One thing you’ll learn about me is I’m a HUGE Red Sox fan. This comes from spending my first 30 years of my life living in central New England. I grew up a BoSox fan and will remain a Sox fan for life, through good and bad. This past weekend the Sox got swept by the Nationals, the current uber-franchise in baseball. They have great pitching, Strasburg, Zimmerman, and Gonzalez are the big three of the National League, all with a sub 3.00 ERA and the three average a 2.0 WAR. Very impressive. I follow a bunch of Sox message boards (one of the best being YF Vs SF) that have intelligent commentary and opinion about the Red Sox and provides a realistic view of the team and why they aren’t where they should be (injuries are a very valid reason they are 6 games out as of today). I already read the Boston.com Red Sox coverage, for nothing more than to read the day-to-day activities of the team and they have added some good writers, with Pete Abraham being a great beat writer for the team. I love the comment section of many of the articles, and not because the fans are knowledgeable. What I love about them is they are predicable in that after a loss or a series like they had against the Nationals, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth about how the team sucks, they are a bunch bums, let’s blow up the team. After a win there are a bunch of comments about how they got lucky or they aren’t really as good as they play, etc.
An example of this is an article by Tony Massarotti on Boston.com about how Boston can’t get pitchers like those three on the Nationals (shades of Bob “why can’t we get players like him” Lobel back in the 80s). The comments were pretty much as expected. A bunch of Sox fans saying they knew all along the team was going to suck this year and how they will suck for many years into the future, etc. The owners should sell the team and leave the country since all they care about is money and not the team. They should have never given long term deals to Beckett, Buchholtz and Lackey (even though most people applauded each move at the time). Then the team will rattle off a few wins in row and get within a few games of first and everybody is saying once we get Ellbury, Ross and Crawford back and Gonzalez starts hitting we are going to be dangerous, playoff bound even.
I’ve been away from New England for a dozen years. Being detached from the area has given me a new perspective on Red Sox fans. From outside the area, they are viewed as a bunch of whiners and complainers, even if their team wins. Sox fans not only expect greatness from all 25 guys on the team, but they demand it. They could have a team full of All Stars and many of them still would complain if they lose a game or two. But that characteristic also makes us one of the greatest fan bases in all of professional sports. No matter how much we complain about this team or how bad they do we will still watch, follow, read and write about them. Each new game brings a new turning point in a season like this. Each win is the start of a new winning streak. Go Sox!