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Facing the music

Hart Brachen:
Well, here's the awkward truth my dear creepy readers. I went a week on vacation and not once, not a single time did I think about the Boston Red Sox.

There was a time not so long ago when no matter how remote my vacation spot I would have been incessantly checking Red Sox news all day long. And when not checking current news, I'd have most likely been sitting on the beach reading Bill James or some other baseball-themed literature.

Alas, after 3 World Series and 10 years of writing Soxaholix, that is no longer the case. I would say I'm jaded but I think that word carries too much of a negative meaning, as I'm not so much dulled and wearied as I am happy and content.

After very nearly retiring at the triumphant end to last season, I decided I'd stick it out for one more year through the end of this season, but now I don't think that is possible. I just don't have the fire in the belly anymore.

With that said, I also don't want to pull the plug on the community we've developed here.

It's a dilemma.

At times like this perhaps it's useful to ask, "What would Bobby Valentine do?" And then do exactly the opposite.



It'll be hard to know what to do—where to click—at 9 AM.

Maybe we can move the community of creeps to a Facebook page and continue to check in there daily for updates from the cat, and poetry from LC?

Bobby would wrap it up. Then declare that he had invented the wrap up.

I can see myself, every morning, coming here and then smacking myself in the forehead, V8-style, thinking, "Oh, yeah, no more Soxaholix."

Perhaps it would hurt slightly less, if every once in a while, there was new Soxaholix strip waiting. Like a beautiful Tiffany gift box, a welcome surprise.

Bobby V. would never do that. He shops for jewelry at Long's.

I think I know how you feel. After nearly 50 years as a fanatical Sox fan, this year I find it impossible to fret or obsess. It's as if we're playing with house money.

You saw us through the most exciting era in Sox history, and I'm grateful. I can't say I won't miss Soxaholix, but you deserve your life back. Thanks for everything.

A Facebook page. Moderated to keep the riff-raff out. Excluding ourselves of course. With the occasional strip showing up once in a great while. Something along the lines of an Andy Williams Christmas Special. Many thanks for ten years of pure joy.

It was such when the maid decided she had too many young ones to have me around.
So, I had to move on. As such, I get it completely.

As a writer myself I know you can't force it if it isn't there. I can't speak for my fellow creeps but I'll respect whatever decision you make and be thankful for what you've given us. An FB page isn't the worst idea.

Do it like Ballgame: Hit a home run, act as though you've done it before, DO NOT tip your hat and just leave.
Worked beautifully. Now, who does the Updike thing for you?
As for me? Stay creepy, my friends.

Pace yourself and don't overreact to the vaca--btw, that's a vaca!--...& don't start until the season starts, and then do it just twice a week or once a week until things heat up a bit. You built the perfect vehicle, keep it.

Like a lot of lurkers, I chime in only when mood hits + time is available. Sorta like C. Crawford patroling the outfield. Maybe you should, too?

(But, just in case, I'd like to bid on the filing cabinet and the plant.)

Thank you, HB.

Facebook + occasional strip would work ok. And the oft-mentioned "best of" compilation would be a treat also. But its entirely up to you hb. Thanks for all the enjoyment you've provided us thus far, and hoping you decide to continue on at some pace.

Facebook (moderated) is not the worst idea. After retiring from 35 years of teaching hs English, I soon found out I don't have the belly for it anymore. Getting your life back is something you deserve. Thanks to you and all the creepers for all the relevant discussion and extremely funny stuff.

Do what you want. I want daily strips to continue forever. Not going to happen. It's not what we want - it's what will make you happy; or at least tolerable to your family and co-workers. I want to know who this "HB" guy is - buy him a beer or four; again probably not going to happen. So, I'll send you a few more dollars and watch a sunset that LC will post in your honor. Pressure on LC. Either way, I have loved everyday for nearly the last 10 years - it has been fantastic and your prose should get a spot along w/ New England's finest.
Thanks, HB.

The obvious answer is Soxaholix BDSM-themed fan fiction. Shades of Grady?

I like the idea of a Facebook page to yak and reminisce. Thanks for a decade+ of brilliance, hb!

hb, thanks for the many memories over the last ten years. Truthfully, I've been a little disinterested this off season/pre-season as well, and I completely understand where you're at. Hopefully your interest and mine will pick up when the games count. If not, best of luck to you and the rest of the creepy clientele. I don't do facebook for many reasons, so an occasional post here would be great.

Aren't most of us friends on FB already?? ;D

It's been a good run. But like many/most lurkers, I read every strip. I mostly lurk due to my lack of clever things to say. If you stop, I will miss this place. Whatever you do, don't jump the shark.

Thank you for everything. As a writer, I fully understand and appreciate your dilemma.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo (breath) oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

The "Calvin and Hobbes" of baseball comix meets its similar 10-year wall. It's a magical world; go exploring! It's just HB being HB, and we're just fans being fans. Before you go, I'd like to airmail a quick kick in the balls to that guy in New York that gloats on the phone, along with a ticket on Malaysian Air to the destination of his choice.

All good things...


Sad sad sad

Nothing but a big thanks for somehow capturing the agony of defeat and that warm fuzzy feeling of those championships in your strips, nothing else even came close and no other team will know the awesomeness of the Soxaholix. [Insert slow clap/standing O here, but not the wave... I hate the f'ing wave]

I also mainly lurk and came late to the party (~ 2005). I will miss the strips, the literature lessons and pop culture references.

I'm not on facebook, so if that is where the creepsters go, then I'll fall further out of the loop.

Thank you HB.

Thank you. I also understand moving on as I am now Betsy in Oakland CA. (And forever a Soxaholix fan)

Red Sox Nation was way more fun before you all won the World Series again. I miss the old angst and gnashing of teeth. It was a lot of fun chanting "1918" at Yankee Stadium. But, as with all things, that had to come to an end, and with it, the misery that drove Soxaholix (and most of RSN to drink). Thank you for writing the most entertaining, literate, and funny baseball-related thing in the world for ten years. Go be happy and content. Much love....

Totally get it, HB. This has been awesome here. I'm all for the FB/occasional strip plan, but of course, really, just THANKS!


Completely agree with rm about what I will miss about the strip. I always read the comments, too, and what about Bob, lc, Natalie, etc. etc? HB, you will be missed a lot. Hasta luego, amigo.
Ah, Larry Here, thanks for that link to the Dead. I'm getting verklempt.

I've been with you since the beginning (and have even graced this page with a pic-ref at Camden Yahds wearing the 'I've got your 1918' shirt). I completely empathize with your sentiments and have nothing but the best of wishes for you, whatevah you decide. Bobby would stick with it only to prove he's the greatest bloggah on the interwebs. I'm in the Facebook line on this one

If the strip really ends I will also miss it very badly, as well as "Buckner was framed" and "Past a diving Jeter" and "Soxinsix" and other great handles. I go back to the Wall St Journal article about HB (2004? 2005?) If there's ever a time to retire it's after the every-day-was-unbelievable 2013 season. Someone mentioned the ending of Calvin & Hobbes. The last panel of Pogo wasn't bad either (1973?).

"We have met the enemy and he is us" ;O

Blast!!! however, that's life.

10 years, culminating in a 3rd title during that time? Time well spent in this cozy, creepy corner.

Yes, I was a latecomer as well. I envy those of you who were here from the start. I thank you for reconnecting me with my Fenway roots and being the people who understood that those of us who thought they could jump off the bandwagon were really just hanging on to thee back bumper, dragging behind in the dirt, muttering to ourselves.
And I wish I knew more about teal.

Pues, que sera, sera.

Mil gracias. No, dos mil gracias.

Abrazos fuertes, y hasta la proxima.

Thanks for everything, hb.

It's been a wild, crazy, creepy, wonderful ride. Thanks for the memories, HB!

Whatever you decide to do, thanks for all the great strips! Its been awesome.

yarnista, we ALL wish we knew more about teal....heh

Oh,that's not what you meant?

hey hart- brilliant work. thanks for everything and good luck with yr next adventure. we'll always have 2004

and 2007

and 2013

Lurked for many a year and have greatly enjoyed the strips and hilarious banter amongst the regulahs over the past fantastic decade. Love the idea of going out like Teddy Fucking Ballgame.

We'll done, hb.
Fuck, now what?

Not a big FB fan.

Respectfully, lc

Doonesbury is mostly done and now this; there go 2 of the 3 sources of information I have relied on ... oh well.
Thanks for a great run.
Ave atque valle.

think grady little. really think grady little. 2003. now think bill waterson. went out on top. oh man i would miss your digs and praises the esoteric links and exposed lies. but every man needs to know when to walk away...vaya con dios amigo

HB, you have been a joy and a hoot and a holler to read all these years especially the poetry references, sexual innuendo, and politics that I don't agree with. All good things run their course and nothing lasts forever (sometimes just 80+ years for the Red Sox). Thank you so much for your thoughts, humor, and efforts. Take a break and then see how you feel. And going out on top is a good way to go.

Even as a Yankee fan, I've loved this blog. Always smart and fun and worth enduring the barbs against the MFY. Shutting down the Soxaholix will be sad for all literate baseball fans, leaving a Fire-Joe-Morgan-sized hole in our hearts. Good luck, Hart Brachen.

Very saddened.,This is and has been for years a daily occurance, much like having coffee in the morning...understood but very saddened,,,
Best of luck to you no matter what you ultimately decide

Change is good. You will be missed but sometimes you gotta cut the cord. I'll need to find a new homepage, though - any suggestions?

Thank you.

Been following the strip for about ten years, though not always with the constancy I would have liked. Still, if I was gone for a long time I'd always binge to see what I missed. I can't do much more than echo the sentiments expressed by all the commenters before me . . . Yet, I feel the need to do so: thank you for giving this far-flung member of Red Sox Nation (I was in Oakland, CA and now I'm in Oregon) a place to stay in the fold. And such a funny, poignant place, too. I look forward to seeing what will come next but, come what may, this site and your work and the community that has come out of it can never be replace. I'm glad to have been a part of it, however quietly.

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