Monday, May 08, 2006

Back to the Yanks

A nice recap of all that happened just a short week ago when the Yankees came to - Boston Red Sox: Sox get to the good part: Finally can build on first Yankees chapter

To recap, former Sox cult hero and fan favorite Johnny Damon was treated like a villain, booed mercilessly as he returned to Fenway in pinstripes after days and weeks of hype and speculation about how the crowd would react.
Then, Doug Mirabelli was added to the scene. Who hasn’t seen that highlight of him arriving at the park in a police SUV by now?
The knuckleball-catching specialist was re-acquired by the Sox from the San Diego Padres, flown across the country in a private jet, and whisked from Logan Airport by his police escort with flashing lights and sirens. He changed into his uniform in the back seat of the SUV and emerged at Fenway with only a few minutes to spare to catch Tim Wakefield’s first pitch.
And, of course, there was vaunted Yankees killer David Ortiz cranking a three-run home run into the Sox bullpen against a forboding 25-mph wind in the bottom of the eighth inning. The blast came off former Sox reliever Mike Myers, the lefty specialist the Bronx Bombers signed with the intention of getting Ortiz out in such situations.

And that was just the first game of the season.

Ortiz was just being Ortiz, and I've talked more than I needed to about Doug Mirabelli's return. As for Johnny Damon being booed, well.. duhh.

What all the writers who are chastising the fans for is that the fans understand what's going on better than the writers do. The writers look at the players as people who are out there doing their jobs. The players may even be their friends.

But what fans understand, nowadays, is that nothing is permanent about players in your uniforms. We are no longer attached to players beyond their contract years. We root for the team first, players second. Too many players have come and gone in free agency. Too many shirts have been bought and then put away when the player who's name is on the back leaves town.

Nowadays, its all about the rivalries between teams. That's why A-Rod got booed when he came to town, despite the fact he was willing to accept less money to come to Boston. Yes, some players get cheered when they come back. But that's because we don't care about the team they are playing on.

And that's why Johnny got booed when he came to town.

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