heart surgeon in action. He's prepared the patient perfectly. The first two hours of the surgery are textbook. He makes no mistakes. You think he's doing great, then all of a sudden he starts snipping every major artery. First the carotid. Then the aorta. Blood is gushing everywhere. You know it's gonna end in patient death and you implore the surgeon to stop with the scalpel, but he just looks through you, like he knows what he's doing. Three minutes later, the patient expires.

So the surgeon was great for about 90% of the surgery. Then, a "slight mistake". Right. More like a "not so good surgeon".

Sorry, SF, I don't know why I jumped in. This is a great post. Great questions, great answers, great job, Paul.

I think I'm in a bit of an irritable mood because my lady and I missed her brother's wedding in Austin. We spent 12 hours at Newark Airport, watching flight after flight be cancelled. Uggh! What an awful time.

Hey, it could have been worse. On 1010 WINS this morning they took a phone call from a passenger who was boarded on a Virgin Atlantic flight to London at 8pm yesterday, they taxi'd to the runway, and then sat there until 545 this morning. The flight was then cancelled, and now the people are struggling to get re-booked.

I was in a rear-wheel drive U-Haul van moving crap upstate in white-out conditions, and it took 10 hours for me to drive 250 miles. Not the brightest decision of my life.

Please, SF, if managers were like surgeons and not allowed to make any mistakes, Tito would have been out long, long ago. RSN unfairly made Little the scapegoat because he left his best pitcher in the game. I guess it worked out for the Sox in the long run, but Little took a good team and made them better. His successes in Boston far outweighed his failures, and it's unfortunate that Sox fans can only blame the entire team's disappointment on one man. I didn't know Little hit the balls and threw the pitches.

That does sound awful. Wow! One of the longest trips I ever took happened during a huge winter storm a few years back. I was living in Boston and had been visiting friends in NYC for the weekend. Usually, I took the Chinatown bus back, but they had cancelled all rides back (if you know anything about the Chinatwon bus system, that means that things are seriously dangerous on the roads!) Anyway,I had to take an Amtrak to Boston. This ended up taking 11 hours as the train literally walked from NYC to Boston. The cars were filled with passengers. I had to stand for all 11 hours. Good times!

Like I said, Little did a fine job for a while. But he was babysitting, paying attention, giving the kids their bottles, burping them, getting them bathed, then for some reason decided to put them in their cribs unattended with a bunch of hand grenades. He's not a scapegoat. He screwed up.

Let's get this back on topic. How many of us would choose the path of not really being able to root for our beloved team any more in return for a beat-writing career? Personally, I think I would have a very hard time divorcing myself from my lifelong allegiances. I don't know how these guys, beat writers, can sublimate those habits.

Alright, SF. Back on topic.

I think that if its your job (and you gotta imagine being a beat writer is a really cool job) then that really takes precedence over what your favorite baseball team is. I would love to be a beat writer for the Sox, for any team really, because you get to talk to baseball players! As a baseball fan, what could be better than that (besides actually having the talent to play)?

I think you almost have to become a fan of the team you're covering, in the sense that you have to know and follow so much about that team. You don't exactly have to root for them (and as we well know in YF land, many beat writers take glee from Yankee failures), but you have to follow them as if you were a lifelong fan. I think I could still be a Yankee fan and cover the Sox (although I would lie through my teeth on job interviews), although I probably would have gotten fired in 2003 for shouting with unrestrained joy.

I just realized I have terrible redundancy issues and sentence structure problems. Ah, I'll never be a writer!

If you read "Feeding the Monster," it's pretty clear that winning the World Series was the only way Grady Little was going to save his job. He "played hunches," and cost the team games through the season, and the ownership group hated his style and his execution. The Pedro "hunch" merely sealed the deal. I am under no illusions that removing Pedro for Timlin and Williamson wouldn't have resulted in a Sox-Marlins World Series.

Anyway... I first got into journalism by rooting for the Red Sox and wanting to cover them. Went another route ultimately, but I still wish I'd stayed with sports. Bradford's response to our question about whether he misses just being a fan though makes me wonder if we haven't created the best of both worlds here. We don't need to be objective. We can still be fans. But we can also report and analyze and communicate about our teams, and that's what's so attractive about beat writing in the first place.

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