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  1. #76
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    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?
    Josh Catone

  2. #77
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    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).

  3. #78
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    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.
    Josh Catone

  4. #79
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    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...

  5. #80
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    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.)
    Josh Catone

  6. #81
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    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.

  7. #82
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    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.

  8. #83
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    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."
    Josh Catone

  9. #84
    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.

  10. #85
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    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.).
    Josh Catone

  11. #86
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    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.
    Josh Catone

  12. #87
    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?

  13. #88
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    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)

  14. #89
    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.

  15. #90
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    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

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    The Yawkey Curse is gone

    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.

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    Re: The Yawkey Curse is gone

    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.

  18. #93
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    Re: The Yawkey Curse is gone

    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.
    Josh Catone

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    Re: Re: The Yawkey Curse is gone

    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...........

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