Red Sox Fan Redux

“And the Boston Red Sox are World Champions!”

-Joe Buck, October 27, 2004

“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Alfred Lord Tennyson is full of shit.”

-Anonymous

Love Boston Red SoxI’ve been in love before, several times actually.  We all have, if we’re lucky.

Moving on from those we’ve loved is never easy.  But move on we must when the time comes to do so.

I recently explained to you all that, no matter how difficult or even inexplicable it may have been, I have switched allegiances, moving on from my life-long, unquestioned and undying love affair with the Boston Red Sox to the team that resides in my new home town, the Tampa Bay Rays.

My rather obsessive fondness for the Red Sox outlasted any other unhealthy relationship I’ve ever had by far.  For well over thirty years, I suffered through the highs and lows, the ebbs and flows, the Buckys, the Buckners and the Boones, finally celebrating when they won (twice) some ten years ago.  But after settling comfortably in a new home town, that boasts a pretty good baseball team of their own and a division rival of Boston’s to boot, it became conflicting to root for them both.

My affair with Boston had run its course, unimaginable to those who have known me the longest.  And now, quite ironically, the Red Sox, my former love, find themselves on the verge of yet another World Series title.

Big PapiPerhaps we broke up too soon.

No sooner had I expressed my affinity for another did I find my former love rejoicing once again, leaving me banging against the chapel window like Dustin Hoffman in the final minutes of “The Graduate.”  Here’s to you, Papi Robinson.

Don’t get me wrong.  I began gradually pulling for the Rays far prior to the Sox making this series but the decision to go southbound tore at me for years.  After all, breaking up is hard to do, but I take comfort in the fact that another Sox World Series title won’t sting at all.  If anything, it’ll make me smile.  It takes a better man to see his former love move on and experience joy with that doctor, lawyer or insert whichever profession is higher-paying than mine here.  I made my bed and I’m laying in it.

I can’t help but root for them in this series.  Why wouldn’t I?  I’ve also come to terms with the fact that another victory just won’t feel the same, along with all the other complicated changes that come with moving forward.

The Sox will always be my first true love.  This team and that city both deserve a championship.  They’re one win away from getting one.  They’ll just have to do so with me cheering from a distance.  I’m sure they’re just fine with that.

2013 Sox World SeriesI remember walking into an advisor’s office once in college.  I was getting straight A’s in every class I took, except for my major: political science.  The advisor, rather inquisitively, asked me why I wanted to pursue a field in which I struggled, suggesting I might be a glutton for punishment.

You tell me, Doc.

The Red Sox will soon celebrate their third World Series in ten years, which will also be their third World Series in ninety-five years.  I cried for the first of those.  I cried for the second.  I will probably cry for the third, but for an entirely different reason.

48 thoughts on “Red Sox Fan Redux

  1. Pingback: Red Sox Fan Redux - BallHyped Blog Network, MLB | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. sorry chumpy,

    i tried as best as i could to look at it through a similar perspective, but i can’t see where you coming from — i really can’t

    as a lifelong dodger fan, it would be akin to me moving to colorado or arizona and rooting for one of their expansion teams… not gonna happen

    nor would could i ever — ever — root for the padres or giants

    i’ve just been through too much — good and bad — with my team

    doesn’t matter how many more times my team wins, chokes, goes bankrupt, overpays on free agents, hires shitty managers, whatever… there’s no way i could or would ever — again, ever — root for another team, especially a division rival.

    paraphrasing chris rock…

    “you know how they say ‘never say never’? well i’m saying never!!!”

    just not gonna to happen… not now… not ever… period… end of discussion

    so, in summation, i have come to a conclusion…

    you’re either a better man than me chumpy (quite likely), or you’re out of your fucking mind (just as — if not more — fucken likely)

    aw, what the hell… i’m feeling generous (and/or drunk)… i’ll cede to you on both counts

  3. I absolutely hate the Red Sox. I guess it’s a spill over from the whole Lakers/Celtics rivalry. I can’t root for any Boston area teams…But I gotta respect em. They post winners in all four major sports. Amazing run by the Sox this year but I’m a NL guy other than the Yankees so I’m obviously pulling for the Cards, though I think it may be futile at this point.

    Papi is the epitome of what a DH is supposed to be. For him to be the heart and soul of this team for so long with only his bat for leverage is a testament to his hitting ability. Dude is a clutch beast.

  4. This goes back to your piece you wrote a few months ago. I still have no idea how people root for a team all their life then suddenly root for another. My dad does it too so you are not alone. What is weird is I root for all of the teams I do because my dad did when I was a kid. Now he ups and switches allegiance…Rays over the O’s…Bucs over the Colts…Lightning over the Caps…you get the idea. each to his/her own but I will never understand it…too much invested at this point to just change.

  5. Chris

    One win away but this series is far from over as I expect in game six , the Cardinals will be ready to put on a show , as to how resolute they are .

    Barry Bonds says he believes he was found guilty in 2011 of perjury and obstruction of justice , because he is the son of a famous sports’ personality . Well, that now explains a lot concerning his situation . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    tophatal …………………

  6. Either way, I, it happened, and I can’t really explain it.

    Scroll down to Heavy D’s comments as well. Same thing.

    All I can tell you both is that, forever reason, it happened, and I did struggle with it. I’ve been in Tampa for some time now, plus lived here as a kid. Tampa’s also not one of those hateable organizations but rather one you can really get behind.

    I suffered with the Sox for a long time, finally understanding vindication in 2004 and 2007. Your team, the Dodgers, and D’s team, the Orioles, haven’t won anything in a long time. Maybe had you won with them lately, after such long-time suffering, you might think differently.

    Oh, and trust me. I could never root for the Yankees. But then again, what self-respecting individual in their right mind could?

  7. Bleed…

    And he’s 37 years old to boot.

    The Sox will have some interesting choices to make in the upcoming years about retiring numbers. Do they retire Manny? Do they retire Pedro?

    One thing is for certain. They’ll be retiring Papi’s.

  8. I get your point, D. It was tough for me to understand too.

    Let’s take the NBA for example. Although we grew up Jordan fans and rooting for the Bulls (who among us didn’t?), I’m not from Chicago so obviously the Magic made sense.

    You’ve known me for going on 30 years now but things change. Times change.

    Like I told Irish, if you moved closer to Tampa, lived here for a while, and had your O’s finally won a title or two, you might find it easier to say goodbye. Or not.

    All I can say is that it somehow happened to me and I NEVER in a million years thought it would.

  9. Al…

    The Sox don’t want this one going seven. Too much history.

    I know Wacha’s been lights out his last three performances but he’s due for an implosion.

    My guess is that the Sox jump on him early and often, finish this thing off in six and Beantown celebrates like it’s 1899.

  10. Chris wrote,”I’ve been in love before, several times actually.” Sportschump in love? You mean in lust!LOL

    Baseball Commisioner Selig can really promote his product?? HTF can you schedule your showcase events opposite America’s Game? Yeah, that’s football.

  11. Didn’t they not used to do that, Bets?

    Or am I thinking of the NBA who has a commissioner, at least for a little while longer, who knew how to run a sport, and not into the ground?

    You just don’t schedule sporting events on Mondays during football season.

    It’s okay, Selig’s on his way out. Unless he reneges on his promise once again.

    God help us all if he does.

  12. Chris,

    The World Series was played in the daylight until the 70’s when the greed took over for prime-time $$. The playoffs were mostly daytime and WS weekend games were also day. Everything now goes nite. They can gaf about kids having school the next day following marathon OT.

  13. I remember pre-9/11 when commuting monthly from LV-NY. I sat next to a baseball executive doing contracts, etc. I quietly asked the stewardess who the guy was. She replied, “that’s Mr. Giles, head of baseball.” Ah ha, later I learned how the commissioner traveled incognito. Name spelled backwards, like the product he promoted. Said 2 words to me from O’Hare to JFK. BTW, had a coupon upgrade for up front.

  14. Welcome back … welocome back …welcome baaaaack! 🙂

    Great post SC. And thanks for the RING! 🙂 (and thats ALSO thats what the BoSox are gonna be saying…. )

  15. Bets…

    You probably saved yourself an uncomfortable amount of coffee-based halitosis so consider yourself fortunate.

    Although having you as Deputy Commissioner could be kinda fun.

  16. Al…

    Speaking of getting to people, what’s up with the Clippers? I know it’s opening night. I know they have a new coach. But they let a relatively talentless Lakers team spank them in the building they both share.

    Maybe Doc Rivers should pay less attention to the banners that another team hung in that building and pay more attention to the ones his own team should be.

  17. ha ha ha!!! Yeeeeaaa! The white flag in “song” … verrrry nice! 🙂

    Thank you verrry much. hee hee

  18. sLob City got BENCHED in the 4th quarter.

    Can’t cover that up like a banner on the wall can ya Doc? Only one game, but a beautiful one. Nice start to the season. Farmar and Xavier Henry will be ones to watch off the pine this year…Matter of fact I think it’s safe to say Farmar has, in the first game of the season no less, established himself as the #1 PG on the roster. Blake is hot & cold…He is what he is. Average. Nash hopefully can still produce in spot minutes and be effective, but Jordan’s our horse.

  19. Al…

    That team is not going to be known for its defense and you’re right. Until they are, they’ll be also rans.

    Blake Griffin could also stand to learn how to hit a fifteen to seventeen foot jump shot consistently.

  20. Bleed…

    I still can’t help but think that Kobe wasn’t all that happy with the win.

    I didn’t catch any soundbites but is he being supportive? I never saw him once cheering on his team from the sidelines. Maybe I missed it.

    If this team gets off to a competitive start, how do they ease Kobe back into the lineup or do they just let him take his 25 shots a game?

    You have to just think D’Antoni would prefer him elsewhere, don’t you? Or am I totally mistaken?

  21. Kobe bleeds purple and gold as much I do. He was recently quoted as saying he looks forward to “dying” a Laker. He may have been surly and not the best teammate in the past, but I think he’s matured quite a bit in that regard. He is a supportive teammate these days. In the preseason, I saw him mentoring players while on the bench more than once(particularly with Darius Johnson-Odom, who has since been cut.

    He did look rather stoic last night but rest assured, all he wants is the Lakers to win.

  22. Sweet victory
    Bah bah bah
    This win feels so GOOD! SO GOOD! SO GOOD!
    WORLD SERIES CHAMPS
    Bah Bah Bah
    Coming From worst to first
    Oh Hell yea! Yea!!

    Woo hoo!;) Did my email make you feel better about having more than one sports love? I sure hope you’re not gonna kick me off your blog site for making up my own words to Sweet Caroline;) LOL Yaz hates that song. I told him I’m gonna sing it to him tommorrow!
    Dee Dee…dreaming of Fenway!

  23. Bleed…

    We both know, or rather can only imagine, what guys like Kobe, MJ, and the recently retired Allen Iverson, must go through when it comes to hanging ’em up.

    They just don’t want to.

    I’m not suggesting it’s Kobe’s time to do so, I expect a healthy recovery but a) what will his role be on the sidelines while he’s recovering and b) what will it be when he returns.

    I didn’t watch enough of Tuesday night’s game to see how active he was in cheering from the sidelines. Only those internally know for sure.

    Accounts differ.

    But ultimately someone will have to lead that team. Will it be Kobe? D’Antoni?

    Guess we’ll just have to find out.

  24. Dee Dee…

    Congrats. I can’t say I didn’t smile for what I felt was a foregone conclusion in this series.

    Kick you off this site? I hardly think so.

    Bearded people are always welcome.

  25. Chris

    The Clippers are what they are …… team that of just happens to the the flavor of the month . But in all honesty do you believe them to be the equal of the Thunder , Spurs or perhaps the Rockers once Harden gets going ?

    Well the Red Sox have now won three titles in the past ten years and John Farrell has simply proven that Bobby Valentine was a bumbling @ss without much managerial talent .

    Do you honestly believe that the Bucs can go from worst to first based on the /current roster . ? Never mind a coach staff that is so devoid of talent that at times like this Bucs’ fans must long for the days of Sam Wyche , Leeman Bennett , Rich McKay and those days of old . Optimism has a time and a place but this is not one of them concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers .

    tophatal ………………

  26. Al…

    It’ll take the Clippers a while to adjust to Doc and to answer your question, no, I don’t think they’ll win a title this year.

    FYI, the Bucs are 8:1 underdogs this weekend in Seattle.

    Canes-Noles should be a great one, just like they always used to be, man. These Canes seniors haven’t beaten the Seminoles. It sure would be one helluva way for them to go out by doing so in Tallahassee this weekend. I’m just not sure I see that happening.

  27. I sent this by email, but not sure if you received it…

    “Ahhh, Triple SC… We can have many loves in sports… It’s okay; It’s permitted! It’s accepted!! It’s not adulterous in Baseball, or any other sport! We can truly love the team we’re with in all sports!! Ha Ha Ha But just be prepared for the range of passionate emotions when it’s the main squeeze – The Red Sox;) ”

    My son says I have Red Sox Drunkenness, and that was BEFORE they won the world series! Lol I’m STILL celebrating and I know you are too. I am also proud to enjoy posters of the Tampa Bay Rays among my Red Sox wall hangings as my office decor! Ha ha! And those are just two of my loves;)
    Dee Dee

  28. How much of a joke has the NFL’s substance abuse program become ? They still refuse to test for HGH , even having ratified an agreement with the NFLPA (Players’ Union) as far back as 2010 . Now you have the situation, where the Jaguars’ Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the team for a second violation of the league’s substance program .

    As if 0-8 wasn’t enough of an embarrassment for the Jaguars now they have to put up Blackmon’s dumb stupidity .

    tophatal …………………..

  29. Got to give the Minnesota Vikings their due this season . They look bad , are playing bad and team owner Zygi Wilf having cheated partners in a real business deal now has been ordered to in light of a civil suit to repay the millions he defrauded them of . No worries however , the Vikings did the asinine members of the state legislature to stump the almost $1.6 billion needed for their new venue , that will be ready for 2016 . Governor Mark Dayton did a John Kerry as he was against the use of public funds before then signing a deal into law , as voted on by the state legislature , with Dayton , never once seeking to veto the deal after having repeated reservations . But I guess, when the lobbyists started to dole out the wads of money , it changes the perspective as how one views things .

    Meanwhile the state has a budget deficit of several billion dollars while laying off first responders , furloughing what they deem non-essential employees within certain state governmental agencies .

    tophatal ……….

  30. Dee Dee…

    That was a pretty scrappy, determined Sox team who deserved a championship.

    Suddenly Francona and Theo Epstein don’t seem so invulnerable though, huh?

    And Papi? Well, he just sealed his fate as a deity in Boston. Good for him.

  31. Al…

    Iverson a first ballot Hall of Famer? I would say definitely. I don’t think there’s too many voters who would have a beef with him to not allow him entry in on the first try.

    The Noles looked pretty good yesterday, man. With UM under investigation for so long and Muschamp obviously not able to coach, it looks like FSU has sopped up all the talent in the state. It’s certainly showing on the field.

    So Papi got a Chevy, huh? I wonder if, in twenty years, he’ll get a statue outside that ballpark.

    Did they ever release what it was that Blackmon was taking or is that a violation of the players union?

    And speaking of the Vikings, Al, how much longer do you think Adrian Peterson will be wearing their uniform?

  32. Chris

    Justin Blackmon is now a two time offender of the league’s substance abuse program and he has only been in the NFL two years . How can you aid someone , who doesn’t even have the damn intelligence to seek out help for themselves ? That has been the case with Blackmon , dating back to his days at Oklahoma State .

    Big
    Papi
    > will get his statue and it will be deserving. He has done more than any other player for the Red Sox over the past decade to bring that organization back to prominence .

    Iverson will go in , as you say . It is just unfortunate that an NBA championship ring won’t be a part of his resume` .

    I would have thought that at the trade deadline both Peterson and Jared Allen would have been traded, but it wasn’t to be . Personally, I think that the Vikings will be hard pressed to get either Mariotta , Bridgewater or Manziel , unless they tank their season , altogether . The front office of the organization is now at a standstill and simply clueless .

    What the hell is happening to NFL coaches in terms of their health issues ? Kubiak is taken to hospital during hafl-time of the game between the Colts and Texans and earlier this week John Fox of the Broncos , undergoes an aortic valve replacement , having had what appears to have been a mild heart attack , while playing a round of golf ?

    The Bucs looked as if they were on their way to their first victory of the season but once again , they find a way to screw things up . Schiano has to go and that has now become abundantly clear

    Ours is not to reason why , it is merely to ….

    tophatal …………….

  33. Yea, but Al, what were the Blackmon suspensions for? Cocaine, PEDs or something else? Do we even know?

    I heard one of the PTI guys the other day say that Papi has done more for the Red Sox than Carl Yastrzemski. What are your thoughts on that? Yaz was a triple crown winner, has his number retired and was one of the greatest Red Sox players ever… but he never won a title there.

    I would imagine trading Adrian Peterson won’t be the easiest thing to do. He comes with a pretty hefty salary that most other teams will have to try to fit under their cap, no?

    And the Bucs, Al. Ugh!

  34. Justin Blackmon had at least one known DUI while at OK State . It would appear that apart from his love of alcohol , he is said to be fond of marijuana . I can only surmise that this suspension again, is drug related and has to do with his use of either of “weed” or some other illicit substance prohibited by the league . Like I said, the NFL remains a joke in terms of the program (testing) that they currently have in place . In 2010 , the union voted on and ratified that resting would begin for HGH and all anabolic steroids . To date , not one NFL player has been tested under what was said to be an in and out of season testing program for steroids .

    Roger Goodell remains a pompous lightweight @ss, whose bark is actually worse than his bite and the same applies to the NFLPA (Players Union) . No one wants to address that fact in its entirety due to apathy .

    Look beyond the stats concerning Big Papi and Carl Yastrzemski and at the intangibles over the course of their careers .

    Your thoughts on this idiocy currently going on inside of the Dolphins’ organization and the suspension of Richie Incognito and his alleged harassment and bullying of teammate Jonathan Martin ?

    Why bother with the Bucs ? That team has no heart , no real will to win , much less anyone on the roster who one could point to and call them the ‘ vocal leader ‘ on that team . I mean , who is meant to have the persona of a Derrick Brooks , Lynch or a Warren Sapp on this current team ? Greg Schiano was the wrong hire to begin with , and Mark Dominik is now proving how out of his depth he just happens to be as the general manager of the organization .

    If the Buccaneers go win-less this season , it would not come as a complete surprise to me at all ! Money has been wasted on players who are barely productive . I mean Revis is being $16 million ($96 million over six years) and he provides no leadership whatsoever as a seasoned veteran . What the hell was he signed for ? To actually show that the Bucs believe that they are part of the big time in the NFL ? This season they are showing why they are the worst team in the NFC South , the conference and the league as a whole . Can’t put it anymore succinctly than that .

    Let me ask you this , look at Schiano’s coaching staff and ask yourself this , what has each brought to the table this season, by way of their alleged ability or abilities ?

    Posing another question , who to your mind has been the most valuable or productive player drafted by the franchise over the past four seasons ?

    tophatal ……………..

  35. Pingback: Delving into my love/hate relationship with the New York Mets | Sports Chump

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