Surprise, Surprise, Sour Grapes In Red Sox “Nation”

One of the best things about being a Yankee diehard in New England is, just about every year you get to experience a very entertaining
event here. This event usually happens late in the baseball season and sometimes
in early October. For people who experience this event for the first time, they
may find it pathetic or even alarming. Yet, for those us who have gone through
this seemingly every year, it’s one of the best parts of the baseball season.
The event? It’s the Red Sox "Nation" whine.

The "Nation" whine usually centers around the manager of the
team. He’s usually blamed for every loss. No, the "Nation" never gives the
opposition any credit, for it’s always  something the manager did that cost
the "Fenway Faithful" a much desired win.  Sometimes, the whine is directed
at a Theo Epstein free-agent signing that has gone bust on Yawkey Way. Other
times, the whine is directed at the umpires. You know, they’re all against the
Red Sox. But more than a manager, a poor free agent signing, or an umpire, the
whining is usually directed at the 26-time world champion, New York Yankees.

Today (August 7th) the official whining season began here in
New England, and not to my surprise, it was directed at the surging New York
Yankees who are in the process of erasing a 14 1/2 game Boston lead that was
established on May 29th. The only thing that surprised me about this whine, was
I couldn’t figure out who was more pathetic, the fans or the New England media.

You see Yankee fans, today in New England, the Boston fans
and New England media weren’t talking about the rise of Melky Cabrera and
Robinson Cano. They weren’t talking about the consistent hitting of Jorge Posada
nor Derek Jeter. Nothing was said about Hideki Matsui’s fabulous July. 
They didn’t mention Bobby Abreu’s offensive surge, nor the dominating pitching
of Mariano Rivera.  No, the self-proclaimed "most knowledgeable fans in
baseball" and the astute Boston media ignored all this, and pointed to the
Yankees "easy schedule" as being the reason why the Yankees are closing in on

Most of the papers around here have pointed out  "there
is nothing to worry about" because soon, the Yankees will be playing "tough
teams". The local sports shows were flooded with whining Red Sox fans saying the
same thing.  Mind you, we heard nothing about "easy" teams when the Red Sox
had a 14 1/2 game bulge on May 29th, but now, that the lead is shrinking at an
alarming rate,  the whine is focused on the Yankees playing "easy" teams.

All the talk today about "easy" and "tough" teams, and lack
of talk about the real reason why the Yankees are winning, once again proved to
me that the label "most knowledgeable fans" and "astute media" should not be
given around here. The whine got so bad today, that I spent some time to look up
how both New York and Boston fare against "tough" and "easy" teams.

I went back to June 1’st (and stopped
after the last started series in July), and took a look at the Yankees and Red
Sox series wins against "tough" and "easy" teams. Interestingly enough, June
1’st started the second straight series win the Yankees had against a "tough"
team, the Boston Red Sox. Here are the results:

Series won against +.500 teams    
New York  5     Boston   4

Series lost against +.500 teams    
New York  2     Boston   3

Series won against -.500 teams    
New York  7     Boston    5

Series lost against -.500 teams    
New York  3     Boston    3

Series tied against -.500 teams   
New York  0     Boston    2


Not much difference is there? Keep in mind, this is two
months worth of data. Now when Boston was running away with the division, I
didn’t hear any member of Red Sox "Nation" or any member of the local media talk
about "easy" teams.  Yet now that the Yankees are on a tear, the reason
that is being thrown around here is, they are playing "easy" teams.

Now you may ask how could almost everyone around here miss
the actual reasons why the Yankees are surging? Well, members of the "Nation"
and the media,  were too busy writing off the Yankees in May.  Too
much time was being spent on planning an "elimination day" and not enough time
was being spent on the real reasons (an unbelievable amount of injuries to the
starting rotation, and slumps by Abreu, Matsui, and Cano) why this Yankee team
got off to a slow start.

According to the whiners here, soon the Yankees will start
playing those "tough" teams. So now, if the Yankees win series against those
teams, what will be the excuse then?  You guessed it, Red Sox "Nation" and
the media will just blame the manager.



One comment



    Just a note to let you know, as the baseball season draws down, that the NY Yankee baseball team’s claim to have “won more sports championships than any other team” is not correct. This clam seems to be made once in every TV broadcast of Yankee games.

    At least one team, the Gaelic Athletic Association’s Kerry Team (the Kingdom is the nickname) has won 34 to date and is going to try for their 35th on Sunday, September 16, 2007.

    Kerry won their first championship, beating London in 1903, the year the Yankees moved their franchise from Baltimore to New York. Kerry lost at the old NY Giants field, the Polo Grounds in 1947. That much-recounted championship game was replayed as a National League game on its 50th anniversary in 1997 in NYC at Downing Stadium on Randal’s Island of west 125 street.

    Kerry won this rematch in a well attend game that drew spectators from Europe, Australia and the Far East. Former Mayor Giuliani was part of the festivities. I talked with him myself. I also attended the 1947 game at the Polo Grounds.

    From Wikipedia Encyclopedia


    Gaelic football History

    Kerry are the most successful team in Gaelic football. They have won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship on 34 occasions. The county holds a number of distinctive records in football championship history. Kerry has played in more All-Ireland finals than any other team – 52 in all as of 17 September 2006. Although Wexford has the honour of being the first team to win four-in-a-row, Kerry has won four consecutive titles on two occasions (1929-1932 and 1978-1981).

    The Kerry team of the 1970s and 1980s is considered one of the greatest of all time. Of the 20 All-Ireland finals held during those two decades, Kerry participated in 12, with victory coming on 9 occasions. In 1982, Kerry came within one minute of winning an unprecedented fifth All-Ireland title in a row. However, a late goal by Offaly’s Séamus Darby snatched victory away from the Kingdom. This goal was voted third in a poll to find the Top 20 GAA Moments.

    Towards the end of the 1980s Kerry went into decline and failed to appear in an All-Ireland final for 10 years having last appeared in 1986 and not again until 1997. This however markeed the beginning of another Kerry golden era of sorts. Of the last 10 all Irelands, Kerry have contested 6 and won 4. Many have spoke of teams like Armagh and Tyrone, who have both beaten Kerry in recent finals, as becoming successors to Kerry’s reign but Kerry have come back time and again and are the current 2006 champions. All-Ireland Senior Football Championships: 34

    1903, 1904, 1909, 1913, 1914, 1924, 1926, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1953, 1955, 1959, 1962, 1969, 1970, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006 ”

    Also, check the Webb at

    All the best

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