PDA

View Full Version : The Boston Comet - Editorial



Bleys
11-17-04, 12:46 PM
I submitted this to NYYFans.com but never got a response. I think it's pretty good, though a bit outdated now. I'd hate for it to go to waste. So...


Playing the part of the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 postseason: The New York Yankees.

The first step on the road to recovery is acceptance. Yankees fans need to swallow their pride and accept that this year the tables were turned. This was the year the Yankees choked, and boy did they ever, and the Red Sox won.

The second step on the road to recovery is optimism. Itís now our turn to take solace in the mantra: thereís always next year. But rather than examine what this means for the Yankees, letís take a look at what this means for the Red Sox.

If there was ever a team of destiny, it is these Boston Red Sox. After coming back from a 0-3 deficit in the ALCS, an achievement that if you donít by now know the significance of youíve been living under a rock, for the Red Sox not to win the World Series would have been beyond tragic. Had Boston somehow lost to the Cardinals, that amazing, record setting comeback against the Yankees would have been reduced to an unfortunate footnote in the record books next to another disappointing season of ultimate futility.

But, instead the Red Sox are the world champions. As a Yankee fan, thatís a phrase that leaves a sour taste on my tongue. But itís a phrase that begs the question: now what? The Red Sox find themselves in the unfamiliar position of having to defend their World Series title.

Without the Curse to fall back on, without ghosts to blame, the Red Sox are now just another major league baseball franchise with deep pockets and ruthless management hell-bent on winning (sound familiar?), and when Boston fails to win now they wonít be the loveable losers of the past. If it takes the Red Sox 86 more years to win another World Series title does this one lose some of its luster? In many ways, yes, and thatís the point. With the Curse finally broken, the Red Sox will be expected stay competitive. Thereís no doubt in my mind that John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Theo Epstein are up to the challenge, but in many ways the burden to win is a lot heavier now. It is no longer just a hope--itís a demand.

If thereís one thing this Red Sox team proved, itís that pitching wins World Series rings, and you can bet the Empire took note. In fact, a lot of teams took note. For the first time since 1918 the Red Sox are the team everyone will be gunning for, and staying on top is no easy task.

So congratulations to the 2004 Boston Red Sox, but remember that your encore will perhaps be more important than your opening act, no matter how spectacular it was.
Personally, Iím hoping the World Champion Red Sox are a lot like a comet, a rare and beautiful occurrence that happens once in a lifetime. And by my calculations, the Red Sox Comet wonít be blazing through New England with another ring until 2090.


Hmm... I guess it WAS a bit short... ;)

Comments welcome. (Oh, I should mention that I originally wrote this with the Providence Journal--hometown paper--in mind. This is Red Sox country... so I was making sure no one wanted to lynch me because of this.)

Bleys
11-17-04, 12:59 PM
To mods: Thanks for moving this. I couldn't figure out what the apporiate forum was. :)

Saxmania
11-17-04, 01:09 PM
Are you sure the one thing this Red Sox team proved was that pitching wins championships? I mean, we hear it every year, but it seems to me that Boston's most reliable attribute was a strong offense in Damon, Bellhorn, Ramirez, Ortiz, and so on. Yes, the Yankee pitching failed to stop them scoring in the last few games - but by the same token, the bats failed to score enough runs too. And I point again to Anaheim's very unimpressive starting staff in 2002 as a counter-example.

Balance wins championships, in my opinion. Balance and a significant slice of luck. The Red Sox had pitching, hitting, defense, and some luck. Then they won. I think your article could be improved (and lengthened!) if you explain that statement, because it's really the key to what the other 29 teams, in your opinion, should be doing. Otherwise, it seems like you're just throwing out a truism without actually demonstrating it satisfactorily. As it stands, you just say it without any proof, then don't follow it up at all. I'm not saying that you should ditch your opinion and adopt mine; only that yours needs context.

Just constructive criticism, of course. Interesting piece; I like the comet metaphor.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

Bleys
11-17-04, 01:19 PM
I agree, you need a balance. What I was getting at was that pitching is more important than offense, and I'll stand by that.

The Yankees and Cardinals both had offenses as potent as the Red Sox. In a lot of ways, so did the Angels, for that matter. What all of thsoe teams lacked, and what Boston had, was pitching.

The Boston bullpen was phenomenal for an 8 game stretch. And we all know what Schilling, Lowe, Pedro, and even Arroyo did.

Pitching was the difference maker. You can win a championship when you're like on offense, but you need pitching.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong, the 2003 Marlins were out hit and out pitched by the Yankees. Maybe it's just luck.

But the Red Sox did make every other team in baseball, especially the Yankees, scramble for pitching. Sure the Yankees would have gone after pitching anyway, but the Red Sox sort of drove home that point.

Thanks for the reply. :)

NYPenn
11-17-04, 01:27 PM
"Of course it's hard. If it was easy, anybody could do it. HARD is what makes it GREAT." - Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own"

"My favorite ring? The NEXT one." - Tom Brady

Just because some (SOME) fans blamed the "curse" doesn't mean the players, FO or ownership did. As Mike Timlin said, there ain't no curse. And as Keith Foulke said, "you can take that curse and stick it where the sun don't shine."

Of course the Red Sox expect to stay competitive. You think they're going to rest on their laurels? Heavens, no. This is just the beginning. They have a franchise just down the road that's blazed the trail, in more ways than one, demonstrating the wisdom of team togetherness, taking games one at a time, and staying hungry. Two Super Bowl victories, anyone?

And as for pitching being critical, that's Baseball 101. The Sox didn't need to impart that lesson to anyone. ;)

No running in place for Red Sox Nation. This ain't no aberration.

Bleys
11-17-04, 01:59 PM
Naw, I was saying that now if they lose the media and their fans won't just say, "Oh, it's the Curse again." Now the Red Sox have more pressure to win, in a lot of ways. They're no longer expected to choke, they're expected to win. :)

The Curse is over, the rivarly has begun (as one of the NYYFans.com writers put it).

reelbiggecko
11-17-04, 02:14 PM
I wouldn't say they have more pressure to win at all. If anything, the "Curse" added the weight of unjustified pressure that is gone now. But the real point is, once the teams take the field on opening day, none of it matters anymore. It's another year.

Bleys
11-17-04, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by reelbiggecko
I wouldn't say they have more pressure to win at all. If anything, the "Curse" added the weight of unjustified pressure that is gone now. But the real point is, once the teams take the field on opening day, none of it matters anymore. It's another year.

See, I disagree. The Curse was a safety net for Boston fans and media. Now they don't have any scapegoats, if they lose, they're losers--that's it. They're expected to win now. I think the pressure of defending a World Series ring is more than winning your first (which, since it's been 86 years, for all intents and purposes let's call it their first--it was for most fhe Red Sox players).

reelbiggecko
11-17-04, 02:30 PM
The Curse was a scapegoat to some fans, but certainly not to the players, the coaches, the front office. You think it made them feel better to think that the reason they were losing was thanks to Harry Frazee? I agree that the media and fans constantly fell back on it, but that doesn't affect the players on the field that are the ones who the pressure affects, so I don't think it will really change anything.

Bleys
11-17-04, 02:45 PM
I think you might still be missing my point. The point isn't that the absense of "The Curse" adds or removes pressure on the players to win. What it does is mean is that the media and fans (many of them, at least) will be putting more pressure on the Sox to win now (or perhaps more accurately they will be harder on the Sox if they lose--which creates more pressure as a result).

As an aside: I'm a Yankee fan in Rhode Island and I am not looking forward to the taunting I'm going to get wearing my NY hat around next year. ;) Though, I will say that I wore my Yankees hat with pride after the ALCS collapse and most of the Red Sox fans I bumped into said they respected me for doing that (which was nice).

Bronson'sCornrows
11-17-04, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by Saxmania
Are you sure the one thing this Red Sox team proved was that pitching wins championships? I mean, we hear it every year, but it seems to me that Boston's most reliable attribute was a strong offense in Damon, Bellhorn, Ramirez, Ortiz, and so on...

I think this is further evidenced by the complete futility of Damon and Bellhorn in the first three games. Once they started going, the Sox started going. Of course, one could also argue that the pitching was awful in two of those three games. I wouldn't really say balance wins championships, but I would say a balanced team is considerably more likely to win than a team where all or most of the strong talent is concentrated in one area.

NDBoston
11-17-04, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
I think you might still be missing my point. The point isn't that the absense of "The Curse" adds or removes pressure on the players to win. What it does is mean is that the media and fans (many of them, at least) will be putting more pressure on the Sox to win now (or perhaps more accurately they will be harder on the Sox if they lose--which creates more pressure as a result).

As an aside: I'm a Yankee fan in Rhode Island and I am not looking forward to the taunting I'm going to get wearing my NY hat around next year. ;) Though, I will say that I wore my Yankees hat with pride after the ALCS collapse and most of the Red Sox fans I bumped into said they respected me for doing that (which was nice).

No offense, but I think you're way off. The pressure is gone. No more curse talk, "1918" or 86 years in the discussion.

Of course I want the Red Sox to win it again....and again. However, to think the pressure is now greater is a Yankee fan talking without regard for the mindset is in Red Sox Nation..

Ljberkow12
11-17-04, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
I think you might still be missing my point. The point isn't that the absense of "The Curse" adds or removes pressure on the players to win. What it does is mean is that the media and fans (many of them, at least) will be putting more pressure on the Sox to win now (or perhaps more accurately they will be harder on the Sox if they lose--which creates more pressure as a result).

As an aside: I'm a Yankee fan in Rhode Island and I am not looking forward to the taunting I'm going to get wearing my NY hat around next year. ;) Though, I will say that I wore my Yankees hat with pride after the ALCS collapse and most of the Red Sox fans I bumped into said they respected me for doing that (which was nice).

I don't buy any of this. I do buy that you're a Yankee fan in RI. But suggesting that the media will put more pressure on the Sox is a joke. The media has been relentless BECAUSE the team failed so much. It's going to be a lot harder for the media to go after Epstein or too many others involved including Francona. They have a free pass for a while just as Belichick has earned in NE. In any case, you are confusing Sox fans with Yankees fans and your frame of reference is poor. Red Sox fans, unlike Yankees fans don't EXPECT championships every year. I almost laugh that Yankee fans go after Joe Torre like they do or want to dump Posada. It's funny stuff. I'll survive if somehow the Patriots lose a playoff game or the Sox don't make it back to the WS.

As for you being the victim of taunting by Red Sox fans, I wouldn't worry about it. It would seem pretty stupid of Sox fans to taunt NY fans when the Sox have won 1 championship that we can remember while the Yankees seem to win on a semi-regular basis.

By the way, most real fans don't believe in "curses". That's a joke to sell books by Dan Shaughnessy. The "curse" as you would like to believe as a NY fan is merely a history of bad (and racist) management and inadequate pitching.

reelbiggecko
11-17-04, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
I think you might still be missing my point. The point isn't that the absense of "The Curse" adds or removes pressure on the players to win. What it does is mean is that the media and fans (many of them, at least) will be putting more pressure on the Sox to win now (or perhaps more accurately they will be harder on the Sox if they lose--which creates more pressure as a result).

As an aside: I'm a Yankee fan in Rhode Island and I am not looking forward to the taunting I'm going to get wearing my NY hat around next year. ;) Though, I will say that I wore my Yankees hat with pride after the ALCS collapse and most of the Red Sox fans I bumped into said they respected me for doing that (which was nice).

No I get your point fine, but the fact of the matter is the media put absolutely enormous amounts of pressure on the Sox anyways, so I don't really see how it's possible for there to be much more. Just because they hadn't won for 86 years, doesn't mean there wasn't an enormous expectation from fans and the media alike to win it, especially with their payroll.

As for the Yankees fan in RI, I've been a Yankees fan living just over the RI-MA border for 11 years now, it ain't no biggie. They were never that good at insults anyways. ;)

EddieFreddie
11-17-04, 10:19 PM
Once every 86 years, like a comet? That sounds suspiciously like a curse.

It makes you wonder who believed (or wanted to believe) in the curse more, Sox fans or Yankee fans. And I wonder who is more afraid now that it's gone.

stevethesoxfan
11-18-04, 02:16 AM
Originally posted by Bleys


See, I disagree. The Curse was a safety net for Boston fans and media. Now they don't have any scapegoats, if they lose, they're losers--that's it.

&po'd& That is a completely ignorant statement about our fans. You are another one of the naive who got sucked into the Curse b.s. The VAST majority of Red Sox fans - VAST majority!!! - never believed in a curse. Only a minority of bandwagon fans, plus the lazy media who couldn't write anything more intelligent, were Curse followers. It was a marketing and media-driven cliche that all of us were so sick of hearing. :barf:

A safety net? :lol: Hardly. We are glad it is gone forever. Now we can follow our team, root for it every year, and not hear from yahoos like you who STILL keep trying to use it as a basis for self-applauding little articles.

I'm not usually this blunt, but you wanted an honest opinion. And my opinion is that you are looking for someone to pat you on the back for writing a cliche-driven piece of fluff. It won't be me. :rolleyes:

yankeebot
11-18-04, 06:04 AM
Originally posted by stevethesoxfan


&po'd& That is a completely ignorant statement about our fans. You are another one of the naive who got sucked into the Curse b.s. The VAST majority of Red Sox fans - VAST majority!!! - never believed in a curse. Only a minority of bandwagon fans, plus the lazy media who couldn't write anything more intelligent, were Curse followers. It was a marketing and media-driven cliche that all of us were so sick of hearing. :barf:

:

I will never understand how anyone feels that they have the power to speak for the "vast majority".

RedGlare
11-18-04, 06:23 AM
Originally posted by stevethesoxfan
&po'd& That is a completely ignorant statement about our fans. You are another one of the naive who got sucked into the Curse b.s. The VAST majority of Red Sox fans - VAST majority!!! - never believed in a curse. Only a minority of bandwagon fans, plus the lazy media who couldn't write anything more intelligent, were Curse followers. It was a marketing and media-driven cliche that all of us were so sick of hearing. :barf:

A safety net? :lol: Hardly. We are glad it is gone forever. Now we can follow our team, root for it every year, and not hear from yahoos like you who STILL keep trying to use it as a basis for self-applauding little articles.
It was more of a layer of protection from the rest of the baseball world than it was a safety net for yourselves.

One or two more years go by and soon whenever you walk away from a three game sweep of KC or Toronto you'll hear the quiet, unplaceable whispers about how you have such a monster payroll, about how you bought your championship, and how you are killing baseball. They won't give a damn that the Yankees have a whole $30-$40 million more than you when you are $60-$90 million above them. See that isn't as loveable as a "curse." These thoughts will be shared by the vast majority of baseball fans.

But of course you Redsox fans will say that all that talk about high payroll "buying" or "being bad" for anything is a bunch of B.S. You'll counter with arguments about how money doesn't guarantee wins, you'll point to your home-grown contracts, and you'll say your team is mearly "giving back" to it well deserving, loyal fan base.

And we, as Yankee fans... will be right there supporting you.
Welcome to our curse.

SubwayFanatic
11-18-04, 07:42 AM
Originally posted by Bleys


The Yankees and Cardinals both had offenses as potent as the Red Sox.



Not true. The Sox had a deeper lineup. They got on base more. They scored more runs. They had the best lineup in baseball.

NDBoston
11-18-04, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by RedGlare

It was more of a layer of protection from the rest of the baseball world than it was a safety net for yourselves.

One or two more years go by and soon whenever you walk away from a three game sweep of KC or Toronto you'll hear the quiet, unplaceable whispers about how you have such a monster payroll, about how you bought your championship, and how you are killing baseball. They won't give a damn that the Yankees have a whole $30-$40 million more than you when you are $60-$90 million above them. See that isn't as loveable as a "curse." These thoughts will be shared by the vast majority of baseball fans.

But of course you Redsox fans will say that all that talk about high payroll "buying" or "being bad" for anything is a bunch of B.S. You'll counter with arguments about how money doesn't guarantee wins, you'll point to your home-grown contracts, and you'll say your team is mearly "giving back" to it well deserving, loyal fan base.

And we, as Yankee fans... will be right there supporting you.
Welcome to our curse.

The Yankees will be spending a minimum 80-100 million more this year, if their FA wishes come true.

It will still be NY as the Evil Empire in the eyes of the media and the fans.

YankeePride1967
11-18-04, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by NDBoston


The Yankees will be spending a minimum 80-100 million more this year, if their FA wishes come true.

It will still be NY as the Evil Empire in the eyes of the media and the fans.

While that may be true, the Sox have that same rep outside of New England.

NDBoston
11-18-04, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by GoRocket


While that may be true, the Sox have that same rep outside of New England.

It's not what I hear from Cubs and White Sox fans.

YankeePride1967
11-18-04, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by NDBoston


It's not what I hear from Cubs and White Sox fans.

That probably has to do with the 1908. 1917 and 1918 lineage. I"m going by other forums and several letters to the Sporting News. I know a lot of Sox fans think they are representing small markets against the big bad Evil Empire when they have been referred to as Yankees, Jr. and are the highest paid team to ever win a World Series.

stevethesoxfan
11-18-04, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by yankeebot


I will never understand how anyone feels that they have the power to speak for the "vast majority".

Living and working and carousing with (all told) thousands of Red Sox fans over the years gives one an excellent indication.

If, for instance, Arbitron can gauge the radio listening preferences of a market by surveying approx. 1/10 of 1 percent of the population, I think I can do the same. (FYI that figure isn't exaggerated, it is fact).

burke615-RSN
11-18-04, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by stevethesoxfan
If, for instance, Arbitron can gauge the radio listening preferences of a market by surveying approx. 1/10 of 1 percent of the population, I think I can do the same. (FYI that figure isn't exaggerated, it is fact). Hey, this week, I'm part of that 1/10 of 1 percent! (For Arbitron, that is...) It's a shame I have only listened to the radio once in the whole week. :)

I second STSF on this one: None of my co-workers who were Sox fans last year talked about The Curse, or believed in it. Only those who magically became Sox fans in late October this year ever said anything about The Curse. Of course, these are the same people saying, "Well, all Buckner had to do was catch the ball, and the Sox would have won in 1986." and "How will they blow it this time?" :rolleyes:

RIREDSOXFAN
11-18-04, 12:04 PM
I think you are way off base on this. I think the pressure on the Red Sox this year will be nothing like what it has been all these years. They finally won it, and alot of the more whiny fans (like me) are off their backs for good. They proved they could win the big one, win in the clutch, come from behind, show heart, guts and character and on top of all that, beat the Yankees when it counted. In short, they did everything in the same postseason, and they proved alot of people wrong, including me. I never thought I'd live to see the day all this would happen, and I'm still eating crow (happily).
I live in RI, which is home to some of the most obnoxious Yankee fans in the world. The Yankee fans on this forum are a pleasure to talk to, and I have been quite suprised to find they are much different than the ones I have been forced to deal with all these years in RI. I salute you for wearing your Yankee gear after the ALCS, but you are in a distinct minority around here. I haven't seen a whole lot of Yankee gear on people since the playoffs. Have you noticed the same?
All the years of trash-talking are over for RI Yankee fans. I hope RI Red Sox fans prove to be better winners than RI Yankee fans were. One of my friends ( a Yankee fan) loved to tell me Red Sox jokes. His favorite one was "What can't you find in Boston in October? Answer- A Fenway Frank." Very funny. He's not joking anymore, and I haven't seen his Yankee hat on lately either.
I'll take this one win. If they never win it again, at least they did it. For once, they came through!

hardrain
11-18-04, 02:28 PM
well I agree with you that we must be optimistic for 2005 - after all, the worse possible thing that could EVER HAPPEN actually happened, so at least we won't have to go through that again. Keep writing and don't take the negative criticism to heart.

reelbiggecko
11-18-04, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by hardrain
well I agree with you that we must be optimistic for 2005 - after all, the worse possible thing that could EVER HAPPEN actually happened, so at least we won't have to go through that again. Keep writing and don't take the negative criticism to heart.

That's actually a pretty good point. If we lost 100 games it wouldn't have hurt this much. 2004 was the worst year we could have possibly had from an emotional standpoint, and now it's over. Time to get back on the horse.

hardrain
11-18-04, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by reelbiggecko


That's actually a pretty good point. If we lost 100 games it wouldn't have hurt this much. 2004 was the worst year we could have possibly had from an emotional standpoint, and now it's over. Time to get back on the horse.

yep - there is nothing left to do but leave it behind. it's too absurd to comprehend anyway.

Bleys
11-18-04, 08:19 PM
Well, I'm pretty close to Red Sox Nation (all my local media is pro-Red Sox, and nearly all of my friends are die-hard Sox fans), and so I can say with some confidence that most Sox fans I know lived and died by what most refer to as the Curse. Whether or not they believed in an actual curse, is irrelevant (most rational people don't believe in hocus pocus). What I mean by falling back on the Curse, is that they always expected the worst in the back of their minds. So while Aaron Boone's homerun in 2003 sucked, it wasn't totally unexpected for that to happen. Now they're on the other end. Next fall they'll be expecting to win, rather than expecting the usual collapse (not even subconciously anymore). I think the media and fans will be exerting extra pressure because of that on the Red Sox to repeat. Not to mention that there is ALWAYS more pressure on the world champion team. That is the team that everyone in the league wants to beat. This year the enemy for most AL teams is the Red Sox more than it is the Yankees--which is a shift, I think.

As for the Yankees, they have the same ammount of pressure they have any year they don't win the world series... which is to say, the same as last year or the year before. This was a hard loss to swallow, but it wasn't all that much tougher than losing to the Diamondbacks in 2001 (that was probably worse, in my opinion--two great comebacks in a row and then 1 out away from victory with our best on the mound... ouch--I know that one hurt more for me.)

As for Yankees fans in RI, sorry you guys have had bad experiences. The few Yankees fans I know around here are pretty good people. Really, we just love baseball, so we can appreciate baseball win or lose.

But it goes both ways. I've had crap thrown at me in Mansfield, Mass at a concert just because I was wearing a Yankees hat. Not cool.

Also, thanks to everyone for the criticism, positive and negative. I appreciate it all :)

Jake_2
11-18-04, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
Well, I'm pretty close to Red Sox Nation (all my local media is pro-Red Sox, and nearly all of my friends are die-hard Sox fans), and so I can say with some confidence that most Sox fans I know lived and died by what most refer to as the Curse. Whether or not they believed in an actual curse, is irrelevant (most rational people don't believe in hocus pocus). What I mean by falling back on the Curse, is that they always expected the worst in the back of their minds. So while Aaron Boone's homerun in 2003 sucked, it wasn't totally unexpected for that to happen. Now they're on the other end. Next fall they'll be expecting to win, rather than expecting the usual collapse (not even subconciously anymore). I think the media and fans will be exerting extra pressure because of that on the Red Sox to repeat. Not to mention that there is ALWAYS more pressure on the world champion team. That is the team that everyone in the league wants to beat. This year the enemy for most AL teams is the Red Sox more than it is the Yankees--which is a shift, I think.

As for the Yankees, they have the same ammount of pressure they have any year they don't win the world series... which is to say, the same as last year or the year before. This was a hard loss to swallow, but it wasn't all that much tougher than losing to the Diamondbacks in 2001 (that was probably worse, in my opinion--two great comebacks in a row and then 1 out away from victory with our best on the mound... ouch--I know that one hurt more for me.)

As for Yankees fans in RI, sorry you guys have had bad experiences. The few Yankees fans I know around here are pretty good people. Really, we just love baseball, so we can appreciate baseball win or lose.

But it goes both ways. I've had crap thrown at me in Mansfield, Mass at a concert just because I was wearing a Yankees hat. Not cool.

Also, thanks to everyone for the criticism, positive and negative. I appreciate it all :)
I don't know how else to phrase it, that hasn't already been stated by the other Sox fans in this thread (ie NDB and steve, etc)... you couldn't be more wrong in this assessment. The Curse was a creation of Shaugnessey to sell his book... sure, it took on a "life" of its own, but all it ever did was put more pressure on the team. Yes, for many Sox fans, it did create a feeling of "when is the collapse going to happen this year?"

That all went away in games 4-7 of the ALCS and then the sweep in the WS. Sure, I would love the Sox to win next year, and the year after that. But, the "pressure" is lessened. No one has to shoulder the burden of the entire history of the team anymore. To say that the fans and media will now put more pressure on the team might be one of the most inane comments I've ever heard. Sorry, but you asked for comments, positive or negative.

Red Sox fans (and no, I don't speak for all of them) realize the team should be competitive year in and year out, given our payroll of $120-140mm... but, win or lose, the 2004 team wiped away decades of frustration and pain, and with it, a significant level of so-called "pressure".

Again, as a 31 year old that has grown up and lived Boston Red Sox baseball, I don't know how to re-phrase what all of us are saying. The pressure will most definitely not be greater next year... all the pent up pressure has been released.

Bleys
11-18-04, 09:48 PM
Thanks for the comments, but I respectfully disagree.

The pressure to win a world series was great, but it the pressure to prove it wasn't a fluke is greater. The more you win, the more the pressure builds.

As an example, I'll ask you this: Which team do you think had more pressure to win, the 2001 Yankees (who were expected to win) or the 1996 Yankees (who weren't--or at least, weren't expected to win like the 2001 Yankees were)? Or how about the 2003 Yankees versus the 1996 Yankees? The Yankees' success means added pressure, and now everytime they lose when their fans and media (and ownership) EXPECT them to win, adds more and more pressure. This is the position the Sox find themselves now.

Winning = more pressure next year.

Jake_2
11-18-04, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
Thanks for the comments, but I respectfully disagree.

The pressure to win a world series was great, but it the pressure to prove it wasn't a fluke is greater. The more you win, the more the pressure builds.

As an example, I'll ask you this: Which team do you think had more pressure to win, the 2001 Yankees (who were expected to win) or the 1996 Yankees (who weren't--or at least, weren't expected to win like the 2001 Yankees were)? Or how about the 2003 Yankees versus the 1996 Yankees? The Yankees' success means added pressure, and now everytime they lose when their fans and media (and ownership) EXPECT them to win, adds more and more pressure. This is the position the Sox find themselves now.

Winning = more pressure next year.
Perhaps you are missing the main point we are trying to make. You can't compare the late 90's Yankees pressure to keep winning with the Red Sox pressure to repeat. Plain and simple, the pressure on the Red Sox year in and year out grew to levels that aren't comparable to a team that has a history of winning. It is comparing apples and oranges.

Maybe the best way to put it is the Bill Simmons concept: When your team wins for the first time ever (ie Patriots) or the first time in most people's lifetimes (ie Sox), their fans are so happy that there is almost a 2-3 year "grace" period where they can do no wrong.

This is how most of us feel. True, we want to win again and again. But that would just be gravy for the next few years.

Your comparison isn't applicable.

Bleys
11-18-04, 10:35 PM
I still disagree. Say the Sox don't make the playoffs next year. That "grace period" is over fast. I'd probably argue that the grace perdiod doesn't really exist. (You can't use the Patriots as an example because they followed their first Superbowl win with another and a record winning streak. We can't tell if any grace period existed because they had continued success, it is wholly possible that had they not done what they have the fans and would not have been so kind. And I think the Patriots probably felt more pressure to win another Superbowl than to win their first, and the pressure to win this year is DEFINITELY greater. They're expected to win every week now. So, actually, your example just proves my point. Thanks.). Rather, the pressure to keep winning is greater than the pressure to win the first time, for reasons I've already explained.

As for the mid-90s Yankees, 1996 was their first World Series win since 1978.

I don't think the 2004 Red Sox felt that much pressure at all. There is always less pressure on the underdogs (they were the historical underdogs, at least, though they were favored by most sports books). Now they're the defending champions. No longer the underdogs.

reelbiggecko
11-18-04, 11:06 PM
But the point is, they weren't the underdogs, because nobody REALLY believed in the curse. They were expected to win by many, and they did.

And grace periods really do exist with fans. Obviously Pats fans were upset when the Pats missed out on the playoffs in 2002 (especially after winning their game on Week 17 only to watch the Dolphins win and lock them out of the playoffs later in the day), but fans around here really fell back on the fact that, "well, at least we won last year." Was 1997 as catastrophic for Yanks fans than 1995? Of course not, we had just won a World Championship. Obviously it still hurt, but there was no more pressure on us than in 1996.

Bleys
11-18-04, 11:46 PM
I still disagree with you guys. Having played on championship teams in my life, I'll say from experience that playing as the defending champs comes with a lot more pressure than playing as the underdog. I'm sure the Marlins had more pressure on them this year than they did in 2003. The Pistons will have more pressure this year than they did last year. That's just how it goes.

It seems you're all just stuck on my use of the term "the Curse" ... but that just shows that you really missed the point. *shrug*

RIREDSOXFAN
11-19-04, 06:42 AM
Is your point that there is more pressure on the TEAM, as in the players? Or that the fans expectations will be higher and we will be disappointed if they don't repeat?
I'm sure there are good Yankee fans around here as well. I actually do know some, I just wanted to single out the worst ones before when I posted.
You are right about some Red Sox fans believing in the curse. I was talking to a friend during the ALCS who was sure the Red Sox would not win because of the curse. She insisted it was a 100 year curse. When we talked after the WS she said she was right, because this was the 100th WS played! Now of course we both knew that was ridiculous, but she stuck to it.
This "curse" I don't think many actually believed it, but it was an old reliable crutch to truck out whenever things didn't go our way. I used to use it myself, more as a dig to the team. I don't believe in supernatural stuff.
During the 1970's, I don't remember ever hearing about a curse. You'd hear about how stupid the Red Sox were to have sold Ruth, but not in a curse context. I think people are right, that was a media creation of the 80's that took on a life of its' own.

MaineSoxFan
11-19-04, 07:08 AM
Originally posted by Bleys
I still disagree with you guys. Having played on championship teams in my life, I'll say from experience that playing as the defending champs comes with a lot more pressure than playing as the underdog. I'm sure the Marlins had more pressure on them this year than they did in 2003. The Pistons will have more pressure this year than they did last year. That's just how it goes.

It seems you're all just stuck on my use of the term "the Curse" ... but that just shows that you really missed the point. *shrug*

Or that the posters just disagreed with you. Personally, I understand what you are saying in general...a team that wins has more pressure because everyone is gunning for them. But, I believe, at least to Sox fans, the Sox situation was very different. It wasn't a question of a curse, it was the fact that the Sox had come so close in the past and couldn't seal the deal, all the media could talk about was how the team was "cursed." Now the Sox are just another team that won a championship, sure they will have pressure because other teams want to beat the champs but I think it is very different than the pressure to finally win the World Series.

Prickly Pete
11-19-04, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by Bleys
I still disagree with you guys. Having played on championship teams in my life, I'll say from experience that playing as the defending champs comes with a lot more pressure than playing as the underdog. I'm sure the Marlins had more pressure on them this year than they did in 2003. The Pistons will have more pressure this year than they did last year. That's just how it goes.

It seems you're all just stuck on my use of the term "the Curse" ... but that just shows that you really missed the point. *shrug*

I think the reason no one agrees with you is because you've totally misread the dynamic in Boston, in my opinion.

I agree with the general idea that winning a championship brings higher expectations in the future, and that repeating is often more difficult than winning the first one.

But Boston is not the same as other cities when it comes to the Red Sox. Because of the long championship drought, the series of excruciatingly close failures and the recent run-up in payroll, the pressure and expectations had already been ratcheted up to unimaginable heights.

Simply put, the pressure to win a World Series in Boston could not get any higher than it has been the last few years. It's just not possible.

By extension, there's absolutely no chance -- none, zero, zilch -- that there will be more pressure on this franchise to win again this year than there was to win last year.

Jake_2
11-19-04, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by Prickly Pete


I think the reason no one agrees with you is because you've totally misread the dynamic in Boston, in my opinion.

I agree with the general idea that winning a championship brings higher expectations in the future, and that repeating is often more difficult than winning the first one.

But Boston is not the same as other cities when it comes to the Red Sox. Because of the long championship drought, the series of excruciatingly close failures and the recent run-up in payroll, the pressure and expectations had already been ratcheted up to unimaginable heights.

Simply put, the pressure to win a World Series in Boston could not get any higher than it has been the last few years. It's just not possible.

By extension, there's absolutely no chance -- none, zero, zilch -- that there will be more pressure on this franchise to win again this year than there was to win last year.
Bingo. Yahtzee... Ding, ding, ding... or however you want to put it.

This post summed up what many of have been trying to (unsuccessfully I suppose) say clearly.

It relates to my apples to oranges comment. You can't compare the current Sox situation to any other "champion", as you have been trying to do, be it the Yankees, the Pistons, or one of the "many championship teams" you were a part of... it isn't applicable.

I almost feel like you realize that, in hindsight, you were wrong. But, are prodding us to keep trying to point out the obvious.

Bleys
11-19-04, 10:34 AM
No, I really don't think I'm wrong. And I honestly think time will show that.

I would argue that the Yankees had more pressure on them to win last year than the Red Sox did, BECAUSE of the fact that the Yankees were proven winners. I think the players would probably agree. The pressure for the Red Sox to prove this wasn't a fluke will be greater than the pressure to win in the first place. I'll stick by that.

And the pressure will grow exponentially for every year from now on that they don't win (like it has in New York). As I said, pressure to win in New York has been a lot greater than pressure to win in Boston (I believe), because the Yankees fans and media were used to winning. The Red Sox are now in that situation. In Boston they have always been used to saying "this is the year" and then losing--that creates a culture with less pressure than in New York where they were used to saying that and winning.

Losing is a much bigger deal when you've tasted victory. That alone adds a lot of self-imposed pressure. Add in the media, the fans, and the management (Epstein after the WS win: "We'll do it again next year.")...

That was sort of stream of consciousness...

Also, I don't think I said I've been on "many championship teams" ... maybe two ;)

reelbiggecko
11-19-04, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by Bleys
No, I really don't think I'm wrong. And I honestly think time will show that.

I would argue that the Yankees had more pressure on them to win last year than the Red Sox did, BECAUSE of the fact that the Yankees were proven winners. I think the players would probably agree. The pressure for the Red Sox to prove this wasn't a fluke will be greater than the pressure to win in the first place. I'll stick by that.

And the pressure will grow exponentially for every year from now on that they don't win (like it has in New York). As I said, pressure to win in New York has been a lot greater than pressure to win in Boston (I believe), because the Yankees fans and media were used to winning. The Red Sox are now in that situation. In Boston they have always been used to saying "this is the year" and then losing--that creates a culture with less pressure than in New York where they were used to saying that and winning.

Losing is a much bigger deal when you've tasted victory. That alone adds a lot of self-imposed pressure. Add in the media, the fans, and the management (Epstein after the WS win: "We'll do it again next year.")...

That was sort of stream of consciousness...

Also, I don't think I said I've been on "many championship teams" ... maybe two ;)

NDBoston
11-19-04, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by Bleys
No, I really don't think I'm wrong. And I honestly think time will show that.

I would argue that the Yankees had more pressure on them to win last year than the Red Sox did, BECAUSE of the fact that the Yankees were proven winners. I think the players would probably agree. The pressure for the Red Sox to prove this wasn't a fluke will be greater than the pressure to win in the first place. I'll stick by that.

And the pressure will grow exponentially for every year from now on that they don't win (like it has in New York). As I said, pressure to win in New York has been a lot greater than pressure to win in Boston (I believe), because the Yankees fans and media were used to winning. The Red Sox are now in that situation. In Boston they have always been used to saying "this is the year" and then losing--that creates a culture with less pressure than in New York where they were used to saying that and winning.

Losing is a much bigger deal when you've tasted victory. That alone adds a lot of self-imposed pressure. Add in the media, the fans, and the management (Epstein after the WS win: "We'll do it again next year.")...

That was sort of stream of consciousness...

Also, I don't think I said I've been on "many championship teams" ... maybe two ;)

You're using a throwaway comment by Epstein in the locker room as self-imposed pressure? :lol:

No offense, but comparing your experience winning championships in high school(or wherever) versus the Red Sox winning for the first time in 86 years isn't a valid comparison. I was on a team that won a state championship and played in the NCAA's in college and it's not even in the same Solar System to what the Red Sox teams have put up for the last 50 years.

Your opinion is clouded somewhat by what you hope will happen versus the reality of the situation IMO.

reelbiggecko
11-19-04, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by Bleys
No, I really don't think I'm wrong. And I honestly think time will show that.

I would argue that the Yankees had more pressure on them to win last year than the Red Sox did, BECAUSE of the fact that the Yankees were proven winners. I think the players would probably agree. The pressure for the Red Sox to prove this wasn't a fluke will be greater than the pressure to win in the first place. I'll stick by that.

And the pressure will grow exponentially for every year from now on that they don't win (like it has in New York). As I said, pressure to win in New York has been a lot greater than pressure to win in Boston (I believe), because the Yankees fans and media were used to winning. The Red Sox are now in that situation. In Boston they have always been used to saying "this is the year" and then losing--that creates a culture with less pressure than in New York where they were used to saying that and winning.

Losing is a much bigger deal when you've tasted victory. That alone adds a lot of self-imposed pressure. Add in the media, the fans, and the management (Epstein after the WS win: "We'll do it again next year.")...

That was sort of stream of consciousness...

Also, I don't think I said I've been on "many championship teams" ... maybe two ;)

The Sox were proven winners too. Just because they didn't have a Championship to show for it, they'd still been one of the best teams in baseball for a long time.

I've lived in the heart of so-called Red Sox Nation for years and every single one of my friends is a die-hard Red Sox fan. And every single one of them would tell you there is world's less pressure to win it all this year. If they lose in the World Series next year it would not be half the disappointment than if they had lost this year. I don't see how you can deny that.

Bleys
11-19-04, 11:38 AM
NDBoston: I never said that one quote was the basis for management imposed pressure. To argue that I am saying that would be idiotic. It was just an example.

Come October when the pressure mounts, you'll see I'm right. We'll just have to see how the Red Sox handle it.

reelbiggecko: Reread my article and you'll see where I mentioned what would have happened had the Red Sox lost this year (after coming back 0-3 against the Yankees). I live in the heart of Red Sox Nation as well, and all but a couple of my friends are die-hard Sox fans, so I am as close to this as you are. Anyway, you're mincing words. The point is expectations to win will be higher this year, and that correlates to greater pressure, whether or not losing will be more or less disappointing. Winning is expected and lofty expectations = pressure. I was talking about losing in terms of expectations to win, I guess wasn't really clear. Winning correlates to higher expectations for next year, whether or not losing will mean more disappointment is irrelevant to my point.

Bosox Guy in Chitown
11-19-04, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Bleys
I submitted this to NYYFans.com but never got a response. I think it's pretty good, though a bit outdated now. I'd hate for it to go to waste. So...



Hmm... I guess it WAS a bit short... ;)

Comments welcome. (Oh, I should mention that I originally wrote this with the Providence Journal--hometown paper--in mind. This is Red Sox country... so I was making sure no one wanted to lynch me because of this.)

Great: another Sox "analysis" riddled with the same cliches you can find just about anywhere.

Truly unique stuff, really :rolleyes:

NYPenn
11-19-04, 11:54 AM
Let me reiterate that the curse is 100%, cream-filled, deep-fried bollocks. Invented by Dan Shaughnessy :barf: to sell a half-baked book.

MLB and the networks LOVED using the curse, as it gave them a "hook," an easy way to promote the games. Much, much easier than giving us some in-depth analysis of the players and the games. Besides, they don't think the average playoff watcher understands baseball, but they understand something as moronic as "the curse."

And of course Yankee fans would leap all over that silliness, attempting to use it to taunt the Sox fans and players. All it did, of course, was put more money in Shaughnessy's pocket (which, now that I think about it, probably *would* irritate the players and a lot of fans).

Curse, shmurse. Without Shaughnessy, nobody would have ever thought about it.

NDBoston
11-19-04, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
NDBoston: I never said that one quote was the basis for management imposed pressure. To argue that I am saying that would be idiotic. It was just an example.

Come October when the pressure mounts, you'll see I'm right. We'll just have to see how the Red Sox handle it.



You're the one who used the quote to show the pressure management will have. I'm glad to see you're backing off of it. You should be.

It's clear this is more what you're hoping than what's reality. Good luck with your fantasy next season.

Bleys
11-19-04, 12:06 PM
Well, according to WikiPedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_the_Bambino

The phrase has been around a lot longer than Dan's book.

But regardless, you're still missing the point. My point was never that Curse existed. I'm a smart guy. I don't believe in hocus pocus and I've never believed there was really a Curse. My original draft of this article had that term is quotations, and I guess I should have kept it that way.

The point many of you are so insistent upon missing was the Curse was a scapegoat, and no on has that anymore. No one in Boston can think losing is inevitable, they can no longer rationalize that the Sox do it every year, instead they now expect, more than ever, to win. Exptation = more pressure.

*sigh* I don't see how I can explain it any more clearly than I have.

Bleys
11-19-04, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by NDBoston


You're the one who used the quote to show the pressure management will have. I'm glad to see you're backing off of it. You should be.

It's clear this is more what you're hoping than what's reality. Good luck with your fantasy next season.

You're funny. If you honestly think the management doesn't apply a lot of pressure on their players to win, well, you don't have much faith in your management. John Henry wants to win as much as any owner in baseball, and Theo Epstein as much as any GM. And they're both very public about it. That you are arguing that the one quote I mentioned is the reason my argument falls apart shows that you are grasping at straws here. Desperation is sign that you know you're wrong. But hey, if denial works for you, then that's cool with me.

NDBoston
11-19-04, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by Bleys


You're funny. If you honestly think the management doesn't apply a lot of pressure on their players to win, well, you don't have much faith in your management. John Henry wants to win as much as any owner in baseball, and Theo Epstein as much as any GM. And they're both very public about it. That you are arguing that the one quote I mentioned is the reason my argument falls apart shows that you are grasping at straws here. Desperation is sign that you know you're wrong. But hey, if denial works for you, then that's cool with me.

There's no question the Red Sox want to win. Theo has been very clear they have high expectations.

You stated the pressure would be GREATER after winning after 86 years. Fans, media and management would be feeling it more.

What you're doing is confusing the Yankees with the Red Sox. That's the scenario George puts on the team every year now with a payroll that will be 200 million plus in 2005.

This isn't the Yankees. The Red Sox are going to get a pass from the fans and "some" of the media for a few years as long as they stay competitive. They won't accept having the payroll slashed while tickets stay as high as they are.

The fact is most knowledgable Red Sox fans know how hard it will be to beat the Yankees next year if they sign Beltran, RJ, Kline an perhaps Lieber.

NYPenn
11-19-04, 12:43 PM
"The point many of you are so insistent upon missing was the Curse was a scapegoat, and no on has that anymore. No one in Boston can think losing is inevitable, they can no longer rationalize that the Sox do it every year, instead they now expect, more than ever, to win. Exptation = more pressure."

No offense, but I think you're missing MY point. There. Was. No. Curse. Hence, there was no scapegoat. I never in my life thought losing was inevitable, and I never rationalized anything. And I very highly doubt if the FO or the players did either. Perhaps a few silly, misguided fans did.

The Sox ALWAYS had high expectations. Winning or losing a championship has nothing to do with it. The team, since I've been following it (1972) has been, for the most part, a contender. It's never been content to languish in or near the basement, at least not since the early 1960s. What changed all that was 1967. You could make a point that the pressure increased after the "Impossible Dream" year.

But you know something? Like the ad says, "I live for this." If you want to win, if you want to stay on top, you're going to thrive under the pressure. Why have the Patriots stayed on top? Bottom line, because winning, as Nuke LaLoosh said, is better (and a lot more fun) than losing. :P

Ljberkow12
11-19-04, 12:51 PM
Yankees fans have no possible concept of what it is like to be a Red Sox fan. Anyone who would compare the 1996 Yankees to the 2004 Red Sox demonstrates that very clearly. Just wondering. In 1996, were they selling t-shirts that read, "I can now die in Peace" - 1996 NY Yankees World Series Champions?

Of course, the Red Sox are going to try to win in 2005. They have always tried to win it all, expecially once Henry, Werner, and Lucchino took over the team. But nobody is going to beat up these guys and call for Francona's firing if the Sox don't win it all. As a Yankees fan, you can see the calls for the firing of Joe Torre despite 4 World Series Championships. We're kind of new to this in New England (other than the Celts of the 1980s). Bill Belichick is viewed as a god for just winning two SBs. Your frame of reference on this one falls short despite advice from Sox fans who actually have a feel for this stuff.

Bleys
11-19-04, 07:05 PM
"You stated the pressure would be GREATER after winning after 86 years. Fans, media and management would be feeling it more."

That's not what I said. I said the fans, media, and management would APPLY (not feel) more pressure, and so would the players apply more pressure on themselves, and other teams apply more pressure on the Sox.

Also, I watched the 2003 ALCS with a group of about 7 die-hard Sox fans. After Aaron Boone's home run they all just got up and left without a word, but the next day most of them said pretty much the same thing, which was, "Well, you know, I pretty much expected something like that to happen anyway. There's always next year."

That's the point. It's insulting to say I have no frame of reference for this when I've spent the last 21 years living with Red Sox fans, being close friends with all Red Sox fans.

If the Cubs or the White Sox win the World Series, I will make this same argument.

The only way the Red Sox can lessen the pressure is to have a very successful season.

And if the Red Sox don't make the play offs next year or maybe win less than 80 games, I'll bet my house that fans and media in Boston will be calling for Francona to be fired. I'll say it again, the pressure for Boston to continue its success is greater than the pressure of winning this year.

I truly question whether some of you really read my article. I never said the Red Sox have to win the World Series next year. I just said that the Red Sox have more pressure to "stay competitive" than they did last year. That was me quoting myself. The simple point is, they won, that creates higher expectations, that creates more pressure to keep winning. I never said the pressure to win the World Series, I said the pressure to stay competitive. Got it? Read the article before attacking it, it might help you out in the future.

NYPenn
11-19-04, 07:34 PM
News flash: There were some fans and media were calling for Francona to be fired right up until Game 4 of the World Series.

Sorry, but it's impossible for the Sox to feel any MORE pressure to be competitive than they have in the last, oh, couple of decades. Years upon years of coming THISCLOSE will build pressure like nothing else. Victory in the WS alliviated that pressure, it didn't increase it.

Ljberkow12
11-19-04, 09:38 PM
"That's the point. It's insulting to say I have no frame of reference for this when I've spent the last 21 years living with Red Sox fans, being close friends with all Red Sox fans."

You are not them. You're a Yankee fan. Your expectations are greater and one WS is not good enough for you. One every 4 years isn't good enough for you.

Pressure to be competitive? There was tremendous pressure on the Sox before 2004 to be competitive and there will be tremendous pressure after 2004 to be competitive. That's what comes with the highest ticket prices in the MLB, a payroll north of $100 million, and constant sellouts. There will be no change in 2004 to that effect. But as far as pressure on the players goes, it won't be as much. Fans will be very forgiving in 2005. Every Sox fan here tells you that and you just refuse to believe it. If you want to know what it's like to be a Sox fan, you have to be one.

BobbyMurcerFan
11-19-04, 09:39 PM
GREAT READ & EXCELLENT WRITING! :) :)

Jake_2
11-19-04, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
"You stated the pressure would be GREATER after winning after 86 years. Fans, media and management would be feeling it more."

That's not what I said. I said the fans, media, and management would APPLY (not feel) more pressure, and so would the players apply more pressure on themselves, and other teams apply more pressure on the Sox.

Also, I watched the 2003 ALCS with a group of about 7 die-hard Sox fans. After Aaron Boone's home run they all just got up and left without a word, but the next day most of them said pretty much the same thing, which was, "Well, you know, I pretty much expected something like that to happen anyway. There's always next year."

That's the point. It's insulting to say I have no frame of reference for this when I've spent the last 21 years living with Red Sox fans, being close friends with all Red Sox fans.

If the Cubs or the White Sox win the World Series, I will make this same argument.

The only way the Red Sox can lessen the pressure is to have a very successful season.

And if the Red Sox don't make the play offs next year or maybe win less than 80 games, I'll bet my house that fans and media in Boston will be calling for Francona to be fired. I'll say it again, the pressure for Boston to continue its success is greater than the pressure of winning this year.

I truly question whether some of you really read my article. I never said the Red Sox have to win the World Series next year. I just said that the Red Sox have more pressure to "stay competitive" than they did last year. That was me quoting myself. The simple point is, they won, that creates higher expectations, that creates more pressure to keep winning. I never said the pressure to win the World Series, I said the pressure to stay competitive. Got it? Read the article before attacking it, it might help you out in the future.
Bro... quit referring to your "article". It was a long post. Nothing more. Just because you submitted it to the site doesn't make it any more than that. Not to mention it is a moronic post. I think we are up to about 50 replies, and not 1 (none, zero, zip) agrees with your premise or has come to your defense. Maybe you should get your mom an account on here, so you can get some support.

The Sox finally win after 86 years, and NEXT year is the year the fans will put undue pressure on the team, NEXT year is the real pressure cooker... :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

It would be unkind to morons everywhere to say that your writing is moronic, and your thesis even worse.

Prickly Pete
11-19-04, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by Jake_2
Maybe you should get your mom an account on here, so you can get some support.

I'm his mother. And I don't agree with him.

Hey Bleys, take out the damn trash already.

BobbyMurcerFan
11-20-04, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by Jake_2
...I think we are up to about 50 replies, and not 1 (none, zero, zip) agrees with your premise or has come to your defense. Maybe you should get your mom an account on here, so you can get some support.
...Bro... did you read the post right above your own?

Bleys
11-20-04, 06:56 PM
Thanks, Bobby!

Jake: So now your argument is that because it wasn't published it's wong? Hmm, basically you're just proving that your an ass. I can call my piece an article regardless of where it was published, got it?

Further, no one who replied here agreed with it, ok. But that constituted about 15 people (tops, probably less). Gee, what a representative sample you've collected here. That really proves nothing. It's just as plausible that the people who did agree with what I wrote didn't feel like responding and taking part in this idiotic argument with you people. It's possible (likely) that this isn't an accurate representative sample of the sports world and that perhaps most people elsewhere would agree with it. Your point, like most of the points you've tried to make, is vaporous and silly.

Ljberkow12: You're right that all of those things create pressue, but one thing you left off the list, is being a defending champion. That adds a TON of pressure (to any team). This was the point I have been making all along.

NYPenn: All teams feel more pressure when the year(s) immediately following a champship season. They are now subject to being held under a microscope mroe so than ever before and their season compared to the last year. The Sox will feel that extra pressure next year.

Prickly Pete
11-20-04, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
Also, I watched the 2003 ALCS with a group of about 7 die-hard Sox fans. After Aaron Boone's home run they all just got up and left without a word, but the next day most of them said pretty much the same thing, which was, "Well, you know, I pretty much expected something like that to happen anyway. There's always next year."

What bizarro world are you living in?

Red Sox fans shrugged off Game 7 after one day as something they expected? Are you serious?

That loss was one of the most painful ones in the history of the team, right up there for most long-time fans with 1978 and 1986. Grady Little was fired at least partly because management knew that Red Sox fans could never forgive him for what happened.

It's really tough to take you seriously when you argue that Red Sox fans really weren't that upset by the 2003 ALCS, but that they'll REALLY be mad if the team doesn't win it all in 2005.

I can't imagine how you could be more wrong.

I also think you're confusing two different issues: Pressure from fans and media to win versus the difficulty in repeating as champion. The two issues are related but they're not the same.

Bleys
11-20-04, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by Prickly Pete

It's really tough to take you seriously when you argue that Red Sox fans really weren't that upset by the 2003 ALCS, but that they'll REALLY be mad if the team doesn't win it all in 2005.

You're putting words in my mouth again.

I never said they weren't that upset. They were extremely upset. They also said it was something they half expected to happen. Those two things aren't mutually exclusive. The reason I brought that up was as anecdotal evidence that many fans did use the years of heartbreak as something to fall back on to deal with losing. They don't have that anymore (and yes, were the Red Sox not to stay competitive, I think that would be extremely disappointing to most Sox fans, moreso than if they hadn't won a WS ring).

Also, I never said anything about the fans being more mad about not winning a world series in 2005 than losing the ALCS in 2003. That remains to be seen (perhaps if they lose in 2005 in heartbreaking fashion that would be the case, but we won't know until the end of next season). What I said was that there is more pressure now for the Red Sox to stay competitive than ever. This is true, and this is something I will continue to stand by.

Let me know when it's a good time to come visit you in "Let's Invent Arguments Bleys Never Made Land" ... bizarro world is starting to get cold this time of year.

Prickly Pete
11-20-04, 08:38 PM
There are a lot of Red Sox fans who post on this site. If you get even one of them to agree with you, I'd be surprised.

You seem to have no concept whatsoever of what it's been like to be a Red Sox fan over the years.

Bleys
11-20-04, 08:50 PM
Maybe we should take a look at what I wrote:


If it takes the Red Sox 86 more years to win another World Series title does this one lose some of its luster? In many ways, yes, and thatís the point. With the Curse finally broken, the Red Sox will be expected stay competitive. Thereís no doubt in my mind that John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Theo Epstein are up to the challenge, but in many ways the burden to win is a lot heavier now. It is no longer just a hope--itís a demand.

Remember that I've already clarified that I don't think there was really a curse (as in hocus pocus bs), that term was used because it is the most commonly used term to describe the 86 year world series drought. So substitute "86 year championship drought" there if it makes you feel better.

Read what I read. They read over what you guys have been trying to argue. See the difference? You've been trying to prove ................ wrong that I never said.

The simple fact is the Red Sox are now a championship franchise, and they will expected to be contenders. Fans and media will demand it of them. No one wants the Red Sox to be the 1998 Marlins, or the 2002 Diamondbacks. That's what I was saying.

I suppose you're hung up on the sentence: "In many ways, the burden to win is a lot heavier now."

That's win in general, not win the world series. And it's true. Can you honestly say a bad year this year would have been more disappointing than a bad year next would be? (It's hard to judge what people would think because of the inherent hypothetical there, that assumes they don't know that this year was the year the Sox win it all, but, logic dictates that a bad season during the WS drought is easier to swallow for fans than a bad season directly after the WS win).

NYPenn
11-20-04, 09:22 PM
"The simple fact is the Red Sox are now a championship franchise, and they will expected to be contenders. Fans and media will demand it of them."

And I think the point most people are trying to make to you is that it has ALWAYS been thus for the Red Sox. Period.

(Well, at least for the last 37 years, which is a pretty long time.) :lol:

Prickly Pete
11-20-04, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
Can you honestly say a bad year this year would have been more disappointing than a bad year next would be?

Yes!

That is so obviously true that it boggles my mind that anyone would think otherwise.

Bleys
11-20-04, 09:57 PM
NYPenn: maybe in Boston, but not in the national media. And I suspect it will be more brutal in Boston if the team turns in a bad season.

Prickly Pete: Well I'd say you're in the minority. If the Sox turn in a poor season in 2005, and especially if they go for many years without seriously contending for a World Series, most fans will be devestated. They will feel let down by the players and the management. And it will be more dramatic that if they had never won.

It's likely not really possible for you to divorce yourself from the fact that this was the year they won the World Series, but without that knowledge, I think you level of disappointment would have been less than it will be next year if they turn in a bad seasons. It's obviously impossible for me answer for you, but logically, what I'm saying makes sense here. Most people are rational, logical beings... so most fans probably would agree with me here.

Apparently not extreme die-hard Sox fans who take time to post daily at a Yankees website... but then, you guys represent a very small minority of Red Sox fans.

Prickly Pete
11-20-04, 10:15 PM
If it makes you feel better to cast people who disagree with you as being in the minority, that's fine, but until you get a single Red Sox fan to say he does agree with you, I'd suggest that's not your best argument.

cubswin
11-20-04, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
...
Prickly Pete: Well I'd say you're in the minority. If the Sox turn in a poor season in 2005, and especially if they go for many years without seriously contending for a World Series, most fans will be devestated. They will feel let down by the players and the management. And it will be more dramatic that if they had never won.

It's likely not really possible for you to divorce yourself from the fact that this was the year they won the World Series, but without that knowledge, I think you level of disappointment would have been less than it will be next year if they turn in a bad seasons. It's obviously impossible for me answer for you, but logically, what I'm saying makes sense here. Most people are rational, logical beings... so most fans probably would agree with me here.

Apparently not extreme die-hard Sox fans who take time to post daily at a Yankees website... but then, you guys represent a very small minority of Red Sox fans.


Actually, I think you're way off. Will fans be upset if the Sox somehow turn into a terrible team the next 5 years? Sure. But does that in any way take away from them having won? Of course not. Devastated isn't watching your team fail to win again. devastating is never seeing your team win at all, or having a loved one die before seeing his team ever win.

You dismissed the Patriots example w/o really understanding it, I think. People don't expect the Pats to win now b/c they won the SB against the Rams. They expect the Pats to win now b/c the won the Super Bowl the 2nd time and b/c they've won something like 27 of the last 29 games they've played. The Pats example is especially good b/c, w/the Pats, you always expected them to lose. At some point over the past 2 seasons, that has changed -- for me, at least. I now have the kind of confidence that I'd expect many Yankees fans have -- that somehow they are going to win. Same thing in the Super Bowl last year -- I was there, and rather than being panicked when the Panthers rallied, I had total confidence in the Pats. Contrast that to this year w/the Sox, when I was not comofrtable until the 8th inning or so of game 7 v. the Yanks, and I feared a loss in game 4 v. the Cards b/c of what that potentiually could have led to.

Now, I think your original point was that the pressure is now greater. I think you're wrong. Pressure from national media? Perhaps -- but then again, Sox have been national media picks the past 2 or 3 years. Local media? I don't think that's possible. Players and mgmt? I don't think there is more pressure after winning -- probably the same, or perhaps some letdown. And from the fans? simply put, no way. Sox fans expect the team to win every year, even when they're not that good a team. And most fans I know certainly will "give the team a pass" now that they won. Maybe that's not the case w/bandwagon type fans, but the good thing is, they don't stick around anyway, so who cares?

Based on your earlier responses, I now expect you to say that I totally missed your point. If so, do me a favor and please say in bullets/direct sentences exactly what your points are, and I'll try better to address them.

Bleys
11-20-04, 11:40 PM
You didn't miss my point, but you sure did prove it. Like I said earlier, the Patriot example helps prove it, and you just reiterated that. Thanks.

You say after the Patriots won you now have a newfound "confidence" in them. If the fans and media now have confidence in your winning, the pressure to continuing winning is less than when they don't have confidence in the team winning and they have nothing to prove. (Now, I'm not saying the Sox didn't have something to prove, and I never said they didn't have a lot of pressure to win the World Series, nor did I say that they have more pressure to win another, but I do say they have more pressure to CONTINUE WINNING and stay competitive. Again, it would be nice if people read what I wrote and stop trying to argue with me for things I never said.)

You also said you were "not comofrtable until the 8th inning or so of game 7 v. the Yanks, and ... feared a loss in game 4 v. the Cards b/c of what that potentiually could have led to" but now you have more confidence in the Red Sox. Same as with the Pats, when the fans and media now demand and expect winning (not just hope and pray for it) that puts more pressure on the players to keep doing so.

So thanks for proving me right. Much appreciated.

Pete: You must be really delusional if you think the majority of Red Sox fans take the time to post on Yankees forums. Fact is, Red Sox fans here are a minority. Most Sox fans wouldn't take the time to post on a forum like this.

CTSoxFan
11-20-04, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by Bleys

Prickly Pete: Well I'd say you're in the minority. If the Sox turn in a poor season in 2005, and especially if they go for many years without seriously contending for a World Series, most fans will be devestated. They will feel let down by the players and the management. And it will be more dramatic that if they had never won.

It's likely not really possible for you to divorce yourself from the fact that this was the year they won the World Series, but without that knowledge, I think you level of disappointment would have been less than it will be next year if they turn in a bad seasons. It's obviously impossible for me answer for you, but logically, what I'm saying makes sense here. Most people are rational, logical beings... so most fans probably would agree with me here.

Apparently not extreme die-hard Sox fans who take time to post daily at a Yankees website... but then, you guys represent a very small minority of Red Sox fans.

Yes, Sox fans posting on a Yankee website are a minority. THAT's a news flash.

As far as the other stuff goes, if you have any concept of what it is to be a Red Sox fan, you know that every loss has brought devastation over the years. Every freakin' one. To suggest that losing will bring greater devastation now that we know what it feels like to win is just plain silly. Do you think Cub fans' disappointment is somehow lesser than Yankee fans' disappointment since 2000? Is it somehow more crushing to watch your team lose if you've seen it win? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

cubswin
11-20-04, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by Bleys
You didn't miss my point, but you sure did prove it. Like I said earlier, the Patriot example helps prove it, and you just reiterated that. Thanks.

You say after the Patriots won you now have a newfound "confidence" in them. If the fans and media now have confidence in your winning, the pressure to continuing winning is less than when they don't have confidence in the team winning and they have nothing to prove. (Now, I'm not saying the Sox didn't have something to prove, and I never said they didn't have a lot of pressure to win the World Series, nor did I say that they have more pressure to win another, but I do say they have more pressure to CONTINUE WINNING and stay competitive. Again, it would be nice if people read what I wrote and stop trying to argue with me for things I never said.)

You also said you were "not comofrtable until the 8th inning or so of game 7 v. the Yanks, and ... feared a loss in game 4 v. the Cards b/c of what that potentiually could have led to" but now you have more confidence in the Red Sox. Same as with the Pats, when the fans and media now demand and expect winning (not just hope and pray for it) that puts more pressure on the players to keep doing so.

So thanks for proving me right. Much appreciated...


Actually, you either misread my post or just mischaracterized it to try to "prove" your point.

I didn't say that after the Pats won, I had a newfound confidence in them. In fact, I thought I made it quite clear that that was not the case: "...People don't expect the Pats to win now b/c they won the SB against the Rams. They expect the Pats to win now b/c the won the Super Bowl the 2nd time and b/c they've won something like 27 of the last 29 games they've played. The Pats example is especially good b/c, w/the Pats, you always expected them to lose. At some point over the past 2 seasons, that has changed.." It was not after they won once. It was after they started winning every game and won a 2nd time that I developed a newfound confidence in them. I trust you'll understand my point this time.

Also, please show me where I said that I now have more confidence in the Sox. I'll save you the time: I did not say that. Are you so intent on proving that you're correct that you are going to outright lie about what those who disagree with you said? I'll try to make this completely clear: re. the Sox, I fully expect that having confidence in them in crucial situations will take time, just like it did with the Pats.

Bleys
11-21-04, 12:07 AM
I understand what you're saying, but it still shows that winning adds more pressure, which was my point. Got it?

And you did imply that you had more confidence in the Red Sox now by the very fact that you contrasted the Red Sox winning with the anecdote about the Patriots. Sorry for misreading you.

I also never said that Sox fans don't expect their team to win every year. I'm sure they do. But the expectation to win is greater now that they have won, among most fans and the media. That's where the added press to stay competitive comes from (for the millionth time).

Let's assume both the Cubs and the Red Sox have losing seasons next year. Which is more disappointing? The Red Sox. Why? Because while both of those teams are expected to be competitive, the Red Sox are the defending champs and no longer the perennial losers (Cubs, White Sox, etc.).

So who has more pressure to stay competitive? By a slim margin, it's the Red Sox. Reason being, the media will be expecting a repeat performance (or at least continually asking for one), the fans will not tolerate losing (I'm not saying they ever really did, but it's worse to lose after you've won, and since you all keep telling me I don't understand what it's like to be a Sox fan, I'm going to tell you now you don't understand how it feels not to win after enjoying success... as a Yankee fan, I can tell you that's intolerable--1997 was worse than 1995 by a wide margin), and the management is quite obviously putting a lot of pressure on the themselves to put together a competitive team every season now. Conversely, the Cubs have a ton of pressure to win, but slightly less so because they don't have the added pressure of being the defending champs and the expectation to keep playing to that championship caliber.

Can I be any more clear? Well, we'll see after you all undoubtedly continue to tell me I'm wrong again.

cubswin
11-21-04, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by Bleys
I understand what you're saying, but it still shows that winning adds more pressure, which was my point. Got it?

And you did imply that you had more confidence in the Red Sox now by the very fact that you contrasted the Red Sox winning with the anecdote about the Patriots. Sorry for misreading you.

I also never said that Sox fans don't expect their team to win every year. I'm sure they do. But the expectation to win is greater now that they have won, among most fans and the media. That's where the added press to stay competitive comes from (for the millionth time).

Let's assume both the Cubs and the Red Sox have losing seasons next year. Which is more disappointing? The Red Sox. Why? Because while both of those teams are expected to be competitive, the Red Sox are the defending champs and no longer the perennial losers (Cubs, White Sox, etc.).

So who has more pressure to stay competitive? By a slim margin, it's the Red Sox. Reason being, the media will be expecting a repeat performance (or at least continually asking for one), the fans will not tolerate losing (I'm not saying they ever really did, but it's worse to lose after you've won, and since you all keep telling me I don't understand what it's like to be a Sox fan, I'm going to tell you now you don't understand how it feels not to win after enjoying success... as a Yankee fan, I can tell you that's intolerable--1997 was worse than 1995 by a wide margin), and the management is quite obviously putting a lot of pressure on the themselves to put together a competitive team every season now. Conversely, the Cubs have a ton of pressure to win, but slightly less so because they don't have the added pressure of being the defending champs and the expectation to keep playing to that championship caliber.

Can I be any more clear? Well, we'll see after you all undoubtedly continue to tell me I'm wrong again.


"Got it?" No. Because what you're somehow missing re. the Patriots example is that winning the Super Bowl the first time did not add pressure, at least not from a fan's perspective. (And, no, I can't speak for every Pats fan, but I know how most of my friends at home in Boston felt, and it was pretty much joy that the pats had won the year prior.)

What I will grant you is that, if the Sox win again next year, and in doing so go on a history-making tear, with 120 wins, that, yes, expectations in Boston will be quite high for 2006.

And even with the Pats example, I don't know if I'd call it increased pressure for the Sox, since they really are expected to win or contend most years, whereas the Pats were not. Increased expectations, though, would be fair -- assuming they win it again.

There's also a problem with the other analogies you brought up. Re. the Yanks, NY did not go 86 years before winning in '95 -- that's a crucial difference that you are overlooking. And re. the Cubs, I can tell you firsthand that the pressure and expectations don't approach that in Boston. It's a different atmosphere, a different dynamic.

The Sox absolutely will get a pass next year -- b/c if they start to lose, it won't be "here it goes again -- fire him, trade him" but instead, "hey, I don't really care, we won last year."

Bleys
11-21-04, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by cubswin
There's also a problem with the other analogies you brought up. Re. the Yanks, NY did not go 86 years before winning in '95 -- that's a crucial difference that you are overlooking. And re. the Cubs, I can tell you firsthand that the pressure and expectations don't approach that in Boston. It's a different atmosphere, a different dynamic.

The Sox absolutely will get a pass next year -- b/c if they start to lose, it won't be "here it goes again -- fire him, trade him" but instead, "hey, I don't really care, we won last year."

1. There's no problem with the 95 + 97 Yankees analogy at all. Why? Because I'm 21. 1996 was the first Yankees World Series victory in my life. Before that, I did not know the Yankees as great winners (in fact, I lived through some rough seasons). So for me, everything I said applies perfectly. Losing in 1997 was much tougher for me than losing 1995 because we were coming off a championship season.

2. The Cubs, well, you're obviously a Cubs fan and from the sounds of it you live in Chicago (by the way, I'd much rather see the Cubs win a world series than the Sox--I like the Cubs :)), so I guess you know what's going on there. But I was talking about 2005, not this past seasons. I think the pressure to stay competitive is greater on the Sox than any other team (except maybe the Yankees, who are are not so far removed from their championships)... the rest of the league, even the high payrolls teams, have less pressure to win because they are not expected to win like the Sox and Yankees are.

3. If the Sox start to slide next year you most certainly will not hear anyone saying "hey, I don't really care, we won last year." I listen to Rhode Island-based sports radio every day in the car (and it's all Red Sox) and I'd be willing to bet that if the Sox take a nose dive next year fans will be calling for Francona's head--maybe not all of them, but many of them.

Edit: just noticed your profile says "LA" as location... so how do you know first hand what it's like in Chicago?

cubswin
11-21-04, 12:57 AM
Originally posted by Bleys


1. There's no problem with the 95 + 97 Yankees analogy at all. Why? Because I'm 21. 1996 was the first Yankees World Series victory in my life. Before that, I did not know the Yankees as great winners (in fact, I lived through some rough seasons). So for me, everything I said applies perfectly. Losing in 1997 was much tougher for me than losing 1995 because we were coming off a championship season.

2. The Cubs, well, you're obviously a Cubs fan and from the sounds of it you live in Chicago (by the way, I'd much rather see the Cubs win a world series than the Sox--I like the Cubs :)), so I guess you know what's going on there. But I was talking about 2005, not this past seasons. I think the pressure to stay competitive is greater on the Sox than any other team (except maybe the Yankees, who are are not so far removed from their championships)... the rest of the league, even the high payrolls teams, have less pressure to win because they are not expected to win like the Sox and Yankees are.

3. If the Sox start to slide next year you most certainly will not hear anyone saying "hey, I don't really care, we won last year." I listen to Rhode Island-based sports radio every day in the car (and it's all Red Sox) and I'd be willing to bet that if the Sox take a nose dive next year fans will be calling for Francona's head--maybe not all of them, but many of them.

Edit: just noticed your profile says "LA" as location... so how do you know first hand what it's like in Chicago?


For you, that's the case, but for Yanks fans as a whole, it's different than from Sox fans as a whole. And as I said in my first post, maybe that won't be the case for some kid who moved to Boston 2 years ago to go to BU and adopted the Sox, but they aren't the bulk of the fans. I can guarantee that if the Sox are in a rough stretch as they almost certainly will be at some point, my father will say, dismissively, "they suck," as he has pretty much every year I can remember. But instead of continuing to say "they'll never win," it will be replaced with "at least they won last year."

I know about the Cubs from living there for years and going to dozens of games each year, though I've since moved to LA.

Is the pressure to stay competitve greater for the Sox next year than for every team save, possibly, the Yanks? Probably -- but I'd argue that was the case before, too. It's not from winning, it's just the nature of the fanbases.

And you're right that people will still call for Francona's head adn for trades -- that's true. It's not an either/or situation, like I said in my last post. But the edge will be taken off, rather than increased, by this year's WS victory (as with my dad).

Bleys
11-21-04, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by cubswin
I can guarantee that if the Sox are in a rough stretch as they almost certainly will be at some point, my father will say, dismissively, "they suck," as he has pretty much every year I can remember. But instead of continuing to say "they'll never win," it will be replaced with "at least they won last year."

I don't think most Sox fans will say that. I think most (most of the ones I know, at least) will say, "oh, here we go again..."


Originally posted by cubswin
Is the pressure to stay competitve greater for the Sox next year than for every team save, possibly, the Yanks? Probably -- but I'd argue that was the case before, too. It's not from winning, it's just the nature of the fanbases.

I can buy that. But I add, as I have been, that Sox have a new source of pressure to stay competitive: winning.

You know, I originally said, "in many ways the burden to win is a lot heavier now." I left that purposely non-absolute to avoid arguments like this. But since the point was attacked, I had to defend it. Again, though, I'll urge everyone to go back and read exactly what I wrote. I pick my words carefully. Then try to argue against things I actually said. Thanks.

Let me try one more argument here:

It seems that everyone says Sox fans have always demanded the Sox stay competitive and they will continue to at the same level. Pressure level: even.

The players will apply the same pressures on themselves as always. They are always competitive and they're paid to win. Pressure level: even.

The management is out to prove to the fans and the media that the team can continue being a winner. Pressure level: +1

The media will be all over the Sox to keep winning because they are the defending champs. Pressure level: +2

Other teams in the league will now be gunning for the Sox even more because they are the defending champs. Pressure level: +3

The Sox finally won the world series, so that's a huge weight off their shoulders. (Let's be generous and call that -2 because it's important). Pressure leve: +1

I still argue there's a net gain in pressure.

cubswin
11-21-04, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by Bleys


...You know, I originally said, "in many ways the burden to win is a lot heavier now." I left that purposely non-absolute to avoid arguments like this. But since the point was attacked, I had to defend it. Again, though, I'll urge everyone to go back and read exactly what I wrote. I pick my words carefully. Then try to argue against things I actually said. Thanks.

...The management is out to prove to the fans and the media that the team can continue being a winner. Pressure level: +1

The media will be all over the Sox to keep winning because they are the defending champs. Pressure level: +2

Other teams in the league will now be gunning for the Sox even more because they are the defending champs. Pressure level: +3

The Sox finally won the world series, so that's a huge weight off their shoulders. (Let's be generous and call that -2 because it's important). Pressure leve: +1

I still argue there's a net gain in pressure.


That's why I asked you to state quite clearly whatever points you were trying to make...

Re. your analysis, I don't think there's added pressure from mgmt. Clearly they were making a push last year, by signing Foulke and trading for Schilling after coming up short last year. I also can't imagine there being increased media pressure, given how closely scrutinized they already were. Other teams will be gunning for them, though I think that's less of an issue in baseball than in other sports. And the weight off their shoulders, I think, is enormous -- at least -2, as you put it.

And btw, to the point about the fans, of course fans will differ in their views. Are most of the people you know your age? If so, I wouldn't be surprised if they have a different viewpoint than older fans (and by older, I don't mean 60 -- I'm 33, which means that I dealt with 2 1/2 decades of losing, including '78, '86 and '03, where as a lot of 21 year olds might have been fans for only 5 years).

You know, it is a small sample, but when every Sox fan here is telling you there are no higher expectations, why are you so adamant in insisting that you know better than them? Yes, you know Sox fans from living in Rhode Island, but so does each of us...

Bleys
11-21-04, 02:48 AM
Most of the Sox fans I know are my age or their parents (20-26, or 50+ years old).

I'm adamant because 1. I'm working from logic 2. I'm speaking based on what I see in the Sox fans I know 3. I know the Red Sox media as well as any Sox fan since that's my local media 4. I watch every Sox game on NESN and read about every Sox game in the paper every day and listen to Red Sox radio (again, because it's what I get here), so I feel I know the situation well 5 I don't see my how judgements of the media and management are any less valid than other Sox fans since I am as close to the situation as anyone else.

The fact that 10 or 15 Sox fans on a Yankees forum (who I doubt are a reprasentative sample of the average Sox fan, since the majority of Sox fans doubtfully spend time discussing baseball on a Yankees fan forum, or any Internet forum, for that matter--I don't think I'd classify myself as an average Yankee fan, in that respect) disagree with me doesn't really give me much doubt in my hypothesis. And it brings up 6. my analysis of what I think the fans think is based on my interactions with a bunch of Red Sox fans in my life, if they're different than the ones I've met here it doesn't prove I'm right or wrong. It doesn't prove much of anything. But I still think I'm right.

Anyway, I do think there is added pressure from the management because they know George is even more motivated this year, they want to stay competitive, and they know winning again will be very tough (likely tougher). So the management is surely imposing more pressure on themselves to stay competitive. That rubs off on the players, I assure you. (Plus I said Red Sox, as in the entire franchise, and the management is included in that--I never meant just more pressure on the players.)

RIREDSOXFAN
11-21-04, 06:16 AM
Bleys,
Since you live in RI how about we meet somewhere and I provide as many Red Sox fans as you like so we can see if your theory is right? I respectfully disagree with you. You may be right about younger fans, but the ones I know in my age group (late 30's to 80's) is overjoyed the Red Sox won and much as we'd like to win it again this year, if they don't we'll just pop in the DVD highlights from this year and relive them!

The Patriots didn't even go to the playoffs the year after they won their first Super Bowl, and while there was disappointment, it didn't tarnish them winning the year before. You can stink the year after winning the championship, but it can never be taken away.

Seriously, I don't think you're going to win your argument here, and I would be happy to meet you somewhere and give you a different perspective on the Red Sox than the one's you've been getting from the people you know.

PM me if you're interested. Take it easy.

cubswin
11-21-04, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by Bleys
Most of the Sox fans I know are my age or their parents (20-26, or 50+ years old).

I'm adamant because 1. I'm working from logic 2. I'm speaking based on what I see in the Sox fans I know 3. I know the Red Sox media as well as any Sox fan since that's my local media 4. I watch every Sox game on NESN and read about every Sox game in the paper every day and listen to Red Sox radio (again, because it's what I get here), so I feel I know the situation well 5 I don't see my how judgements of the media and management are any less valid than other Sox fans since I am as close to the situation as anyone else.

The fact that 10 or 15 Sox fans on a Yankees forum (who I doubt are a reprasentative sample of the average Sox fan, since the majority of Sox fans doubtfully spend time discussing baseball on a Yankees fan forum, or any Internet forum, for that matter--I don't think I'd classify myself as an average Yankee fan, in that respect) disagree with me doesn't really give me much doubt in my hypothesis. And it brings up 6. my analysis of what I think the fans think is based on my interactions with a bunch of Red Sox fans in my life, if they're different than the ones I've met here it doesn't prove I'm right or wrong. It doesn't prove much of anything. But I still think I'm right.

Anyway, I do think there is added pressure from the management because they know George is even more motivated this year, they want to stay competitive, and they know winning again will be very tough (likely tougher). So the management is surely imposing more pressure on themselves to stay competitive. That rubs off on the players, I assure you. (Plus I said Red Sox, as in the entire franchise, and the management is included in that--I never meant just more pressure on the players.)


I still haven't heard any compelling reason from you why mgmt or media are likely to bring added pressure to bear.

Like I said before, the media is as bad as, if not worse than, that of any in the country. It helped drive a franchise player away. It frequently brings up the curse, etc. when things go slightly wrong.

Re. mgmt, when you've done all you could to win already, had the 2nd-highest payroll in the game, are decreasing your payroll, have full attendance and achieved your 1 real objective, I don't see how you "add pressure" just b/c your rival, who is always obsessed w/winning, is even more motivated. I don't think mgmt is now expecting to lose, I just don't see the heightened pressure part. If, otoh, mgmt were going to jack spending up to $150 to keep everybody they want and add 1-2 more players, I would agree with you wholeheartedly.

Re. the rest, you keep focusing on being right and wrong and how you're views are valid. That's what I was referring to when I said, "...why are you so adamant in insisting that you know better..." And it is a small sample. But there are 10-15 of us, and let's say that each of us knows 10 people well, who we think feel differently than you -- that's 100 people. And while it still may not be a representative sample, I don't think there's any reason that this group of 100 would have a tendency to skew in the direction we're describing, while the rest of Sox fans would adhere to your theory. I'm not saying you have to admit that you're totally wrong. However, a truly logical personal would conclude that he/she might be wrong in the assessment of the situation.

Maybe you should take RI up on the offer.

Bleys
11-21-04, 10:37 AM
That would be cool. It would probably have to wait until after Thanksgiving, though.

But if you read my post a couple of posts ago, even conceding that no extra pressure comes from the fans, I still think there is added pressure to stay competitive. Besides, in my articles (yes, article, whereever you are Jake), I said, "If it takes the Red Sox 86 more years to win another World Series title does this one lose some of its luster? In many ways, yes, and thatís the point."

That's an exaggeration, obviously, but the point I'm illustrating there is that if the Red Sox don't win again for an extended period of time, or if they don't stay competitive, this win loses a lot of it's meaning (not all of its mean, so don't argue that). One win in 115 years isn't all that much better than no wins in 86.

There was a man who just died last Friday in Syracuse, NY at age 113. He was alive for all 6 Sox World Series victories... the past 86 years were as hard for him as any Sox fan, so if it takes the Sox another 30 years to win again, it'll be as hard for you guys. That was the point I was making with the above sentence, not that one bad season is the end o the world. But I do think that given your history, most Sox fans won't be able to help but think after one bad season, "Oh no, here we go again."

NDBoston
11-21-04, 10:48 AM
Originally posted by Bleys

But I do think that given your history, most Sox fans won't be able to help but think after one bad season, "Oh no, here we go again."

You want the "curse" to be alive. You want 1918 to be there still. It's all dead. The biggest choke in sports history killed it all.

The Red Sox came from 3-0 down to win the ALCS. How any Red Sox fan could say "here we go again" after that comeback is beyond me.

In your Yankee fan fantasy world, I'm sure it will happen.

Bleys
11-21-04, 10:53 AM
cubswin: I think it was you who already said you admit the national media would put more pressure on them to keep winning. The Boston media will be just as a harsh. So there's a gain in pressure right there. The management is adding pressure on themselves to stay competitive because they want to repeat, and they want to prove to their fans that the team will stay competitive. Theo and John have both said a number of times they want to stay contenders in Boston. There is added pressure when you win a championship. I don't see any compelling reasons to the contrary. Plus, the Sox are adding a bunch of seats (meaning they are looking for ways to make more money, which is an indication that they expect to continue to do well). I wouldn't be sure the Sox payroll will be that much smaller if they resign Pedro at an inflated rate and go after some pricey free agents like Pavano and perhaps Ordonez (I think Nixon is a free agent, right? I might be wrong there.).

Bleys
11-21-04, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by NDBoston


You want the "curse" to be alive. You want 1918 to be there still. It's all dead. The biggest choke in sports history killed it all.

The Red Sox came from 3-0 down to win the ALCS. How any Red Sox fan could say "here we go again" after that comeback is beyond me.

In your Yankee fan fantasy world, I'm sure it will happen.

Yes. That must be it.

Cmon man, we're trying to have a serious discussion here. Stop mucking it up with your idiotic ideas. (FYI, if the "curse" was killed it had nothing to do with beating the Yankees, it had to do with winning the World Series... but that irrelevant to this conversation, much like your comments).

It's true that I don't want the Sox to win another World Series, but I'm a Yankees fan, what the hell do you expect? That does not play into my rationale for anything I've said one bit.

NDBoston
11-21-04, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by Bleys


Yes. That must be it.

Cmon man, we're trying to have a serious discussion here. Stop mucking it up with your idiotic ideas. (FYI, if the "curse" was killed it had nothing to do with beating the Yankees, it had to do with winning the World Series... but that irrelevant to this conversation, much like your comments).

It's true that I don't want the Sox to win another World Series, but I'm a Yankees fan, what the hell do you expect? That does not play into my rationale for anything I've said one bit.

Tell me how any rational Red Sox fan can say "Here we go again" one season after the biggest comeback in baseball history?

cubswin
11-21-04, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by Bleys
cubswin: I think it was you who already said you admit the national media would put more pressure on them to keep winning. The Boston media will be just as a harsh. So there's a gain in pressure right there. The management is adding pressure on themselves to stay competitive because they want to repeat, and they want to prove to their fans that the team will stay competitive. Theo and John have both said a number of times they want to stay contenders in Boston. There is added pressure when you win a championship. I don't see any compelling reasons to the contrary. Plus, the Sox are adding a bunch of seats (meaning they are looking for ways to make more money, which is an indication that they expect to continue to do well). I wouldn't be sure the Sox payroll will be that much smaller if they resign Pedro at an inflated rate and go after some pricey free agents like Pavano and perhaps Ordonez (I think Nixon is a free agent, right? I might be wrong there.).


No, I said that national media might increase the pressure: "...Pressure from national media? Perhaps -- but then again, Sox have been national media picks the past 2 or 3 years..." And I'll add that I'm not sure what the national media does to add pressure, anyway.

Yes, mgmt wants to stay contenders, but that's different from pressure to win it all. They've won 90+ the past 3 years, and they'll expect to continue to do so -- as they should w/a $120mm payroll. Personally, I'll expect them to win 90+, likely come in 2nd, and hopefully win in the playoffs.

The Sox may be adding seats, but nothing significant, and nothing that would be imperiled by a failure to win another WS. (again, look at the Pats 2 years ago, when they failed to make the playoffs after winning it all the year before -- their sellout streak didn't come to a halt)

And I don't think payroll will be "much smaller" -- but it will be lower, from everything mgmt has said, and it certainly isn't going to get hiked in response to the added motivation of George. (And they're signing Pedro, if at all, at several million less than he was paid last year, and no, Nixon is not a free agent)

NDBoston
11-21-04, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by cubswin


No, I said that national media might increase the pressure: "...Pressure
And I don't think payroll will be "much smaller" -- but it will be lower, from everything mgmt has said, and it certainly isn't going to get hiked in response to the added motivation of George. (And they're signing Pedro, if at all, at several million less than he was paid last year, and no, Nixon is not a free agent)

Management have hinted all year long they won't go over the luxury tax number next season.

In 2005, that's 128 million. That means payroll is coming down. I expect the Red Sox to be somewhere around 125 to start the season.

cubswin
11-21-04, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by NDBoston


Management have hinted all year long they won't go over the luxury tax number next season.

In 2005, that's 128 million. That means payroll is coming down. I expect the Red Sox to be somewhere around 125 to start the season.


sounds about right from what I've heard and the status of various players v. last year

Dabize
11-21-04, 11:30 AM
I find all of this rather interesting, since I'm not quite sure whether there's a net increase or decrease of pressure on the Sox to win. The drive to maintain position as winners is balanced by the release of the "pressure from History". I have no idea whether that's a net +1 or -1 or a wash. I don't think it's very important.

What HAS clearly changed in the past few years is the ownership. From Frazee through Yawkeys through Harrington, the Sox have never had owners who were both driven to win and who have had such effective ideas about how to go about doing so as they have now.

So I think that with the 2004 WS win, Red Sox fans have a tremendous sense of relief, and a new sense of trust in the front office and in the ownership (Theo and the Trio) to do what is necessary to win. There WILL be less backbiting and second-guessing about whatever decisions they make.

To get historical about it, this may be the first time that the Sox fans have had faith in the direction their team was taking since before Tris Speaker jumped ship for the Cleveland Indians in the fall of 1915 (not that I was there, but this is to give some perspective on the magnitude of the change). The faith we have in Theo and the 3 has developed over the 03-04 seasons, and it has been cemented into place by beating the Yanks and winning the 04 WS.

THIS is what matters.......... and THIS suggests that the Red Sox are unlikely to be a "comet", whatever happens next year, unless Theo and the 3 abandon the team.

cubswin
11-21-04, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by Dabize
...So I think that with the 2004 WS win, Red Sox fans have a tremendous sense of relief, and a new sense of trust in the front office and in the ownership (Theo and the Trio) to do what is necessary to win. There WILL be less backbiting and second-guessing about whatever decisions they make.
...


That's true for myself. Like w/the Pats, after the moves last offseason, and how the Nomar trade worked out, Theo now has carte blanche from at least one fan -- for a year or 2, anyway. :)

Bleys
11-21-04, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by Dabize
So I think that with the 2004 WS win, Red Sox fans have a tremendous sense of relief, and a new sense of trust in the front office and in the ownership (Theo and the Trio) to do what is necessary to win. There WILL be less backbiting and second-guessing about whatever decisions they make.

THIS is what matters.......... and THIS suggests that the Red Sox are unlikely to be a "comet", whatever happens next year, unless Theo and the 3 abandon the team.

I think that's only true until those decisions turn out poorly. If that happens, there will always been second-guessing. But that might never happen.

As for the comet, yes, that WAS wishful thinking on the part of a Yankees fan and a cute little analogy. I full expect the next few years to be very competitive in both New York and Boston.

Dabize
11-21-04, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by Bleys


I think that's only true until those decisions turn out poorly. If that happens, there will always been second-guessing. But that might never happen.

As for the comet, yes, that WAS wishful thinking on the part of a Yankees fan and a cute little analogy. I full expect the next few years to be very competitive in both New York and Boston.

Fair enough.

My point was simply that from the POV of a Sox fan, the worst of the "pressure" (perhaps I should call it "foreboding") is over.

It all still has the feel of Frodo waking up at Cormallen Fields for us...........;)