Dear Boston Red Sox,
Thank you. Thank you for making me feel just a little younger. It was always more fun kinda hating you somewhere deep in the core of my being. Your rotation is a thing of unmitigated beauty. Your “ace” Clay Buchholz rocks an ERA of 6.03. To put that into perspective I had to click the “next” button on ESPN’s stats page to even find Clay’s name on the list — and they list 40 players per page. Scanning the list I noticed Joe Kelly just ahead of him with an ERA of 5.72. This feels so good.
I know, it’s old and cliché for a Boston fan to be “tortured.” We aren’t. We’re spoiled beyond all imagination. Other cities hate us and our whining when things don’t go 100 percent our way. Over the past decade-plus we’ve become New York Lite. Remember how easy it was to hate the Yankees? It’s really not anymore. I challenge any Boston fan under 40 to honestly admit they truly hate the Yankees – or know why they should hate the Yankees. The A-Rod-Varitek fight in 2004 may have helped a new generation of Yankee Hate, but that was almost a decade ago now.
My uncle is in his late 60s and can’t even watch a Red Sox-Yankees game. Not because they take longer to watch than the Godfather, but because he can’t stomach the Yankees. Their existence is an affront to his entire being. That is the old Red Sox fan.
Now Sox-Yankees is artificially shoved down our throats. Tom Cruise’s son in War of the Worlds is a Boston and fan and, get this, Cruise is a Yankees fan.
Oh no he didn’t.
I’m right on the cusp. A mix of old and new. I was in my early twenties when the Red Sox finally broke the curse. Not exactly a lifetime of misery — but long enough. Then Bill Belichick and the Patriots became the dark lords of the NFL, became the Yankees of the NFL. The Celtics got Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and won a championship. The Bruins won a Cup and almost won one more. It seemed like we had a parade every year.
How strange it felt to be on the other end of the hatred. No longer the little guy, the annoying but lovable little Rudy, we became bullies. We became Biff. We became Johnny. We started kicking the crap out of Daniel and spraying sand in his eyes. Belichick easily could have been the one smiling and screaming, sweep the leg. And is there anything creepier than a Belichick smile? How can you help but not think of this:
Red Sox, give me a good dose of losing to remind me of who I am. Give me your 133 earned runs allowed through 27 games. Give me your 14th ranked pitching staff in the AL. Mike Napoli, keep giving me your .163 batting average. Hanley Ramirez, stay injured. Why not? Yankees, just keep on winning. It feels so right to see “NY” above “BOS” in the AL East standings. Mookie Betts, don’t ruin this for me. Two home runs on Tuesday night to give the Sox a win? C’mon. From time to time that’s ok … just don’t make a habit of it. Hell, even if you do, don’t worry. Clay gets the ball every five days.
So thank you to all parties involved for making this feel like an old-fashioned Red Sox season.