I really want to get excited about this Red Sox team. I do. I’m probably in the minority, but I think the starting five might surprise a lot of people, the bullpen is potentially nails, offensively…well, they may get by, and, most importantly, there is no more blundering clown driving the bus.
But, really, it is downright embarrassing to be a fan of this team.
Holy Dwayne Hosey is Brian Evans’ “At Fenway” video an abomination. From the opening cliché of a boy witnessing the green grass for the first time, to the overacting antics of Sir William Shatner (I'm surprised there are no kazoo sound effects), right down to the terrifically awful verses (“No matter where you sit, you're in heaven for a little bit” – a line Evans is apparently so proud of, he pull-quoted it on his website), the video speaks to everything wrong with the Red Sox franchise; over-orchestrated and completely numb to its perception amongst the fan base.
If you thought “Fenway 100” was the end of the ownership’s cradling and promoting the dump that is Fenway Park, you’re sorely mistaken. Bereft of any recognizable player that “alternative” hats can latch onto, the Red Sox, of course, inked gimpy David Ortiz to a two-year deal, and are forced to milk every nostalgic cent out of the ancient ballpark, now entering its 102nd baseball season. I imagine John, Tom (snapping his fingers to the beat, of course), and Larry sitting around a boardroom table watching this humiliation, giddy over the marketing possibilities.
And thus, Fenway Park continues its downward spiral into becoming an amusement park, a “living museum” as Larry Lucchino once coined it. It does after all, have more plaques than any other park in the majors. Probably. People wonder why fans reacted with disdain over the news that the team was cutting prices on beer and hot dogs for the month of April? Simple, it’s demeaning. That’s the sort of promotion they try to insult your intelligence with in Miami or Anaheim. We’re supposed to be better than that here.We'll be angry on our own dime, thank you.
In reality, we’re not better than any other franchise on the major league landscape. Red Sox owners have transformed the beloved franchise into something reviled, a vanilla experience that has been homogenized and disinfected with endless selling and overwhelming schmaltz. As one friend said to me in reaction to Evans’ train wreck, “Every time we think they have hit rock bottom, they go and top it.”
The concession cuts reeked of desperation, a last-ditch effort to attempt and prolong their pathetic “distribution” streak. But newsflash, the bandwagon jumpers of the past decade have moved on. To what, I really don’t care, but the Red Sox are now left with having to market this team to…gasp…baseball fans. The Dr. Charles fromage that has helped define this franchise for the better part of a decade is no longer going to go under the radar with a winning team. The 2013 Red Sox may be entertaining, heck, they may even compete for the second wild card spot. But the fans are simply no longer ignorant to the overwhelming insults that the Red Sox take them morons for. If this were 2008, “At Fenway,” would probably result with a shrug of the shoulders. In 2013, fans are fed up to the point that the team can’t even give them a free hot dog without anger dripping from the bloodshot eyes of apathy.
“No matter what the score, you won’t frown any more. The magic that you feel when you see the Red Sox take the field.”