Archive for the ‘Red Sox Nation’ Category

Last Chance

After a really disappointing end to the 2011 Baseball season, I was close to saying “Screw you Boston”, throwing away all my Red Sox memorabilia and finding another team to follow. The problem was, I love baseball and would have to follow someone. But who?…what team would be so lucky to get me as their #1 fan?

Here was my criteria:
1. Had to be an AL team ( NL sucks..although the Brewers and Cubs were considered)
2. Can’t be on the West Coast- the games are on to late. But when we move to Seattle in 10 years, I will support the Mariners.
3. Has to be an American team – Sorry Toronto.
4. Yankee’s and Rays are automatically out- my hate burns too deep.
5. Preferably a team with a bit of history/tradition.

Surprisingly, the two team that I came up with were the Detroit Tigers and the Baltimore Orioles. For some odd reason, I have a really old picture of myself and my dad wearing Tigers hats. I was maybe a year old? I think my Dad bought them was because he really liked Sparky Anderson..or maybe it was because there was a “D” for Dave on it? Who knows, I never asked. I do know It’s one of my favorite pictures.
As for my second choice, Baltimore. I really can’t pinpoint it- they seem like a nice team, their players stay out of trouble, Boog’s BBQ, Camden Yards and who didn’t like Cal Ripken. Plus, my Little League team was once the the Oriole’s. Silly reasons, I know..but they made the cut to the short list.
I want to follow a team that plays hard, has me on the edge of my seat on every pitch and hopefully win their fair share of games. That’s not too much to ask for is it?
Ultimately, I fought the urge to become what I loathed- a fickle sports fan. If my fandom can survive Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner and Aaron Boone- surely it can be resuscitated after a historical 2011 collapse. I guess we’ll have to see what this team is made of in 2012.

All this leads up to my question- if your favorite baseball team ceased to exist for what ever reason…who would you follow, and why?

Land of Competition

I’m sorry to make this such a short post, but with thefoulline.com war room up and running for tonight’s draft, resources are running low. So here are a few quick hits.

  • The Sox split their Japan series with the A’s. Considering that they traveled across the world for this goodwill tour and still walked away with a win, it’s not too shabby. Plus, there are now a million Japanese fans who are part of Red Sox Nation.
  • Maybe it’s time for John Henry to create Red Sox World.
  • Jon Lester consistently pitches well for the Sox, but he always seems to give up a 3-run home run. Hopefully this will change with experience.
  • J.D. drew loves to toy with fans’ expectations of him. He teased us with 7 RBIs in the first two games, then pulled a typical Drew move and removed himself from the opener with “back stiffness.” It’s a long season, he’s going to need to play with a few aches and pains eventually. But why would this season be any different?
  • I wouldn’t take J.D. Drew in the 20th round of the fantasy draft. Dylan can have him.
  • What type of bizarro world are we in when Julio Lugo and Brandon Moss are looking great, and Big Papi and Jason Varitek look like it’s their first day of spring training?
  • Did Manny’s early success at the plate leap frog him into a first-round draft pick?
  • There is still an outside chance the Sox will go 161-1.
  • Did you hear about Jose Canseco’s new book? He claims that A-Rod was constantly hitting on Canseco’s wife. I hope no one tells this to Derek Jeter. I wouldn’t want him to get jealous.
  • Brandon Moss was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket today. Something tells me he’ll be back.
  • I guarantee that I will not pick any Yankees under any circumstances in tonight’s draft.

Just to echo “The Commissioner” Matt McLaughlin, let’s all have fun this season. Good Luck.

Order of the Universe

George Steinbrenner’s mentally handicapped son and current Supervisor of Baseball Operations for the Yankees, Hank Steinbrenner, voiced his displeasure the other day to the New York Times “Play” magazine about the most popular fan base in all of sports. For those who missed it, Hank said: “Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans.” Hammerin’ Hank continued, “Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.”

Now, we’ve let Hank say his piece, and we hope that he feels pretty good about himself. But here at thefoulline.com we would like the opportunity to respond. First of all, Hank, you are a complete and utter jackass. I thought that your dad was a whackjob, but you have now earned the title of “Craziest Steinbrenner To Run a Baseball Team.”

The reason that ESPN televises more Sox games than Yankee games is that people want to see a winner play. Not a group of overpaid, aging, lying, steroid-enabling has-beens. America likes that Boston players keep their noses clean and stay out of the tabloids. This is a good thing for the game of baseball. Having twenty current and former players on the Mitchell Report, an adulterating third baseman and left fielder, and a tax evading shortstop on your roster, on the other hand, is not.

After Hank spouted his line of crap, younger brother Hal decided to add this little gem: “The defending World Series champions have a lot of talent, and [have] done very well the past few years, but let me put it this way: I don’t think [they] wanted to play us in the ALCS. So I will concede nothing. I think we’re better than [them].”

Well Hal, allow me to retort. Boston would have LOVED to play your team in the ALCS. Winning a World Series title is nice, embarrassing the Yankees in the process is even better. Your stellar lineup, with its seven-game playoff losing streak, scares no one. Add an inconsistent rotation, an unreliable bullpen, and the annual playoff choke-job known as Alex Rodriguez, and your team can count on another early exit next year.

The thing is, they may be right about the number of fans out there. But there is a huge difference between Yankee fans and Red Sox fans. Sox fans wear their hats and jackets all year long, regardless of their wins or losses. Yankee fans hide in their parents’ basements until their team starts to lead the division, and then they dust off their Yankee gear and reveal themselves as the obnoxious idiots that they are.

Hank and Hal, you are fortunate to live in the greatest nation in the world. Unfortunately for you, it goes by the name of RED SOX NATION. And I think it’s time you were deported.

The Boys Are Back In Town

Florida is the second best place to be a Red Sox fan, in the world, ever. Ideally, being able to go to Fenway Park day in and day out would be best, and I do long for the Fenway Park days of my life. Going to games on summer nights and taking the T into Kenmore Square is one of my favorite activities, hands down. But, if I can’t have the real deal, southwest Florida is a good second.

Yesterday I was able to watch the first pitches of Spring Training for the Red Sox in the beautiful City of Palms Park in Fort Myers. I had psyched up for this game, and baseball in general, for quite some time now, but yesterday had some icing on the cake. I awoke in the morning to what seemed like 25 missed calls from my Dad informing me that the World Series trophies would be on display at the park and available for photos. As you can tell by the photo section on the thefoulline.com, we took full advantage of the opportunity to take pics with the trophy of all trophies. I was so overjoyed, and showed it a little, that Dave and I ended up being tracked down by MLB.tv for an interview. (I like to think they recognized us from the thefoullline.com, but who knows?)

It was a beautiful day. Great weather, the trophies, baseball being back in action. It’s great. While we can’t embrace the warmth of Fenway on a summer night as much as we in Red Sox Nation South would like to, we DO have Spring Training to bask in, and 12 games at the Red Sox’s other home field, the Trop. So, welcome back, baseball. We’ve missed you.

It Was a Good Day

I knew today was going to be a good day. The weather was a perfect 65 degrees, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and I had two tickets for the Red Sox/Boston College game in Fort Myers. I knew the game wasn’t going to be close, but Josh Beckett was penciled in to pitch the first two innings and I was hoping to see a couple of the Sox regulars get some playing time. The game started at 1:05 p.m. I planned on picking up Dylan at 10:00 for the hour-long drive down to the game. What transpired over the next three hours made this a day I won’t soon forget.

  • I get a call from Dylan. He tells me that his Dad has called him seven times this morning to tell him that the World Series trophy will be on display at City of Palms Park. Thank you, Wayne Hamilton!
  • Approximately five seconds after getting to Dylan’s, he suggests we hit Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. Brilliant!
  • Coffee in hand, we make world-record time down to Fort Myers.
  • 11:00 Arrive at the park.
  • 11:15 In line to get our pictures taken with the World Series trophies. That’s right, two trophies! They had the 2004 and 2007 trophies on display.
  • 11:30-11:40 Dylan and I mug for the cameras.
  • After the pictures, Dylan is showing me around the park when a camera crew stops us. Long story short, this is the camera crew from MLB’s This Week in Baseball. They told us that they had been taping us during our time with the trophies, and they wanted to interview us. We talk about what the World Series trophies mean to us, the Sox chances this year, blah blah blah. Like a couple of idiots, neither one of us thinks to mention thefoulline.com. Anyhow, we’ll keep an eye out for when we’re on TV and get the word out.
  • Five minutes later, we are checking out the Boston Red Sox team store when team owner Tom Werner and Boston mayor Tom Menino pop in. These guys are walking around doing a little shopping like a couple of regular guys. Something tells me they don’t need to use their Red Sox Nation discount card.
  • For those of you that have never been to City of Palms Park for a Red Sox game, you need to go. This was my first time, and the place is beautiful. It felt like I was at a Grateful Dead concert. Everyone was united, in a good mood and ready to cheer on the Sox. It truly is Red Sox Nation South. I can’t wait to go back.
  • 12:30 p.m. Lineups are posted. I was psyched to see the lineup Terry Francona put out there today. He played every projected starter, with the exception of Manny and J.D. Drew.
  • 1:00-1:30 Josh Beckett looked like he was in mid-season form for the two innings he pitched.
  • 1:15.35 – 1:15.43 I am now convinced that Jacoby Ellsbury is the fastest person in the world. He went from first base to home on a bloop hit from Dustin Pedroia quicker then anyone I’ve ever seen.
  • Kyle Snyder, Brandon Moss and Manny Delcarmen looked really good today.
  • Dylan and I were sitting behind the owner of The Penalty Box Irish pub in Providence R.I. If you’re ever up there, check it out. Mention Kevin for a free round.
  • For seven innings, B.C. was dominated. Even with the starters pulled and the no-name Sox playing, this game was a blowout.
  • 24-0. Ouch!
  • Even though it was a Spring Training game against an outmatched opponent, I thought Boston looked pretty good.
  • I can’t wait to get my picture taken with the 2008 W.S. trophy next year.

Dylan’s letter to Red Sox Nation

Another inspiring post from Dylan “And you may ask yourself, how can I serve Red Sox Nation bigger and better this offseason?” Hamilton.

Dear Red Sox Nation,

I know, I know, this has been a crazy week. I mean, wow, World Series champs……..again. I hope you all have had a great work week, wearing some form of Sox gear almost everyday and simply basking in the victory. I also hope everyone had a chance to be at, or at least watch the parade on the duck boats. Papelbon truly earned the right to be called the craziest man in baseball with his performance this year in the parade. So, I hope this letter truly finds everyone well.

I’m listening to the Talking Heads song “Once In a Lifetime” right now. You know the one, it has the chorus, “and you may find yourself, in another part of the world, and you may find yourself, in a beautiful house…” Well, and you may find yourself, as World Series champs, and you ask yourself, “well, how did I get here?” It’s a good song. Anyways, the purpose of this letter is that I know some of you are feeling a little out of place after winning this World Series. I talked about it a few days ago in my last post on here, how this title feels different. Well, I’m sending you all this letter to outline what we need to do this offseason, not as trades or signings, I’m not talking about the team here. This letter is from me to you, from Dylan to the entire Red Sox Nation.

First of all, winning the World Series on Sunday night is perfect for the Mon-Fri 9-5′ers. Come in to work Monday a little rough looking from Sunday, with a big grin on your face, looking for the closest Yankee fan. It’s awesome. Well, the week is now over, and any other sports fan would let this die down, it has been a week, and start thinking about next season, maybe football, who knows? Well, Red Sox Nation, we need not do that. This offseason, let’s ride this title out. Let’s spend the entire offseason bashing the Yankees, and really, the entire American League. After 86 years of struggle and ridicule as being 2nd best, let’s just get flat out cocky about this. I’m not saying get rid of the lovable-losers attitude, but we’re all Mass-holes in one way, shape, or form, so let’s show it. For the rest of the offseason, go ahead Red Sox Nation, and brag, brag, brag. We’re the best, let people know it. Let’s be as loud and obnoxious as we all so very well can, and let everyone know that we are all very happy about this title.

Secondly, follow the Yankees matters very closely. All this winning in the Red Sox Nation does not sit pretty in the Rotten Apple, and the few Yankee fans that are left are going to desire to break out any sort of 26 rings comment to take us off of our pedestal. Well, we can’t let this happen. Their team is in complete shambles, and odds are most Yankee fans don’t follow the team with as much devotion as we follow baseball. So, get read up on all the Yankees facts, rumors, trades, etc., and when you come in with your head held high and they come back with some “Your mom wears 26 rings” comment, back it up with “All your All-Stars are going to leave town” comments. I can’t wait for that. We always gave a huge fight to New York, but they always had us in a corner. Now we’re out, and we gotta start swinging.

Lastly Red Sox Nation, don’t forget where you came from. We are the only city, only region in America where baseball is the biggest sport around. We have the greatest football team possibly ever put together this season, but we’re a baseball town. The Sox will always be more important. It’s religion. We’ve come a long way to get here as two-time champs in less than five years. We’ve sat through a lot of struggle, and we can’t forget it. During this offseason, watch old Red Sox DVDs, read some old articles about the Curse, even try not closing your eyes when Buckner comes up on TV. We have the richest tradition in sports as Red Sox Nation, and for once, it’s time to be proud.

So, Red Sox Nation, as the buzz of this championship simmers down, I hope we all can embrace this great change that comes from winning. I hope you all have a great offseason. There’s much to discuss this winter, so stay tuned to the thefoulline.com, and don’t forget: the best way to get a Yankee fan off your front porch is to just pay for the pizza.

See you all in Fort Myers in a few months.

Sincerely,

Dylan “I’m putting all my trust in Theo about trades and free agents” Hamilton

A new day in Boston

Dylan writes for us again, with a post about the past, present, and future of Red Sox Nation.

Does anyone else feel different? Does this title feel odd at all? I honestly feel different about being a member of Red Sox Nation than I have ever felt before. There was the cowboy-up team of ’03, the idiots of ’04, and now, ’07, maybe the professionals? After the game last night, I celebrated, though I was at work and couldn’t celebrate in the same “regret that in the morning” fashion I did in 04, I celebrated. But inside of me, a new feeling began to emerge for this team. A team for the first time, that gave me confidence in them?!?

To me, the Red Sox Nation reminds me of the Parrotheads that follow Jimmy Buffett – occasionally immature, mostly blue collar, pessimistic about the world around them, yet, a love for following around what they love. We are a band of gypsies traveling all over, near and far, to cheer for this team. In those 86 years that passed between 1918 and 2004, most of us were raised with the occasional trip to Fenway, listening to parents banter on about the likes of Greenwell, Rice, and Boggs, and hearing our grandparents speak of how there will never be a hitter like Williams again. I’ve heard my Dad tell me exactly where he was when Fisk hit his game winner more times than I can count. Yet, in all those generations of being born into it, a cynical approach to this game always lingered. I’m reminded of speaking to my Dad before game 4 in 2004 and listening to him talk of how bad he wanted to see a title come forth, but “they’ll probably blow it like they always do,” he said. We all know the story now, but this was the attitude of Red Sox Nation: on the outside, more optimistic than anyone else, but inside, always on the edge, ready to be let down again, and again, and again.

We now flash forward to 2007. Our hated Yankees are in shambles. I even heard a Yankee spokesman say next season is a “transitional year.” The nemesis has been beaten, and we sit atop our new position as rulers of the baseball world. In a way, this title is more important than 2004. The ’04 team showed that if there was a curse, it was lifted, and anything was possible. But this team, the professional baseball Boston Red Sox of 2007, they proved to Red Sox Nation that a new day has sprung in Beantown. With the young talent that appears to be a full starting line-up for a rookie All Star team, future Hall of Famers showing the ropes to our rookies, and a front office staff that has the baseball savvy required to run the Red Sox Nation, the future is oh so bright. So, to Red Sox Nation, take a deep breath, take in all of the surroundings, and rejoice. The days of past are gone, the baseball legacy of the Red Sox begins again now, and the curse of A-Rod down in NY settles in even more (I have much more to write on the A-Rod matter as soon as it settles down somewhat). Life is good!!!

Round 1, Sox vs. Angels

As I am off celebrating my 10th anniversary with Mrs. TheFoulLine today, Dylan steps in with his assessment of Round 1, Sox vs. Angels. Enjoy.
-Dave

It’s here. October. Down here in the southern portion of Red Sox Nation you can feel the air beginning to slip into a crisp autumn 88 degrees, and you know that fall is upon us. Everything is the same, somewhere leaves are changing colors, that Robert Frost poem “Apple Picking” is being read, and the rest of the world forgets about baseball to a point to watch the NFL. Here it is, fall, playoff time for baseball.

Yet this year brings a new feeling for me, one I hope to share with the rest of Red Sox Nation, a feeling of, dare I say it, confidence? Could it be? I’ve felt this feeling before, granted it was with the Patriots and not the Sox, but I know the feeling when I feel it. I honestly have confidence in the Sox, at least against the Angels thus far, and we’ll cross the next bridge when we get to it.

Here is why I am confident going into this series. This is the best October team we’ve had. I’ll break down our second round when we figure out who the Sox second round victim will be, but for now we’ll break down the Angels series.

Josh Beckett vs. John Lackey. Beckett is firing right now. He is the AL Cy Young guy, he’s consistent, and he’s pitching in Fenway. While we send our ace to the hill, John Lackey is 1-5, 7.09 in Fenway Park. During the 2007 season, he made two starts in Fenway, losing both while allowing 20 hits in 9.2 innings, and sported a 8.38 ERA. If the series extends to five games, he might have to make two starts in Fenway.

Big Papi is on fire right now. Ortiz hit .404 for the month of September. The Dominican God of Designated Hitting enters October destroying the ball, getting 12 hits in his last 18 at-bats, including four doubles and three homers. And the Angels’ pitching staff doesn’t match up particularly well against him. Ortiz is back in his playoff form, and ready to show us why he is the new Mr. October.

Curt Schilling going in Game 3 instead of Game 2. I like this. I don’t even know really why I do, I just do. I like giving Curt the extra day of rest, and I like putting Schill in the position where he feels like he has something to prove. There will be speculation he’s injured worse then we think, etc., etc… And amongst the questioning of Curt, i.e. 2004, playoff Schilling will appear, the Schilling we have come to love. Also, the way the series is setting up, we will see Beckett come up once again if needed I believe in game 4, giving us the bullpen presence of Tim Wakefield. I like this set up a lot.

Finally, why I have so much confidence this year is that we mean business this year. This is not the cowboy-up team of ’03 or the come-from-behind idiots of ’04, this is a winning baseball team, that knows what is expected of them: Ortiz swinging the bat like he’s Roy Hobbs swinging Wonder Boy in the Natural. Manny, well, he’s Manny, but he’ll show up for the playoffs, and that helps. The Pitching staff dealing pretty well this season, and the right mix of youthfulness getting fired up and veterans leading the way.

This is the best October Red Sox we’ve ever had.

Am I allowed to be a member of Red Sox Nation and still think Jerry Remy is an idiot?

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Jerry Remy is going to be “elected” President of Red Sox Nation, but I don’t have to like it. I guess I’ve never really understood the appeal of Jerry Remy. Sure, he’s a career .275 hitter, with a whopping 7 career home runs, and he did make the all-star team in 1978. But this guy for President??

Remy was a non-factor as a player during his 7 years with Boston. Teams never had a game plan when they played Boston on how they could contain Remy. They were worried about guys like Yaz, Rice, Lynn and Fisk. How did this guy get so popular?

Maybe it’s because he’s so engaging doing his color commentary on NESN. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of hearing “Buenos Tardes, Amigo” to begin every broadcast. Is “Remy” a Spanish last name? Could it mean disheveled chain smoker with a porno actor mustache by any chance? I can see NESN wanting to have an ex-player doing commentary. Who wouldn’t want to add that insight to the broadcast? But maybe we could have got someone with either half a brain (Dwight Evans?) or at least a little character. Bill “Spaceman” Lee would be perfect. Of course Bill Lee would be hammered for every broadcast, but I think that would be part of the allure. At least he would have a reason for his incoherent babble.

Side note: I actually had the pleasure of meeting Bill Lee a few years ago during a Pro-Am golf tournament in Sarasota, Florida. He was playing in a foursome with Ozzie Smith and two guys I never heard of. My dad and I caught up with him on the second hole of the course, and he was already blasted. During the few minutes that we talked with him, he was more engaging and real then a season’s worth of Jerry Remy.

Jerry, you can keep your awful Lumber Liquidators voiceovers and your unhealthy affection for Wally the Green Monster.

I’m voting for change in Red Sox Nation. The People have spoken…