Rocket to Red Sox? Can They Again Be a Happy Family?
My friend Mike directed me to this Dan Shaughnessy article on The Boston Globe Online, in which Shaughnessy proposes a return to Fenway for potential (if he loses his mind) free agent Roger Clemens. He points to the fact that Dan Duquette, the Clemens-hated Red Sox GM, is no longer in town, that Clemens remains tied with Cy Young franchise wins, and that his return would solidify the status of his cap (?) when he poses for his Hall-of-Fame plaque. All winning arguments (in Bizarro world), but Shaughnessy forgets that the rabid Red Sox fans were ready, undeservedly, to run Clemens out on a rail six years ago. Clemens hasn;t forgotten. Heseems to savor pitching against the Red Sox-he owns a 4-2 record against them as a Yankee (though he did get blown out by them on May 24 of this year).
Shaughnessy epitomizes the perfect Red Sox fan. First, blame everything that has ever happened to the team on a player trade-arguably the best player ever-that occurred over 80 years ago (Curse of the Bambino. Then grasp for every player that has become available since the Mookie ball passed under Buckner's derriere in an effort to find the one missing piece. The Red Sox fans are the greatest in the world because they are so pathetic-I mean that in the original sense:
Etymology: Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French pathetique, from Late Latin patheticus, from Greek pathEtikos capable of feeling, pathetic, from paschein (aorist pathein) to experience, suffer -- more at PATHOS
The Red Sox fan places him- or herself at the center of a great melodrama. My wife is a psychologist, and she would call them paranoid schizophrenics. There is another term for their approach to their team-pathetic fallacy: the ascription of human traits or feelings to inanimate nature (as in cruel sea). The Red Sox are some cruel torture established by God to torment Man, they wholeheartedly believe (Try being a Phillies fan).
They feel that if they can get good ol' Rocket to forgive them and mend fences with the Sox, all will be well with the world. Well, Rocket will be 41 next year, Pedro can't seem to complete an entire year, Lowe may be a one-year wonder, etc. The Red Sox have cobbled together a pitching staff and a lineup for too long. Even charity gifts from the commissioner (read Floyd) can't seem to turn it around for them. They've spent over $100 million a year on salary the past two years and have nothing to show for it. As long as they keep thinking that the arey one Jose Offerman away from winning the World Series, this team will be filed under the also-ran rubric.