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The Red Sox are good even if you're not paying attention

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  July 5, 2013 07:29 AM

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The Red Sox canít catch a break, can they?

All they have done to this point is compile†a 52-win, first-place season, only to be consistently overshadowed by news coming out of Causeway Street, Foxborough, and the outer reaches of whichever town Aaron Hernandez next infiltrated. Hell, the All-Star Game is within a fortnight, and we should be salivating and drooling over this team, one of the more entertaining Yawkey Way groups tossed together in recent memory.

But itís just impossible. and thatís through no fault of the Olde Towne Teamís doing, yet the constant cycle of news that continues to emanate from the Patriots (for better or worse), Celtics, and Bruins. Propose a similar thought four years ago and youíd be committed.

Yet, here we are. Instead of Dusty Two Sacks and the crew, weíre constantly obsessed with Brad Stevens, Tyler Seguin, and the goings-on at Patriot Place. Everything is cyclical at some point, but this is still foreign.

Happy 5th of July and all, but did you even realize your beloved team is doing something seriously special?

OK, in all seriousness, itís not that bad, but the degree to which the Red Sox are ignored lately is rather significant. Thatís not to be snarky about the sellout streak, or any sort of brick campaign, but reflect for a moment. How much time have you spent this summer talking with your friends about the Red Sox, and how much time have you talked about the Celtics? Bruins? Beer?

God bless Tom Caron, who truly is one of the best people in the business, but when he told us Thursday during the postgame that the city of Boston was ďbuzzingĒ about the Red Sox, I had to wonder if he had lost his zip code. Despite the fact that the Red Sox are a bright spot in a Boston sports sea of heartbreak and crime, they just can not, for whatever reason, grab the headlines.

Itís not that they are not compelling. They are. Indeed, they are.

Itís just that we tend to gravitate to the the bad, I guess. The controversial tends to have a lot more talking points than the fact that Jonny Gomes is one hell of a clutch asset.

(Seriously, Jonny Gomes. Worth every penny. Mea Culpa on that one.)

Then again, maybe now that weíre past the fireworks, hot dog eating contest, and Yankee Doodle Dandys, we can finally start paying attention to this team. Itís just so damned hard though when you consider the Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce trades. Rooting for first place in the AL East just isnít as compelling as the eventual next Hernandez boot to drop. Is it?

It will be. For a few weeks, at least, the Red Sox will be the topic du jour in taverns across the city until the Patriots open training camp and address how they so badly missed on personnel decisions. Until the Clippers, Nets, and Stars come to town.

Wow. The Red Sox have become the Revolution, havenít they? First place in the standings, fourth-place in our hearts.

Perhaps thatís a reflection just how badly Larry Lucchino butchered the 2012 season, or the simple fact that Bostonians gag every time Tom Werner likes to celebrate the teamís accomplishments in the press, but the brand has been tainted. Being a Red Sox fan in 2013 is like being a fan of vanilla ice cream. Or Nickleback.

Itís as generic as it gets, even as the cousins continue to make news.

For the baseball team we love to come back to the forefront, itís going to take a lot of patience that has been lost, and I think thatís pretty clear with the fact that weíve ignored this likable crew. Ben Cherington did his job. But fans continue to harbor an aggravation for these owners, as transparent as Windex.

But if you havenít watched the team on the field lately, youíre missing out. We all are.

Itís the most entertaining season weíre ignoring. The Red Sox. How is this happening?

It sure is one compelling summer. But you know what... I canít wait for fall.

Until then, we need to pay attention.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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