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They should get a catcher who can throw somebody out.
They should get some hitters who can hit, some outfielders who can catch and some guys who are less inclined to run into and injure each other.
The people in charge of the organization should pay less attention to dabbling in sidelines like auto racing and concert promotion at Fenway Park and more attention to the faltering baseball operation. Surely there’s enough money to be made owning the Red Sox so that the moguls can go easy on maximizing the other revenue streams for a time.
And make no mistake, this team is faltering — unless, by the time you read this, it has stopped faltering because it can falter no further.
It’s April — night games are still prone to enhancement by picturesque snow storms — but it’s never too early for Red Sox fans to put the hammer down and accelerate through doubt and on into panic. It comes with the territory now, because the territory is a lot less interesting than it used to be, before the autumn of 2004, when the Red Sox won a World Series for the first time in anybody’s memory.
I may still be alone in the conviction that most fans of the team that had not won in their lifetimes were better off then, but those days bore an undeniable albeit perverse charm. During those days, Sox fans could celebrate their exceptional — if irrationally masochistic — loyalty and thump their chests in pride at the pain they’d suffered and knew they would continue to suffer, based on their faux-Puritan heritage, an alleged curse, and a lot of other equally fatuous malarkey.
Now failure is a disgrace provoking outrage, a disappointment rather than a bleak but somehow comforting certainty.
It was great.
But now that the Red Sox have won the World Series more often than the Yankees have since 2004, even though the Yankees are the defending champions, the faltering to which I previously alluded is less the fate to which Sox fans have been lashed by tradition and geography than it is reason to squeal, just like the fans of any number of disappointing teams.
The pitchers being paid tens of millions of dollars to get people out aren’t getting people out. The hitters making tens of millions of dollars aren’t hitting, and the fielders on this team supposedly built to prevent runs are providing Boston’s opponents with 30 outs a game.
And this is no longer a fate to be embraced and shared, the delicious pain for which one consciously registered when one chose to cheer for Boston. No, now failure is a disgrace provoking outrage, a disappointment rather than a bleak but somehow comforting certainty.
Oh, for the bad old days.
This program aired on April 21, 2010.
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