The Sox are one game up in the Wild Card race with 3 to play. And a day after Jacoby Ellsbury’s dramatic home-run that will hopefully inject some life into this team, all people are talking about is John Lackey’s post-game tirade against the press.
For those who don’t know, Lackey — who was seen swearing and showing up his manager on television when Terry Francona removed him from the game last night — went on a tirade against the media after the game because a TMZ reporter texted him 30 minutes prior to the game to ask him about filing for divorce from his wife, who is currently battling cancer.
Now Lackey, who continues to make Carl Everett look like Albert Einstein, has created a distraction in the final days of a season for a much-hyped team that is on the edge of crumbling. He may be the only player in Red Sox history who could make fans think JD Drew isn’t so bad. Between rolling his eyes when teammates don’t make plays, his historically terrible season, and cursing out his manager (who has stood by him all season) for taking him out of a close, must-win game given said historically terrible season, Lackey is making a strong case for most hated Sox player by Sox fans ever.
While we’re on the subject of Lackey, I know a lot of people think his filing for divorce is a terrible thing and feel so bad for his wife. And it is a terrible thing. But don’t feel bad for her because of this. That’s what you get when you marry somebody strictly for money. How do I know she married him strictly for money? Well, then, did she marry him for his good looks, his intellect, or his charming personality?
Meanwhile, this Red Sox team is arguably the least enjoyable Red Sox team of the last 16 years. Sure, the 2001 team had a lot of selfish jerks and that team imploded late in the season. But, at that point, the Sox still hadn’t won the World Series yet, and they had fought through an incredible number of injuries to key players like Pedro, Nomar and Tek to stay competitive until September. The 2006 team also imploded late in the season, but they were competitive for most of that season and we got to watch Papi’s push for the team home run record. But this team, with it’s huge payroll, superstar line-up and 100-win expectations were SUPPOSED to dominate this year. But right from the opening bell and their 2-10 start, this team has been a terrible disappointment, and hard to root for. Still . . .
Last year it finally happened. After decades of passionately waiting for The Year, we’ve now had two of them in the last six, and been almost there most of the other years. With so much winning, many of us Sox fans have finally become complacent, downright bored with winning.
It was hard to get up for the 2010 season. Going in, it seemed like the same routine. We’d be good, and still in it come September. So many of us found ourselves in wait-and-see mode, just waiting for the eventual meaningful games to come, and having a hard time getting excited the rest of the year. That was certainly the case with me — I barely blogged at all. And I know I’m not the only one. NESN’s ratings were down enough to make John Henry break a sweat. And it took some creative counting to keep that so-called consecutive sellout streak alive.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll take complacent success over years of meaningless mediocrity any day of the weak. Still, I couldn’t help but envy fans of such teams as the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, and San Diego Padres last year who got to cheer with meaning throughout the season . . . a season that really meant something to them.
Last year should have been an exciting year for Sox fans. To say the team was plagued by injuries would be a GIGANTIC understatement. Youk, Pedroia, Ellsbury and many more missed huge portions of the season. They should have struggled to be a .500 team. Still, they won 89 games . . . in the AL East! It was an amazing season. And Terry Francona was robbed in the AL Manager of the Year voting.
Now we move on to 2011. That team that won 89 games now gets Youk, Pedrioa and Ellsbury back. If that isn’t enough to put them in the playoff hunt, you have to believe that Lackey and Beckett will almost certainly perform better this season. On top of that, the Sox FINALLY land Adrian Gonzalez. If that’s not enough to get you excited for the 2011 season, consider they’ll be playing 18 games against a Tampa Bay team that is still strong, but won’t be the powerhouse it has been in recent years. AND, there is still plenty more offseason remaining for the Sox to land another bat.
In fact, things look so good for the Sox, us fans can probably take the season off and wait for those meaningful games late in the season and October that are certainly headed our way.
By the way, Jason Werth’s contract is more proof that some major league general manager’s aren’t any smarter than your middle-of-the-road fantasy baseballer.
Congratulations, John Henry. It was recently reported the 59-year-old owner of the Boston Red Sox is engaged to a 30-year-old woman who he has been dating for a year. As a Sox fan, I want this man to be happy. After all, it was under his ownership that the dark days of The Curse were put to rest, and we have now been blessed with two championships (and counting). So congratulations, John Henry. Us Sox fans wish you nothing but happiness.
However . . .
I’m gonna keep it real here: I’m more than a little concerned about this. After all, we’ve had a good thing going here in Boston these last six years. And we don’t need anybody rocking the boat. Think I’m being unreasonable? There’s a long history of dames messing stuff up — Helen of Troy, Anna Benson, Sampson and Delila, the wives of Benedict Arnold and Machine Gun Kelly, Mrs. Mark Teixeira, Yoko Ono and the Beatles . . . need I go on?
It’s only been a year, after all. John Henry, you’re still in the dangerous stages of New Love. Give it time. There’s no rush. Find out who she really is. Look at what happened to Paul McCartney. He fell head-over-heels for that uber-young one-legged-dancer lady, and before he knew it she was trying to take him for gazillions of dollars.
Why should I be so worried about this? I’ll tell you exactly why. Sure, maybe this was a match made in heaven. But what if 8 months after they get hitched, she’s trying to take him for half of everything? You know what that means for us Sox fans? It means while his new ex-wife is buying homes and boats with money from souvenirs and Fenway Franks, we’re stuck with an $80 million payroll and watching the likes of Pedroia, Ellsbury and Masterson get dealt for cash considerations. Can Sox Nation handle that? I don’t think so.
So, congratulations John Henry. I hope you and your fiance find nothing but happiness. But, just in case, get a good pre-nup . . . for the sake of The Nation.