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The Eye, watchful and intent

Mike:
Well, I've got to tip my cap to the Yankees for making it easy on us Sox fans.

 

Steve:
Easy? How so?

 

Mike:
Well, 2003 hurt so bad because you knew deep down the Red Sox were the bettah team and should have beaten the Yankees …

 

Mike:
And getting down 0-3 in the '04 ALCS was the nadir of Sox fandom because, as a fan, you knew they were so much bettah than that and being in that hole seemed cosmically unjust and was totally unbearable to contemplate.

 


Steve:
Yeah, there's something to be said for and old school ass whooping that leaves all your hopes pooled up in a gob of bloody snot on the curb.

 

Mike:
Absolutely. Though, of course, this does beg the question: Why are the 2006 Red Sox unable to compete with the 2006 Yankees?

 


Mike:
Well, he would, wouldn't he?

 

Steve:
Wait a second, am I sensing that regarding Theo Epstein the gild is off the lily, the bloom is off the rose?

 

Mike:
I'd say that right now The Eye of Sauron that is Red Sox nation is ominously focused on young Theo Baggins and one World Series ring isn't going to render him invisible.

 

Comments

I hate to agree with BDD but Hench's rant on the weekend is fairly close to my feelings...Or it may be that I just f'ing hate the f'ing Yankees.

To quote the strip from '04 ALCS: "No fucking magma. No fucking lava. What the fuck was that?!"

I feel like I am attending a wake and the guest of honor is not quite fully dead yet...long silences and uncomfortable stares waiting for the inevitable to happen.

I am reminded yet again of what Marty Nolan meant when he said "The Red Sox killed my father and now they are coming after me."

A huge (sarcastic) thank you to Fox, ESPN, the time difference and Boston weather which enabled me to watch/hear the Friday afternoon game (horrifying), the Saturday afternoon game trussed up in my bridesmaid's dress before rehearsal (demoralizing) and the Papelbon blown save last night IN THE CAB after 15 hours of travel, delays, holding patterns, 3 hr layovers and a 40 minute wait for my bags. This does not even include seeing the sports ticker at the Foundry in Boulder at midnight on Friday and howling like a scalded cat (and literally storming off so people wouldn't see me start to hiss and claw).


So, how about them Pats?

I didn't kill myself. I figured, why upset my family and friends when this team is just going to finish me off naturally anyway?

Theo Baggins - Heh, nicely done, H.B.

I really hate this mood of impending [Mt.?] Doom, but I cannot seem to find a way of escaping it. Maybe a little tougher to deal with because of the early promise of the Sox' first half [over] achievement. Well, I'll cheer them on through the rest of the season (incl. tix for the 9/6 game, Sec. 35 - Thanks, Uncle John). Then let's see what the Young Mr. Baggins does on his quest to find some F*&^%$ing pitching this winter.

"What's it gots in its pocketeses, Precious?"

Anybody read Carter's "malaise" speech lately?

"These changes did not happen overnight. They've come upon us gradually over the (days since the all-star break), (games)that were filled with shocks and tragedy."

btw, Deadspin's linking to Soxaholix today....

Just because...
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/ps_oddspec.php
4 percent chance.
Go Dolphins...Oops wrong blog. I can't bring myself back to root for the Pats. I got sucked into rooting for the 'Fins when living in So Fla.

This was a brutal weekend. Sox were just not competitive, so unlike the past years where it was always a fight. While it's easy to say it's Theo's fault (and Shaughnasty was very vocal about that in Sunday's paper) few of us were looking at this team 2 months ago and suspecting a complete collapse of pitching. Our old guys are too old, our young guys are not ready, and Beckett's a total mess. What deadline or waiver deal could Theo have made to fix everything that's broken right now?

Thank God Marty didn't show up in today's strip.

One thing I don't get is why are the kids getting killed in the press? Hench has essentially written off pitchers who are 22, 24, 25. Lester and Hansen would still be in the minors in a normal season. Delcarmen would be on the Merloni Shuttle. Let's face it - we've had a great run the last 3 seasons, and now we having the karma run out. It happens.

Think Blue

It's not that any single deal at the wire would have changed us into a superior ball team...it's that looking at the direction things were going in just prior to the All-Star break, any single deal would have been recognition that a change could only be for the better.

As I just heard on 'EEI, stealing Abreau and Lidle doesn't keep Beckett from giving up 9 walks...then again Lidle pitching Johnson's game Friday and Abreau batting #5 behind Manny instead of #3 against us changes a WHOLE lot of baseball this weekend (less IBB to Manny, a chance for a win against Wang, a few cleanup hits and Youk back at #1 instead of being the only guy in the lineup who can possibly back up Manny...).

And at this point, giving up a Van Buren, Hansen, and Crisp trade to get Oswalt (via Andruw Jones) or a Lidle/Abreau set really starts to look like the smarter move than to make all of our young arms untouchable.

Just for shits and giggles, our bullpen WHIP over the past 20 innings is around 3.00.

I turned it off after they failed to score on Rivera with the bases loaded, since I already knew what was going to happen. Papelbon was done, so whoever came in the 10th was a 100% guaranteed mortal lock to give up runs immediately, and you never get two chances like that against Rivera.

I've almost lost interest in going to this weekend's games, but there's no sense wasting the tickets, so I'll drag my ass out to Safeco. They only make it out here a couple of times a year, after all. I'm sure it'll be weird, though, since this will be the first time in five years I've seen a Sox game in person in which they had nothing at stake. This must be how the locals around here feel every time they go see their team play. I don't like it.

20 days til the Pats kickoff. Thank Jeebus.

Okay, so now I am working from home and have the game on. Does anyone have a Webster's handy? My photo may be right next to the definition of masochist.

Don't want to threaten anyone here but if Mahty shows up to gloat I'm gonna reach through my monitor and take a cyberaser to his ass!

It's good to suffer a little like this. We got too used to being at the top for too long. And all the monday morning quarterbacks never saw coming the complete and total implosion of our bullpen. Simply put, right now we have no stopper. At the All-Star break, we were just worrying about the next time Tito would put in a guy whose name ended in "-ez".

I was at the game last night, section 41, near a classic Yankee poser who was gloating at the crowd with every Yankee hit. Of course at Giambi and Cano's errors he was quietly trying to get as small as possible in his seat, false bravado nowhere to be found.

The Sox are our team, rightly or wrongly. What separates us from Yankee fans is the fact that we never have to dust off our caps because the boys had an off-year last year; many fans can remember the wandering in the wilderness that was the 90s. Of course, in '95 when we won the division, the spanks were nowhere to be found, and none of those fans boorishly chanting "sweep" on the way out the ballpark last night would dare open their yaps.

And the Yankees fans are nervous, make no mistake - they *want* to see the Sox in the postseason. Because that would mean one less team from the AL Central, and one less chance to have to face Jeremy Bonderman, Bobby Jenks, Santana or Liriano. If the Sox don't make it to the playoffs, the Yankees face the fighting Guillens or Ty Cobb's Revenge, and they end their season right where it ended last year.

This weekend was brutal. I'm still clinging to futile wildcard hopes though.
Red Sox Wishlist:
1.Wake comes back and pitches his knuckles off
2. Beckett regains form
3. Boomer pitches the rest of his starts with a hangover (apparently he pitches better)
4. Sox sneak into the WC

If that happens I think we might be able to watch some ball in OCT. Schilling, Beckett and Wells start with Wake Timlin and Paps in the pen. I know it's wishful thinking but hey it's all I can come up with!

By the way please no updates, I have the game on DVR.

"Does anyone have a Webster's handy? My photo may be right next to the definition of masochist."

Hmm. Let's see. Yup, there it is: Masochist, n. See also, Natalie, Soxaholix, Rob in CT. (I'm "watching" via Internet gamecenter)

Nice picture, Nat. You look very pretty in your taffeta bridesmaid dress... Peach is definitely your color.

:-D

Ohhh ho ho, Rob, nay not taffeta. That's so last year. Those babies were couture $400 shantung silk in teal. Yeah, teal, that'll be really rewearable. I keep saying to my friends at the dog park that to get my money's worth I am going to wear the dress and flip flops up there every Friday to walk the dog. A friend has actually dared me to follow through. We will see. I am a sucker for a good dare. :)

Do you believe that 3-run moonshot by Papi?

Just kidding... I am messing a bit with Jay...and wishful thinking.

Today's line-up. Ortiz & Manny and nobody else from 2004, or 2005 for that matter. The magma is knee deep.

ISODE...while I would never suggest that there aren't plenty of fair weather Yankee fans, I take umbrage at two of your points:

1) Fair-weather fandom is somehow the domain of Yankee fans.

On this, I cannot tell you how many more "B" hats are floating around New York since 2004. The Red Sox fair-weathers/bandwagoneers have cropped up like so many weeds. Your ranks are bloated by such in very much the same way that Yankee fans' are. To this point, my own first taste of self-aware championship-level play as a Yankee fan came in the mid-90's. I spent my grade, middle and high-school years sucking the wind that was the Yankees through the 80's into the 90's, thanks. Yeah, we had Don Mattingly, but that's pretty much it.

2) Somehow Yankee fans don't want the Red Sox to miss the playoffs.

This is actually something I'm less insulted by, but more am puzzled by. It seems that you are grasping at straws a bit here to feel better about something, but this one seems like a non-sequitor...the last thing I want is for the Red Sox to make the postseason. Despite this weekend, I'd still rather face any other team in the AL than the Red Sox in the ALCS, should the Yankees make the playoffs and advance. 2004 was enough to make even the sturdiest Yankee boaster think twice over wanting the Sox.

Whatever separation you think you have with Yankee fans in terms of the "realness" of Sox fans versus Yankee fans, if it makes you feel better to believe it...well, go ahead, Narcissus.

There are many Yankee bandwagoners, but the rock solid proof of the "realness" of Yankee fans is the fact that Don Mattingly is by far the most beloved, most enthusiastically received former Yankee at the Stadium. Donnie Baseball is the only Yankee great never to have won a championship, or even a pennant, but they love him like no other because of the total commitment (and total humility) with which he played the game. Carried the torch of Yankee pride when they weren't winning anything. A front-running fan base would have forgotten him long since. I am not a Yankee fan by any means, but you guys are kidding yourselves if you think the Yankees don't have a passionate, through-thick-and-thin following of diehards, just like the Red Sox.

Natalie -

The notion of you wearing a floofy silk dress, picking up dog poop is just too funny for words. Post a picture somewhere if you ever decided to follow through on that dare.

Hope our Sox don't wind up getting tossed like a bag of poop by the Yankees today. Guess at this point I'm numb to it all anyway. Can we just regroup somehow? I don't want to get used to losing again. Guess that's a decided measure of the recent past successful seasons, no?

Well...true to your analogy, h.b., it looks like Baggins just tossed that ring into the firey pits of Mordor on Mt. Doom.

Time to burn the shire to the ground, in my opinion...

Oh, POOP!

And yet another piece of my soul shrivels. I am heading to crazyland after this weekend, so you may see me roaming the streets of Boston in that teal dress, not just at the dog park on a dare. :) If you see me thusly attired muttering to myself, get me a stiff vodka tonic and a World Series Champs 2004 t-shirt.

When's the fire sale? I have suggestions about who should go and to where. Two hints: a couple don't bat in the AL and one took Manny out in the 5th; the destination: warm, very warm.

//but you guys are kidding yourselves if you think the Yankees don't have a passionate, through-thick-and-thin following of diehards, just like the Red Sox.//

I have no doubt of that. It's just that their numbers tend to drastically shrink when the team isn't winning. Just check their attendance figures during those years. I doubt it was half of what it is now. When I lived in New York, I never had a problem just walking to the ticket office half and hour before a game and getting good field seats.

Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim
(Be patient and tough; some day this pain will have its use)
-Ovid

A very bleak series, but it does not begin to compare with the hurt that the MFYs put on the Sox and their fans with the original Boston Massacre in '78.

HB - with regards to Saturday's strip. Have you thrown in the towel on the season? It looks like you are bringing characters up from the Clip Art Minor Leagues to give them a little piece of the Show before next year. Not a bad idea, giving Bill, Lisa, and company some time off before '07. A long, dark winter awaits.

Whoa Dave S., chill the F out. I never suggested the fairweather fandom is exclusively that of Yankeeland, nor, having laid eyes on a pink Bronson Arroyo jersey, can I ever say Sox fans don't have their fair share. Frankly, I'm hoping it'll be easier to get Sox tickets these days. What I was pointing out was more the phony swagger of those yankee fans - the kind of guys who walk around talking about rings but were the first ones to shut up and sulk after 2004. These are the kind of guys who were booing Mariano Rivera at the start of last year and talk about "not caring about" playing the Red Sox.

And yeah I'm trying to feel better about it, but so what? The Yankees fans know that the team that kicked them to the curb last fall has only reloaded this year, and while Detroit has yet to prove its newfound power in October, no one really wants to be the test case. Whoever gets the wildcard will be facing the Yankees in the division series, and given the choice, I can't imagine the Yankees wanting to see any other rotation besides ours.

Narcissus? I think not. But now that the Yankees have finally managed to win 4 in a row against us, I can certainly imagine many a yankee fan gazing longingly at the reflection in the water....oh heck, most of them do that anyway.

"...Just check their attendance figures during those years. I doubt it was half of what it is now. When I lived in New York, I never had a problem just walking to the ticket office half and hour before a game and getting good field seats."

Given the larger capacity of Yankee Stadium, I'm not sure it's an apples-to-apples comparison. I'd also like to point out that when I moved to Boston in '93 I had a several-year stretch when I had no trouble getting a great seat on gameday through the ticket window. As late as 2002 I remember enjoying some near-field level walk-up seats against the Rays and Jays level of opponents.

I've no doubt Fenway had plenty of interlocking N and Y wearing-morons over this weekend, but I don't think you can make broad fan-base generalizations based on that fact. You're under no obligation to return the courtesy, but for every meathead in Yankee-Hater gear, I assume there's at least five passionate, knowledgeable, long-term fans. As someone who's lived up here for 13 years now, a lot of them are good friends, neighbors and coworkers.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thrilled with how this series worked out, but c'mon - I can praise Mr. Wang all I want, doesn't mean that the 0-16 with RISP in game 1 wasn't a statisical outlier on par with the frequency of certain comets. All I need to look at is, a. our shoddy performance against the O's with which we backed into this series, and b., the amount of baseball left to realize that nothing's been decided.

Bob -- The Yankees outdrew the Red Sox every season during the '80s, except 1989. Yet for most of that period, the Red Sox were contenders and the Yankees were not. It is true that NY is a bigger market, but the Yankees were sharing that market with a Mets team that was far superior to the Yankees for most of that decade. So the argument that attendance declines when the team is bad is (at best) no more true of the Yankees than it is of the Red Sox.

I love baseball-reference.com

Figured it would make sense to compare each team to itself, and arbitrarily and unscientifically picked a 20 year gap (From 1985 to 2005, where, for both teams, '85 was broadly indicative of the several years previous) to look at.

2005 average game attendance at Yankee Stadium was 180% of 1985, which didn't surprise me. Given the (relative) seating constraints of an older ballpark, Fenway Park attendance still managed to see 160% of 1985-level fans in 2005, which is more than I was expecting.

Some observations: The Yankee increase between '85 and '97, when one might have predicted the first wave of recent bandwagoners, was only 16%, and if 2005 was the year in which a lot of us "fled" from the team after the previous ALCS, it's curious that it was the first year total attendance crested 4 million. Attendance also increased in each of the years after '97, 2001 and 2003.

In looking at the Sox pre and post 2004 WS, the increase in average game attendance is a paltry 131 fans per, but of course you're butting up against the maximum capacity of the park. Make of this what you will....

War's over, man. Yankees dropped the big one.
*
Over? Did you say "over"?
Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
*

Germans?
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Forget it, he's rolling.
*
And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough... the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go! What the fuck happened to the Sox fans I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you , we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Jeter, he's a dead man! Giambi, dead! Gay-Rod....
*
Dead! He's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.
*
We're just the guys to do it.
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Let's do it.
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LET'S DO IT!!

I don't think the Yankees have any more bandwagoners than the Sox or any other team.

But the Yankees don't dominate NY to the extent the Red Sox dominate New England (not counting those parts of Conn that have drifted to the other side) with respect to being part of the blood, culture, in the water, etc.

And, Yanks fans/New Yorkers, don't take that as slur, it's just more the case that NY has two teams, is just a much larger urban center, and it's a focal point for so many other interests (i.e., fashion, business, arts.)

If you're from New England and you're not a Red Sox fan, well, you're not fully to be trusted. (I'm not joking.)

If you're from NY and you're not a Yankees fan, well, nobody cares.

Big difference there.

Jesus H. Christ on a double headed dildo, that sucked.

Javy Lopez should be fried alive.

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