Prior 2004 the Boston Red Sox were my AL team. They always put together home grown gritty teams who just came up short against the hated money bag that is the New York Yankees (though they won their championships with role players…but that is a different conversation)
That changed, however as the Red Sox went out and spent money on exotic free agents (see Dice K and JD Drew) and lost the allure of the gritty team. Winning against my beloved Cardinals in the ’04 series didn’t help, but it was more the loss of integrity thing. The hypocrisy of the 2nd most annoying fans in baseball didn’t help either. Sox fans always complained about the “spend the national debt of Libya” Yankees and were rapidly turning into them. Fueled by obscene ticket prices and gargantuan merchandise sales they could spend away and not worry about the consequences.
The tide, however, is beginning to turn again and the Sox (as a team, not their fans) are becoming much more likeable again. As I watch game 4 of the ALDS the Sox are starting homegrown cancer survivor Jon Lester. 1st/3rdbaseman Kevin Youkilis and Rookie of the Year/MVP candidate Dustin Pedroia are the epitome of guys who play the game right, as hard as possible on every play. (I don’t think Pedrioa has gone an entire game with a clean jersey in his MLB career, possibly his life. It’s got to be some kind of a record. Or at least challenging Pete Rose)
If they keep this up and avoid signing overpriced free agents (AJ Burnett, Ryan Dempster) I, and much of America, will have a reason to like them again, or at least will have less ammo to hate them.
A couple of football notes. Take Marshall Faulk and remove his vision running the ball and you have Reggie Bush. Reggie has unbelievable athletic ability as seen in his role catching out of the backfield, but the reason he can’t run the ball in this league is his lack of vision. He reminds me of the running back version of Mike Vick. Obvious talent and ability just not enough upstairs to become the type of player he should be. This is another example of why college football is so diluted compared to the pro game. How many Heisman winners are out of the league within 5 years?
Text message of the day:
EC: This is the game on Madden where you are dominating but still losing.
ME: Seriously. This is the one game of the year the computer won't let you win.
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