For better or worse, we certainly struck a chord with yesterday's entry bemoaning the omnipresence of the bandwagon Red Sox fan. So much so that, voila, the work here for the day is done.
Venturing a guess, I'd gather about 75 percent of the few hundred e-mails we received agreed with our assessment about the annoying nature of the new breed of Red Sox "fan." Ten percent or so like having more and more fans, regardless of how long they've been around. Another 10 percent remains irked at the use of the term "pink hats" feeling it's directed solely at women, which isn't the case, but noted all the same. The last five percent had mostly to do with anatomic impossibilities and didn't really espouse too much further on the subject at hand.
Here's a sampling...
I could not agree with you more Eric. I've been to one Sox game this year at Fenway and I honestly have no desire to go back again this season. What used to be a haven of baseball knowledge and respect for the game in its purest form, has morphed into a combination of a Justin Timberlake concert and the Natick Mall. I feel obligated to lock myself in my house or my car for Sox games now. It's absolutely unbearable.
I've been a baseball fan since I could walk and now I won't even take the 10 minute trek down Route 1 toward Kenmore. That place has become the antithesis of what sports in Boston used to be all about: knowledge.
Sad, but true. You don't hear much of the phrase, "Most knowledgeable fans in the game" anymore, do you?
My thoughts on the pink hats are, "Why not?!?"
Put it this way, over the years, we've seen Dallas Cowboys, NY Giants, Green Bay Packers, and both NY Mets and NY Yankee stuff all over creation. And when it's too prolific, and you know that it's fair weather fans, but not for your teams, it bugs the daylights out of you.
These fair weather fans are being prolific about it, in every city in the US, for MY team!!! For the first time in my life as a matter of fact!
I don't care if there are people out there wearing Sox clothing that really don't understand my pains from the ‘60s on up. Maybe some of them will follow the team and begin to care from now forward. But if this peeves the living daylights out of just one Yankee fan, one Cubs fan, one Mets fan; then I'm happy about that!
My daughter owns a pink hat, because she's 10 and she likes pink, and I think it's really cute on her.
My wife -- who has an even bigger problem with the pink hat era than I do -- and I already have a memo out to all family and friends prior to our child's due date in October: If it happens to be a girl, no pink sporting gear. Can't express that enough. No pink Red Sox hats. No pink Steelers jerseys. No pink and white Patriots foam footballs. No. It will be returned. She can wear proper team colors, and if she someday asks why she never wore pink hats to Fenway, her mother and I will sit her down and have a long and difficult discussion with her about right and wrong. And if she then still wants to get a pink Sox cap, well, then it might get a little heavy for me as I'm quite obviously going to need to try to bribe her with something else more expensive.
I moved out to Los Angeles in 1999 after I graduated from college (Villanova) after having grown up my whole life in the south shore. When I first got here, one of my favorite things was going to Sox vs. Angels games in Anaheim with my friend from Boston that I moved out with. The stadium was always half full, by the 5th inning most of the Angels fans had left because the few hundred Sox fans that were there had worn them down and taken over the stadium. We didn't need the masses, just quality. There would be about 100 of us that moved down close to the Angels dugout to mock them and make them feel like visitors in their own home. It was fun, just the hard core fans enjoying being the enemy. I won't bore you with how it is now since it's been well documented. I'm not even really sure why I'm writing to you, just venting I guess. Thanks for taking the time, keep up the good work.
I attended my first Angels game in 1990 (Roger Clemens vs. Jim Abbott) and my immediate reaction was the number of Bostonians surrounding us in seats that furthered my amazement if only because my knees weren't flush up against the wooden seat in front of me. So, while plenty of folks thought I might be a partial idiot for assuming that there were not Sox fans littered throughout the country, that is hardly the case and in fact I said as much in admitting SoCal was a hotbed for New England transplants. But like Tom says, if you went to any road games over the past decade and then went to one today, you get what we're talking about.
I have to say, that was one of the most disappointing articles I've ever read by a Boston writer. I mean, I'm sure you a good guy and all, but WOW.
Are you honestly criticizing people for rooting FOR the Red Sox? Are you serious? You think when the Sox go away on a long road trip like they are now (which is supposed to put them at a disadvantage), that having thousands of fans cheering them on and chanting "Let's Go Red Sox!" is a BAD thing?! Are you really so self-righteous that you think the only people that deserve to root for the Red Sox are from New England? Or that have been fans since before 2004? PLEASE, get over yourself.
Seriously, before you right [sic] such ignorant dribble, think next time. Sure there are some morons who are so full of themselves that they think this way, but you as a writer are supposed to be the voice of reason, the people that help point the public in the write [sic] direction. I've lived in Massachusetts my whole life, and I consider myself as a big a Sox fan as anyone else. My girlfriend is from Chicago, but now she's as big a Sox fan as I am. I better tell her that you said she doesn't belong, huh?
Seriously, one of the dumbest things ever written. Once again, PLEASE get over yourself. It's just baseball. Being a Red Sox fan is something special, but we don't need to be the only ones for it to stay that way.
I think Brendan might have missed the point.
You must be running out of things to write about if the best you can come up with is how the Red Sox have too many fans. Am I supposed to believe that if someone is not from Boston, or if they have not been following the Red Sox for 100% of their life, they are not allowed to be a Red Sox fan? I will grant you that more fans certainly surfaced since the 2004 series victory; however, every team that wins a championship experiences an economic boom, as well as an increase in their fan base. Frontrunners do exist, but am I to believe that you are opposed to more and more people realizing the greatness of one of America's oldest sports teams? If so, then you belong writing for the Yankees or something, because I, as a NON-BOSTON RESIDING RED SOX FAN, found your article abhorrent, ridiculous, and offensive. Why would you even post an article like that for all of RED SOX NATION to see? Clearly, this article was in poor taste, and I'm extremely upset you chose to write it. In short, I hope you get hit in the head with a foul ball. That way, all of us fake Red Sox fans will have something unimportant and base to cheer about.
I think Paul might have missed the point too.
Wow. Ummm, pretty interesting article. And seeing as I am a transplant (from Lunenbury, MA), I'm kind of offended. But you can't please everyone.
I had to sit many a stupid A's/Sox game in that Coliseum Stadium, taking abuse from A's fans. And it always seemed they never won when I went to a game. Even when the A's would put in some small hitters with batting averages of .243 against Clemens - the A's would still win. (That's when Clemens couldn't beat Dave Stewart. Let your father tell you about those days.)
When I moved to Seattle, I found one thing refreshing - the fans here actually like their ballclub! That stupid woman you decided to quote is not the "common fan" around these parts. For crying out loud - she's from Spokane! Take a trip down there sometime and tell me that they qualify as representative of this area. The fans here are very passionate about their team. I went to a game against the Yankees last month here - loudest crowd I have heard anywhere for a long time. There's no animosity towards other teams, and they have no true rival. It's one of the few ballparks in the country that realize that this is, at heart, a game. When they beat the Yankees years ago in the playoff game, everyone here was "happy". Not crazed.
So there are a few fans who root for the Sox. They are not Mariners fans. Big whoop. And I bought my girls pink Sox hats - when they were in Boston. I make sure they wear them when visiting my family in Massachusetts just to burn "real fans" like yourself. I'm a real fan. I've lived with this team longer than you. It's OK.
That's when Clemens couldn't beat Dave Stewart. Let your father tell you about those days.
Uh, Marc, exactly how old do you think I am?
How good did writing that feel?
I was at that 2003 playoff series in Oakland, Games 1 and 5 (the D-Lowe crotch grab game) and that guy was right on. I actually became slightly concerned for my safety after my homemade "Reverse the Curse" sign (before Fox exploited that little ditty) got ripped out my hands, torn into pieces and thrown from the upper deck. Ahh. Got to love O-Town.
Funny, but this seems a bit familiar. When attending musical performances by a particular rock-n-roll band throughout the mid to late ‘90s, I seem to recall seeing many a fresh, young, clean face wearing dirty, backward ball caps and flip flops driving shiny new SUVs pull into ... the parking lot.
Hey, but I guess at least they weren't wearing pink hats.
Anywho, keep up the good work. Read ya every day during lunch.
Jess, San Francisco (originally: Somerville, ma)
A few folks brought up the Grateful Dead comparison, likening this era to when "Touch of Grey" sparked a whole legion of new fans. It's a fair comparison for sure.
I feel embarrassed to be a Red Sox fan, and that's not fair.
Well said. You're not alone.
I've been waiting for someone to write this article. I was living in New York City when the Sox won the World Series and rarely ever wore my Red Sox hat. It seemed like everyone and their brother had become a fan.
With some of the antics of these Red Sox "fans" I sometimes find myself embarrassed and apologizing for them.
I love the Sox but am getting a little worn out.
I have been living in San Diego now for the past couple of years, but I grew up in NH, I actually lived in the same town that Julia Ruth Stevens currently resides. I got to meet her and go into her house and look around. That would be another great trivia question for any Sox fan. Who is Julia Ruth Stevens? Anyways, living in San Diego is great I don't have to listen to people act like they love the Sox all the time, and I actually enjoy watching the Pads. This past weekend when the sox came to Petco I went to all three games. What an embarrassment "Red Sox Nation" was. I left the stadium and I felt like I was in Faneuil Hall after a long night at the bars or Yawkey Way after a game. The first night all I heard was Lets Go Red Sox! Or Yankees Suck! And Padres Suck! The second night there was just a bunch of fights and verbal assaults. That was followed be more taunting on the third night.
I don't hate the Red Sox I have been a life long fan. I just hate most of the fans. I think we should change the name from "Red Sox Nation" to "Homer Nation"
As long as we replace Wally with Dancing Homer.
I went to the games here in Phoenix in June and was amazed at the people in Sox gear. Most of these people had never been closer to Boston than Fox baseball on Saturday afternoon. The best comment I heard was in the men's room when some dope remarked how the rest rooms at Fenway were so much nicer than the ones at Chase Field. Now I haven't been in Fenway in 10 years but that is not my memory of the men's room at the old park. I just don't think that is possible but what do I know.
I was wearing a game hat from 1986 and someone in Sox gear asked me the significance of 1986. Go figure.
Evan, believe it or not you'd be amazed over what the bathrooms look like at Fenway. You’d be floored.
I liked your rant about the proliferation of fair-weather fans who know little about baseball in general and the Sox in particular. I think it probably happens when any team gets good. Remember all the corporate suits who started showing up at the old Garden when Bird was in his prime?
But please, I am so sick of the attacks on "pink hats" -- as though women are the only members of this new Clueless Club. No men wear pink hats, so the reference by you, by the Big Show, and by other desk jocks is clearly gender-based, and is just not fair.
I have a few friends who wear the pink hats for style -- it's a nice feminine color -- and like me, they've been fans since 1967 and have followed the Sox religiously since before some of you critics were born.
If your intent was to use the pink hats as simply a symbol of recent changes the Sox have instituted to appeal to new fans, then why not denigrate the "shamrock hats" or the "camouflage hats"? I suspect because real men wear those, and real men are real fans. Please.
So rant all you want about the bandwagon-jumpers. But please leave the pink hat references out of it.
I think we need to institute some rules.
1. If the hat in question bears the logo of the team on the field in the same manner of the players of said team, that hat must also tout the same color. In this case, red is acceptable, as it harkens back to the ‘70s, when it was the everyday color.
2. If the hat in questions bears the logo of the team on the field, but in a different manner than the players (Red Sox Athletic Co., No. 9, World Series champs, etc), that hat may be any color of choosing, including pink, green, camouflage, or mauve.
3. If a jersey in question is a home jersey, please do not stitch a player's name on the back. You will look like a fool.
4. Maybe we do need a new name for the "pink hats." Suggestions will be noted. Poseur Nation?
You don't have a clue to what you are writing about. Having lived on the West Coast (Oregon) and with two sisters living in Seattle (all of us born and raised in Massachusetts, were you?) I attended every game I could when the BoSox were in Seattle. If you took a moment to greet some of the very many Red Sox fans that were there you would find that many of them traveled a fair distance to get there. Check the plates in the parking lot and you will find many transplanted New Englanders that reside in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah. They are there because the love the Sox. As for Baltimore, Cleveland, Toronto, etc.; it is cheaper and easier to get a flight and game tickets than to stay in Mass. and go to a game. Even to go to Texas. I now live in North Carolina and was ecstatic to find that Atlanta has $1.00 seats. You should give up your job to someone who knows what they are talking about. You are nothing but a cussword.
Sure. But which cussword?
The term "Red Sox Nation" is itself a marketing strategy. Therefore, it is ironic that you attempt to distinguish "true members of Red Sox Nation from the card-carrying yahoos," because they are indistinguishable. Any self-proclaimed member of "Red Sox Nation" is one of the yahoos (aka: "the pink-hat-wearing, brie-eating crowd"). True Red Sox fans bristle at the term "Red Sox Nation." (Did you ever hear Ken Coleman utter those horrific words?) The true Sox fans are easy to find. We do wear our Red Sox gear, but we wear the navy blue cap with the red "B" and eschew the pink, red, green, camouflage, and every other Red Sox Nation-building color that is available. We don't spend $250 on double knit game jerseys. We also don't leave games in the seventh inning, regardless of what the score is.
No. No. No. No. No.
The term Red Sox Nation was coined by none other than Dan Shaughnessy some years ago (pre-2003) in order to group the fandom that was spread around the world. But true, the term has run its course now, which in a way is an even more telling point for our argument. How ironic that Red Sox Nation on the whole is more understood as a marketing sham?
Eric, I know you like to take a contrarian stance on issues just to get a rise out of people -- just fyi, you're more transparent about it than most writers -- but your latest piece deriding so called poseurs in Red Sox Nation was just plain mean.
Just for the record, I almost didn't pass Media 101 because I had an issue with aiding the campaign of a certain presidential candidate at the time, which was part of the class requirement. Whereas one had an office downtown, and my choice did not, there was little I could do for the cause. Now, if that's being contrarian for the sake of getting a rise out of my professors, well then I apologize for being transparent all those years ago. I'll keep working at it.
Eric: I read your stuff, usually excellent. but today's bit was rude. When any Bostonian comes to our beloved Vermont to ski in their brand-new geeky "North Face" gear, what should we do here? Turn up our noses? A little tolerance to any newcomer is a good thing whether they're a see-through greenhorn Red Sox fan or pathetic rookie skier. Keep the faith,
That's a good argument. Although if they're wearing a Bogner…well, then you really don't have a choice, do you?
Since you singled out Seattle, I want to stick up for *lots* of the Red Sox fans out here. I'm a transplant. I moved from Boston to Seattle in 2002, and even back then there was a surprisingly large contingent of Red Sox fans in Seattle. It isn't necessarily logical, but there are tons of transplanted New Englanders out here. (Perhaps we enjoy the similar seafood culture?) I disagree with Elliot Smith's assessment that pre-2004 the numbers of Red Sox fans "were no more or less than any of the other interlopers that mingled amongst the masses." We were here.
A couple of examples: I remember standing in line in February 2003 on the first day that individual baseball tickets went on sale. Looking around, at least half of the people waiting in line wore Red Sox gear. I was amazed. We all wanted to secure tickets for the Mariners-Red Sox series. Mariners fans are laid back and they don't stress about buying tickets so far in advance. There is a bar near Safeco Field that we jokingly referred to as "Cask 'n Flagon West" because there were so many Red Sox fans there drinking and cheering before and after the games. I distinctly remember a Mariners fan turning to me to ask "Where did all of you people come from?" This was the summer of 2003.
That being said, it is very different now. When I attended Sox-Mariners games back in '03 and '04, I participated in the pro-Red Sox ballpark chants. It felt "right" to show some hometown pride. Now, although I root for the Sox, I am somehow...unable to participate in the chants. I sit on my hands. It is not just because there is gluttony of Red Sox fans. You are right on when you say "Time once was that was a special feeling, a bonding across the nation with fellow fans who have either relocated or traveled with the team." I no longer feel a sense of solidarity with all of the other Red Sox fans. The "new" fans didn't suffer through the heartbreaking years between 1918 and 2004. Before '04, who in their right mind would actually *choose* to be a Red Sox fan? Suffering created a bond. It's easy to be a Red Sox fan right now. Unfortunately, no matter how loud they cheer, the post-2004 fans won't earn their Red Sox Nation cards until the Sox hit hard times again.
Anyway...I enjoyed your article - just go easy on Seattle because there really are tons of good Rod Beck mourning, non-card carrying Red Sox fans out here!
Kristin Cook, Seattle
It used to be that when I was in the airport on that horizontal escalator treadmill thing and another guy in a Sox cap coming the other way would pass me in my Nixonized Sox cap we would nod at each other the way guys in VW buses wave at each other. Now we see each other and just think to ourselves "Kook"
There's no crying in baseball and there is definitely NO PINK IN BASEBALL!
I'm not sure if you really read these emails and I can't believe I'm actually writing one (a really long one at that), but...
I just wanted to thank you for writing your "Station this wagon" story. I'm 25, been a Red Sox fan my whole life and more pertinent, I worked for Aramark at Fenway from 1998 to 2005. I was a cheesy 17-year-old when I started selling pizza behind 3rd base, wearing my El Guapo T-shirt, or my Mo Vaughn "Hot Corner" T-shirt (which never made sense to me as Mo obviously wasn't at the hot corner) to work. The greatest moment of my first season was when I was stationed at Stand 9 directly across from the Red Sox Club House. It was probably 3-4 PM (one of the good old days when the Sox tried to make the April games bearable for fans by playing at 6 PM) and the Hit Dog came walking into my stand, rocking the John Olerud style helmet for fielding practice, to fill a Souvenir Cup with soda. I gave Mo the cup and he thanked me with a tap on the back of the head. I was in heaven.
In my early years, every walk to the stadium was fun. To this day I still get chills walking over the bridge on Brookline Ave and seeing the Green Monster rise from the horizon. These feelings are matched by walking up the ramps from the concourse to the field level seeing the beautifully manicured grass. It is a feeling that will never get old.
The 1999 All-Star Game was definitely another highlight of my Aramark Career. After bouncing around my first few months I settled in at a Papa Ginos Stand on the lower level behind Third Base (heading towards Joe Mooney's office and the Visiting Club House). After getting through the strict security I stood in my "Daubach is My Daddy" T-shirt and watched as the greatest players of our era headed into the NL Club House. McGwire, Sosa, Gwynn, Big Unit, Australia's own and quasi-former Red Sox Dave Nilson, et al. walked by us like the gods they were.
That three day celebration of MLB was one of the most exciting sporting events I've ever experienced. Again, I get goose bumps thinking of what I consider the last great Home Run Derby that took place with balls flying out onto Landsdowne Street; a fly over that made me realize the might of the US Military, Ted Williams bringing a tear to the collective eye of every man in the stadium as he was mobbed by the current and past all stars (All Century Team I believe it was called). All culminating with the greatest pitcher I've ever seen, mowing down 5/6 batters faced (the other out a strike 'em out throw 'em out) leading to the All-Star MVP.
I think the 1999 team really connected with true fans. When you take a look at the roster it is amazing to think that they even made the playoffs. There were guys like Valentin, Daubach, Darren Lewis, Mike Stanley, Damon Buford, Bret Saberhagen, Pat Rapp and Kent Merker - guys who really had no business contending with the Indians, let alone the Yankees, but always seemed to come up big when the team needed them. Then of course there was the core of the Red Sox, Pedro, Nomar, Lowe, Varitek, Nixon, the core that stuck with the team through the 2004 season.
The 1999 Playoff run was unreal. The Indians series highlighted the tremendous offensive explosion on Labor Day weekend at Fenway and the series-clinching game five which featured Pedro's dominating relief appearance and Troy O'Leary's 2 homers and 7 RBIs. The not so good memories come from the annihilation at the hands of the Yankees, with the two lasting impressions being the late Rod Beck giving up a bomb to Bernie Williams and the phantom tag @ 2nd base. The 1999 ALCS seemed to initiate the rebirth of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry which had been quiet since the late 70's.
Was this "rivalry" the driving force for all the frauds to flood Fenway? It's hard to say, I do know that since that season, things have gone down hill. Corporate America slowly but surely snuck in to the creases of the old ball yard. Dirty old wool Sox hats have been replaced by the free Mastercard Bucket Hat. As you said in your piece, the idea of a hot dog or sausage at a game is now foreign.
2000 – 2003 Were some up and down years, from Lansing and Everett to the up and down years of D-Lowe, the constants were that Nomar and Manny were going to hit and Pedro was going to pitch. Everything else was up to the trash heap players that the Duke signed.
It was ultimately the 2004 season that led me to hate the Red Sox. A huge part of it was that I love Pedro and can't stand Schilling, so obviously part of me died when the later was chosen as the ace. An even bigger part was the way that Boston fans treated Nomar. This guy was the face of the franchise since he came into the league in ‘97 and he was tossed away as if he were Luis Rivera. I still can't comprehend why the fans turned on him the way they did. Was it really because he sat and pouted on the bench in NYC, while Jeter and Pokey were diving head first in the stands? Was 2 months of an athlete's 9 year career really all it took to turn him into a villain? These are all questions that can be answered with a resounding YES! Fraudulent fans root for whoever the talk show hosts on WEEI tell them to root for.
For evidence, one need not look any further than the 2005 team and its fans. 2005 was an absolute joke, the Hollywood Red Sox didn't stop their victory tour until the middle of July. I was actually happy when A-Rod welcomed Schilling to the closer's role with the 9th inning home run. I never in my life rooted against the Red Sox, but here I was cursing them and cheering for the other team. More than anything I hated the fans. On opening day ‘05 Anastacio Martinez's World Series was flashing on the jumbotron to an enormous "Boo" because the uneducated fans thought it was Pedro's. Pedro Martinez, the greatest pitcher to ever stand on the mound at Fenway was getting booed for being "selfish." All the while has-beens and never-weres like Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler were getting ruckus ovations as if they were integral parts of the franchise.
Fortunately for me, 2005 was my last season as an Aramark employee, I finally caved to outside influences (mom and gf) and got myself a "real job." I've been back to the ball park once, it was 2006, I got 3rd row seats right behind the screen for Johnny Damon's first game back in Boston. I think if I owned a Yankees hat I would've worn it. When Damon was announced I stood up and cheered. I cheered not just for him, but for Pedro, Mo, Roger and Nomar. Players who gave there all to win games for the Boston fans only to be turned on the second they leave town. Damon, who only missed 51 of 648 games in his 4 seasons in Boston; Pedro and Roger two sure fire hall of famers and arguably the two most dominant right handers of their generation, Nomar, who was the first right handed hitter to win back-to-back batting titles since Joe DiMaggio and Mo who was David Ortiz before David Ortiz. All players whose legacies will be tainted by this generation of frauds.
I've come back around a bit with the 2007 team. The team seems more professional, the pitching staff is young and talented, the shine of the 04 Championship seems to be long gone. These guys are out trying to establish their own legacy and from the looks of things, they may be doing it sooner rather than later. Nonetheless, I don't think I'll ever get that feeling back in the pit of my stomach that I once had when the game was on the line and the Red Sox had a chance to win. These days I'm sadly still ambivalent.
With all that said, I apologize for such a long and convoluted email. Your article inspired me... Now if you could answer me one question: Is there any truth to the rumor that Randy Kutcher and Kevin Romine were in fact the same man?
Thanks for your time.
Paul J. Lentini
There's so much to delve into here, I'd better stick with the most important topic.
Same man. I'm even wondering about Danny Heep making it a three-man conundrum.
Born and raised here.
I was 11 in 1975. I was crushed. Wearing my hat, waving my little
14 in 1978. Crushed.
(Insert "Too Many Men on the Ice" here.)
22 in 1986. Drunk, but crushed too, as far as I can remember.
...women look cute in those pink hats. We like the pink hats.
They look even cuter in blue.
You, good sir, absolutely nailed it on the head. On a recent trip to Vegas with some friends (guys who remember the late Ned Martin and Bob Montgomery calling games) we spotted 2 guys with Sox hats at a blackjack table. When debating whether or not to join them at the table, my buddy said "That doesn't mean anything anymore. They could be from anywhere." It was depressing to hear but it certainly is true.
Yes. But then again, on the bright side…
Pink hats inflame me. I was on Santorini with family on a vacation 3 weeks ago and saw a woman at a table nearby with a Red Sox hat, not pink. I asked her if she was a fan or a fashion statement...she said that she was a fan. We talked the scores of the games we had missed and it turned out that she is from Rochester, NH. Keep denigrating the pinks.
Caroline L. French
That's encouraging, no?
Well, Mr. Wilbur, I will say you are spot on. But only to a degree.
I can't stand a fair weather, trend-following fan of anything, whether it's my ball club or a candidate. I was first a Sox fan in '85, the year I turned 13, and find these Johnny- and Jane-come-latelies as odd and annoying as you do. But I would argue that the true Red Sox fan, like a true enemy, can never be destroyed. Like a true enemy, it can only be driven underground. And if the highest-priced tickets in the game, inevitable sushi stands and chords of 'Tessie' (a song I actually like, in the interest of full disclosure) yodeled in shades of pink drive you from fair Fenway, look for the true fans, tuning in at the beach or watching in the cool of a basement or by the grill on the back deck. There, the 'Gansett is cheap, they all remember Dwayne Hosey and you're always welcome. Even without the plastic ID card.
Perhaps that's even more encouraging.