Wednesday, September 12, 2012

They still play baseball in Boston?

by Hal Bent, BostonSportPage.com

A thrilling victory in September against the Yankees. Ahh, that's what baseball is all about.  Too bad the Red Sox are stuck playing spoiler, being 15.5 games out at the current time.  At least the dramatic victory (it still counts even though the Yankees don't have Mariano Rivera? Sweet!) Ahh, it feels so 1983... 

Fire Ralph Houk! Watch Jerry Remy go zero home runs for 647 plate appearances! See Yaz bang out 24 doubles at age 43! See Ed Jurak play 75 games! Check out those prospects, Jackie Gutierrez and Marty Barrett! See a first baseman (Dave Stapleton) put up a mind-boggling low .661 OPS (bad for a middle infielder, historically terrible for a first baseman)!  See Tony Armas strike out 131 times and bat .218 with a .254 OBP! See Luis Aponte in the bullpen! Watch Dennis Eckersley and 5.61 ERA! 

I take it back, that team was way more entertaining.  Add in 3 lefty starters (Bruce Hurst, John Tudor, and Bobby Ojeda) and Oil Can Boyd, and at least this team had hope.  The 2012 Red Sox are a train wreck managed by a not-so-hot mess. The gave away half the team for nothing and the cupboard is bare of prospects who can contribute in the near future. 
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It's a sad day when a crusade comes to an end:  When logic trumps passion, and soap-box standing, podium pounding, and righteous indignation give way to principles of sound thought. In that regard, I have to thank Ben Lindbergh at BaseballProspectus.com for reminding me of something from one of favorite auto-biographical/memoirs I read as a youngster, "Veeck as in Wreck" by Bill Veeck and Ed Linn: 


On the Fans:You do, of course, have a small, loyal cadre of perhaps 83 technicians who will come out, regardless of the standings, to watch the geometric pattern of the game unfold in all its beautiful precision and balance. To them, the game’s the thing. You will generally find them sitting in the bleachers. I have discovered, in 20 years of moving around a ball park, that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats.If you depend solely on people who know and love the game, you will be out of business by Mother’s Day.Inside the echo chamber of the internet, we wonder why, when everyone despises a certain announcer, that announcer has been allowed to keep announcing from time immemorial. The answer, of course, is that you, and I, and everyone else reading this article, are the “83 technicians.” We’ll watch the games regardless of the announcer’s identity. We might mute, and we might mock, but we’ll continue to tune in. And if broadcasters base their decisions on what we statheads want, they’ll run the risk of alienating the rest of their audience. That’s why you still have to put up with [announcer who annoys you]. It makes sense. I’m sorry.

That announcer? Here in Boston it is Jerry Remy of NESN.  I understand again now.  I, too, am one of those 83 technicians and I thank you, Ben Lindbergh for silencing one voice crying out in the wilderness about this bozo in the booth. 
The entire article is available here, and is strongly recommended. 
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