FanDuel - WFBC

May 08, 2010

Red Sox Nation Grumbles Like an Entitled Empire: Has "creeping Yankeeosis has spread to Red Sox Nation?"

posted by cjets to baseball at 12:42 PM - 10 comments

Part of the problem is that there have been several seasons of late when the Sox got off to great starts and had a lot of early success against the Yankees.

Only to have the scales tilt the other way later in the season when it mattered more.

So there has been a fair share of early season Sox fan euphoria in the past. It's like falling out of your seat when your hoops team goes up 12-2 in the first quarter.

You can't get overly excited about stuff at the start, for better or worse. Need to calm down, and see what the entire season holds in store.

posted by beaverboard at 01:26 PM on May 08

It's like falling out of your seat when your hoops team goes up 12-2 in the first quarter.

Makes me think of the opposite extreme, my Clevelander pal who had to turn the game off last night with the Cavs up 30 in the fourth because he was sure they'd blow it and he just couldn't bear to watch.

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:04 PM on May 08

They are victims of their own success. Those who grumble and writhe at the first sign of mediocrity, deserved or not, are mostly the pink-hatted front running, bandwagon riders who do not want to be associated with anything that resembles a loser. Maybe if they all go away, the "Fenway Experience" might be worth doing. As it is now, you can't get a decent seat for anything less than a second mortgage, and while the on-field product is quite good, the efforts at "game presentation" tend to detract from the actual game. Other than the fact that there was no hope of post-season play for the teams of the era, I'd almost be in favor of going back to the late 50s or early 60s. You could show up an hour or 2 before game time, get a good seat at a reasonable price (adjusted for inflation), and enjoy watching the players compete. It was fun then, not so much now.

posted by Howard_T at 03:30 PM on May 08

I hate seeing the way they're playing this year, but you know, every team is going to have good years and bad years - and you can spend a pile of money and still not get the results you want. We're still early in the season, so with a little quite a bit of better luck and some smart managing decisions, the Sox can still be contenders.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:16 PM on May 08

Those who grumble and writhe at the first sign of mediocrity, deserved or not, are mostly the pink-hatted front running, bandwagon riders who do not want to be associated with anything that resembles a loser. Maybe if they all go away, the "Fenway Experience" might be worth doing. As it is now, you can't get a decent seat for anything less than a second mortgage, and while the on-field product is quite good, the efforts at "game presentation" tend to detract from the actual game.

Hear, hear. I lived in the Fenway from about '91 to 2000 and rubbed elbows with a lot of fans. Some of them were obnoxious in their way (as you will always have when you get tens of thousands of people cruising on alcohol and emotion), but none of them was there because Fenway Park was the place to be seen, because in those days...it wasn't. None of them (except for a few drunks) were there for anything other than the ballgame. They came and bought an Italian sausage with onions and peppers from one of the independent vendors on Landsdowne Street -- which they knew they'd regret in a couple of hours -- took their seats, and watched the game.

In June of 2008, I walked down Ipswitch Street for the first time in at least eight years. The street had been filled with rousified tourist traps and painted over with a thick layer of glossy marketing. Guys in J. Crew and the women who love them were spilling out onto the terraces (terraces, seriously?). The independent street vendors were scarce, having become subject to increasing "code enforcement". An old-school Red Sox fan might not have liked this, but the members of Red Sox Nation that were rapidly replacing that outdated breed were perfectly happy to be steered away from crusty old sausage guys and into the slickly packaged upscale franchises that replaced them. The ballpark was surrounded for blocks by alternate forms of entertainment -- so if there were members of your party who just weren't all that into baseball (so boring! why does it have to go on so long? why doesn't anything ever happen???), you could make it up to them for having to sit for a few hours in a $100 seat watching a boring baseball game by taking them out for drinks or a movie or dinner or clubbing or bowling or whatever afterwards. Inside the ballpark, product placement and corporate sponsorship ruled, with corporate-branded "clubs", the Coca-Cola Pavilion, and the Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck.

The Red Sox, and their fans, had a hard-won birthright of perseverance and loyalty. Discount it as the opinion of a fan of that other team down the road, if you want, but it sure seems to me that they're selling that birthright as fast as they can for a mess of pottage.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:17 PM on May 08

Perhaps the sense of entitlement is merely a symptom of that creeping Yankeeosis.

posted by Adam at 07:48 PM on May 08

Been a Yankee fan since I can remember, about 1945. Most of us always expected the Yankee to win , not just in the early part of the season, but most of all win the AL pennant. That was way back in the days of just the AL and NL pennant winners playing for the World Series without all the "playoff hoopla."

No one cried early on, we just knew that at the conclusion they would be there. Then we went through the lean years and one was almost embarassed to be a Yankeee fan. But we struggled but stayed loyal. Seems to me as if the Boston fans, having have had some recent success, expect them to be perennial wonders. If they fail miserably this year, and they may, T.S. get over it. I remember those years the Yanks were has beens, but I was and always be a Yankee fan, no matter where they are in the standings. It may be time for the Bean Towner Nation to sit down and shut up....and "wait til next year"...

posted by wildbill1 at 04:49 PM on May 09

Well, heck, I'm not going to shut up (unless you mean "stop whining," in which case I'm with you 100%). I'm going to keep cheering when we win and sighing when we lose.

I think the bandwaggoners forget that the Red Sox had several decades of lean years before 2003. Long term fans should correctly assume that lean years are always right around the corner.

And, hey, we Boston sports fans had a kick ass decade. While its always nice to have more winning seasons (and I hope for many more), I gotta feel for fans of teams that are still in the middle of decades long dry spells.

Anyhow, go Sox and if they don't get it together this year, wait 'til next year! :P

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:52 PM on May 10

Red Sox fans, by contrast, often expect the worst, and when it comes, we revel in saying, "I knew it!"

Can the Red Sox really go back to being the Cubs after winning two World Series and 90 or more games nine out of the last 12 years? They aren't an underdog. They have huge resources relative to most of the league. I think the unforgiving expectation to win is their new curse.

Anyone in Red Sox Nation who is unhappy about this can emigrate to Ranger Nation, Mariners Nation or Nationals Nation -- the only three franchises to never reach a World Series. We'll show you pessimism.

posted by rcade at 06:41 PM on May 10

This is the same lame article that's been written about the Red Sox since an hour after the last out of the 2004 World Series. Written yearly, there's always 3 points:

1. Fans of other teams use to root for the hapless Red Sox but now Sox fans are obnoxious and have a sense of entitlement much like the Yankees but it's even worse because they haven't earned it like they have so those same fans now hate the Sox (deep breath).

2. New Red Sox fans don't know the history of the team and only root for the Red Sox because they're now winning.

3. True Red Sox fans were happier when the team was mediocre and finding ways to come up short. They don't know how to act when successful and feel most comfortable when the team is losing and they could wallow in their misery.

I couldn't care less about the first. Almost every team has asshole fans. With the Yankees and Phillies around, we have good company. Fans that want to root for lovable losers still have the Cubs. Show me a team with a quiet fan base and I'll show you a team that doesn't win (insert prerequisite cardinal exception here).

As for the second, duh. That's what success breeds. You can't have one without the other. After the Yankees won the WS last year I saw a dramatic increase in Yankee caps being worn. If the Yankees, the most successful team in MLB history, can gain bandwagon fans then why is it so terrible for a team that went decades without winning to do the same?

I honestly feel bad for new Red Sox fans. Not the ones that follow the Red Sox because it's the cool thing to do. But honest to god new Red Sox fans. They seem to be held to a standard not applied to other teams fans. Didn't see Dent's home run in 78? Not a real fan. Well, that's bullshit.

And the third, I'm constantly amazed when the media puts out this ridiculous notion that Red Sox fans are happier rooting for a loser, and even more amazed when I find Red Sox fans that actually feel that way.

I've followed the Red Sox for almost 40 years, and I'll follow them for another 40 god-willing win or lose. Doesn't matter to me. But I enjoy the Red Sox winning, and that doesn't make me less of a fan. I really wish we could have had a time continuum split after 2004 where fans that love to wallow in misery could be transported back decades so they could watch an all white mediocre team in a half filled decaying Fenway park play meaningless games in september. The joy!

I find those fans much more irritating than the Pink Hatters. Reminds me of this article by Joe Posnanski: The Charm of Modern Baseball. Again, if success sucks, if you long for the old days, the cubs are over there ----->

The Red Sox, and their fans, had a hard-won birthright of perseverance and loyalty. Discount it as the opinion of a fan of that other team down the road, if you want, but it sure seems to me that they're selling that birthright as fast as they can for a mess of pottage.

I certainly don't discount your opinion, but I've read your comment several times over the past few days trying to make sense of it and I've had no luck. At the risk of saying too much or guessing the bigger picture, I'll just say I see a disconnect between your opinion of the Red Sox and the team you root for.

I'm not sure how you rationalize the watering down of Red Sox fandom through dwindling independent vendors and the Coca-Cola Pavilion at Fenway with a team that decided to tear down the House that Ruth Built and replace it with a 1.5 Billion dollar Disney version of Yankee Stadium.

No one cried early on, we just knew that at the conclusion they would be there. Then we went through the lean years and one was almost embarrassed to be a Yankee fan. But we struggled but stayed loyal. Seems to me as if the Boston fans, having have had some recent success, expect them to be perennial wonders. If they fail miserably this year, and they may, T.S. get over it. I remember those years the Yanks were has beens, but I was and always be a Yankee fan, no matter where they are in the standings. It may be time for the Bean Towner Nation to sit down and shut up....and "wait til next year"...

Oh, I've heard it all now You can NOT be serious. You've been a fan since 1945. In that time the Yankees have won 26 American League Pennants, multiple ones in every decade except the 80s when you won 1. Since 1945 the Yankees have won 17 World Series, multiple in every decade except the 80s when the Yankees were shut out.

Were the 80s the lean years? Only one AL pennant? And yet, the yankees won more games in the 80s than any team in the decade, so your lean times can only be considered lean times since you're a Yankee fan.

Yet here you are lamenting the 'lean times' and telling Red Sox fans to sit down and shut up. You should take your act out on the road. Pure comedy.

posted by justgary at 02:18 PM on May 11

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