When Love and Hate Collide

Foulliners, there is something I need to get off my chest that I’m not very proud of. I am embarrassed to admit I am a huge New York Yankees fan. After writing this blog for the past year, I felt that now was the time to finally come clean. I love the Yankees.

I love their 26 World Series rings. They’re so retro.

I love the supreme intelligence of Hank Steinbrenner.

I love the rules that they have in place for Joba. Next year he may get to pitch 12 innings.

I love pinstripes. They even make Don Zimmer look slim.

I love their professional grooming policy. Because everyone knows beards don’t win ballgames.

I love that they have a $200 million payroll. Because $190 million only buys 4th place.

I love that they made the playoffs for 13 consecutive years. I love even more that it won’t be 14.

I love the originality of the Yankee Universe.

I love Mantle, Gehrig, Ruth, Berra, Boone, Jeter and Bucky Effing Dent.

I love when Mariano Rivera comes on the field to “Enter Sandman.” Metallica is huge in Venezuela.

I love to watch Alex Rodriguez mash home runs, collect MVP awards, and cheat on his wife with skanky strippers and geriatric pop stars.

I love the Bronx. I can smell it from here.

I love Giambi’s mustache. It distracts from his fat ass and poor fielding percentage.

I love the Yankee fans’ passion, loyalty, and 3rd grade educations.

I love “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch at Yankee Stadium. It reminds me of the 4th of July, when they were still in contention.

I love Billy Crystal and Rudy Giuliani. They throw better than Johnny Damon.

I love that the Yankees pounded the Rays last night during game one of their series.

I love that the Yankees have the chance to play playoff spoiler this season.

I love the Yankees. At least until Thursday.

Take the Low Road

It’s great that the World Champion Boston Red Sox received their rings yesterday. It’s even better that they won their home opener. But having Bill Buckner emerge from the Green Monster and throw out the first pitch was the worst idea that Boston owners have had since installing a hot dog vending machine at Fenway Park.

What has happened to Red Sox fans? A standing ovation? Is this guy now forgiven for his 1986 World Series blunder? What’s next, Yankee Appreciation Day?

As Sox fans, we need a villain in our lives. We need Bucky Dent, or Aaron Boone, or Bill Buckner. It’s the one thing that unifies us as fans and inspires us to cheer on the Sox. The day that we lose that fire in our gut and become content with the titles we’ve already won, is the day we become Yankee fans.

You can use the argument that we will always have our rivalry with the Yankees to keep us motivated, but is there still a rivalry? The Yankees have an aging lineup and an overrated farm system and haven’t been the team to beat for several years. I would be surprised if they make the playoffs this year.

Remember, we are Sox fans. We don’t turn the other cheek. We don’t take the high road. And we never forgive and forget.

Sox ownership needs to remember this for next year’s ring ceremony. Because while everyone was forgetting about the past, the passion that comes with being a Sox fan may have rolled through our legs.

The Kids Are Alright

Let me start off by saying that I love the Boston Red Sox. I was raised by a dad who taught me to always support the Sox no matter what. And even though I don’t live in New England anymore, I’ve always followed the Sox and have tried to raise my two kids the same way.

I was too young to remember Bucky “effing” Dent’s homerun in 1978. I was in junior high when Bill Buckner broke my heart, and I still feel the stomach punch when Aaron Boone took Tim Wakefield deep in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. I have followed the Red Sox during their absolute worst. And after winning two of the last four World Series, I have seen them at their best. But the newest generation of Sox fans, my kids included, know nothing but happy times. Their Sox history is all about bloody socks, Big Papi homeruns, and champagne showers.

So I hope you can appreciate my concern when I say Boston may be in trouble this season. While Boston opted to keep last season’s roster intact, other teams in the American League have been loading up. The Red Sox will have their hands full with teams salivating at the thought of knocking the champs off the mountaintop.

Good teams in the league have got better. Detroit added two All Stars in Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim improved their defense with the addition of Torii Hunter, and the always tough Seattle Mariners improved their rotation with staff ace Eric Bedard. Add the Indians, the Blue Jays, and the damn Yankees to the mix, and this could be an uphill climb for Boston.

If the Sox stumble out of the gate this year, or if a key player gets injured, I hope Theo Epstein doesn’t hesitate to unload their young talent to acquire some All Stars to help keep this team on top.

But I don’t want him to do it for me, or my dad, or anyone else that believed in the Curse. I want him to do it for the kids. After all, they don’t know any other way.