Amazing dark Fenway silkscreen by Daniel Danger. Used without permission.
Oh no. I'm not going to write a long, overdue post about the coming Red Sox 2012 season. Not gonna do it. I will keep it as brief as I can, since I'm not a paid pundit.
But I will say that I have reached a low point in my fandom. Always sketical of the owners, the Fenway Group, I have become conviced that they are simply disgusting human beings. I should know this about all owners of sports franchises. But John Henry now offically disgusts me. My only action is to ingore him. Yes, he loves yachts and Liverpool. Those are reasons enough not to like him. But his actions during and after the Red Sox collapse of 2011 sealed the deal. He's not a Steinbrenner. He's not a criminal. But he's living proof that wealthy Democrats can still be disgusting people. Party lines never matter in these cases. It's all about actions and words. He can split his time between Newport and Liverpool.
I have the little theory that people simply become wierd after their net worth passes a few million or so. We see it all over. They develop odd hobbies. They start demanding that certain no brainer foods be prepared a specific way (the stories about John Kerry's morning toast checklist during the 2004 presidential campaign comes to mind). They become OK with having servants enter their bedrooms and their children's bedrooms and open the curtains every morning (Dick Fuld). They buy big houses in the middle of Wyoming (Dick Chaney and Dick Fuld, again....never new urban Jews could love ranches). And they hire third party uteruses to give birth to late-life children (Bobby De Niro, is a very recent example).
Rich people. They're wierd. Moving on.
I probably have a bigger issue with the Red Sox fans. Just ten years ago, they were among the most rational and knowledgeable fans in American pro sports (up there with the fans of several NHL teams, I would argue). I'll do my best to ignore the younger Red Sox fans up north who don't seem to know their history. The males indocricane their girlfriends to become fans, don pink caps (and other feminine items), and get logo tattoos on their ankles. These poor kids. They don't know pain. They don't know frustration. Oh, but they will.
It won't be quite as bad as the 1984-1993 Yankees. But the Red Sox are heading into a quiet era, which could become worse if revenues unexpectantly drop.
So, here's my wicked short prediction for the Boston Red Sox. With no real shortstop ar catcher, they are at a defensive disadvantage. They have two outstanding pitchers, but the bottom two in their rotation could be breakouts or busts. They will get plenty of hits in their 100 year old ballpark. But they will have a depressing road record. They will be thankful to have an easy interleague schedule. But that's about all. By late July, they could be completely demoralized if they are swept in sweltering Arlington. I predict they will finish third in the AL East, behind the Yankees and Tampa Bay (although I'm not sure about the Yankees chances of clinching the wild card either).
I like Bobby Valentine. He should have stayed in Japan. But in Boston, he's already not handling the media or his players very well. Meanwhile, management is already working on lowering expecations.
So follow their lead, Red Sox Nation. Don't get too excited. The decompression period has begun. So relax. Savor that $10 beer at the ballpark. Go to the beach for a change. Finish that summer reading book list. This period could last a few seasons.
We seldom get comments here at MLH. So, precious readers, what do you think? Comment away.