Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax. Of World Series and Princes. Why Boston Fans are Boiling Mad and Dirty Laundry Rinses.

World Series Here They Come
Cardinals and Rangers it is! It may not be the World Series matchup I was envisioning at any point this season, but if the LDS and LCS were any indication, this should be a fun series. So I’ll be rooting for the Cardinals then. It’s petty, to be sure. But I just can’t root for the team that took the AL-West. The Rangers absolutely deserve to be where they are. They have one of the scariest line-ups in baseball and have played lights out all season long. But, call it sour grapes, call it immaturity as a fan, darned if I can bring myself to root for them. That said, if the Cardinals want to beat these guys and end the season as World Series champions, as I hope they will, their starting rotation needs to be more consistent. I don’t think you’re going to be able to give up three homeruns to the Rangers in the first two innings and still pull off a win. Although, crazy, amazing things have been happening for the last month or so. And a come from behind, spoiler of a team that inspires Tony La Russa to disturbing acts of cuteness – Who knew he had it in him? – might just be able to do anything.

Prince Fielder
I am tired of hearing the about the supposed inevitability of Prince Fielder leaving Milwaukee this winter spoken in the sad, hushed tones usually reserved for a terminal cancer diagnosis. “Oh, woe is us! If only there were something anyone could do.” No one passed a law decreeing this must be so. I don’t even recall a petition. And it’s not prophecy. No watery tart rose from a movie set in Python-esque fashion to extend the legendary bat ex-sluggingcalibur to a couple of gits standing there with coconut shells (or would that be peanut shells in this baseball version?). There is something someone can do about it. Prince Fielder can decide to accept the offer Milwaukee is certain to extend and stay.

Strange tractor beam like market forces do not just snatch free agents up and move them from team to team against their will. Free agents make decisions. And as far as decisions go, it’s not as if Prince Fielder is going to be asked to choose between untold riches and a modest living wherein if he saves wisely someday he might be able to send one of his kids to college. He will be asked to choose between millions and even more millions. That said, there is nothing evil or wrong with choosing even more millions. This is a personal, long term career decision and money is an extremely compelling, understandable argument. However, athletes do make decisions for personal reasons too. It’s not as if that just isn’t done. Cliff Lee prefers to play in Philly, even if they weren’t the highest bidder. Jered Weaver preferred not to test the free agent market because he already knew where he wanted to spend his career and didn’t want to haggle indefinitely. So, if Prince Fielder really doesn’t want to leave the Brewers, he doesn’t have to. He can choose to stay. And if he does choose to leave for a higher bidder it will be because there is something he wanted more than he wanted to stay with the Brewers and that’s all there is to that. Not an inevitable tragedy, just a career decision…and one that despite all of the speculation, Fielder has not actually made yet, or at least not made public.

Boston Dirty Laundry
I find what happened in Boston disturbing. No, not the collapse. Not even the finger pointing. A certain amount of that is only to be expected after such a disappointment. No, it was the anonymous, public and extremely personal nature of the finger pointing in the Boston Globe article. The tales of bad attitudes, slacking work ethics, drinking and a manager’s marital and alleged medicinal woes? Back in the day, this is the kind of stuff you would only hear about years later when someone involved decided to spice up a memoir with a few tell alls, if you ever heard about it at all.

And there’s a reason for that: it’s completely unproductive. Airing this sort dirty laundry so very publically doesn’t help a team. It doesn’t help the fans. And it doesn’t help a front office fix problems and move forward. And the anonymous source(s) who provided the dirt know that. No one is going to turn around six months from now and say, “You know what the turning point was? It was that article. It really helped everyone sit down together as a team and pledge to work harder together for a better 2012.” And it bothers me that someone who is close enough to a team to have this kind of information (allegedly – anonymous sources and all that.) would, instead of using it in some productive way, choose to use it to strike out at a team for their own reasons (which, depending on who you think the source(s) is, could be any number of things). The reason I bring this up is not to beat up on Boston. I don’t think this is a uniquely Boston thing at all. But when it comes to this sort of information, I do think that sometimes the old ways are best. Save it for the memoir, when it no longer matters if it’s productive or not anymore and you have to have the guts to put your name on it.

8 Comments

Here’s to hoping we put a hurtin’ on the Rangers for ya, Kristen!!! As for starting pitching, who needs it when ya got a bullpen like we have?! I agree though, it would be nice if our starters could go past three innings of work. WE WILL. I feel it!
–Jeff

Your bullpen is absolutely sick Jeff, that’s for sure. I think your starters can rock this too – Carpenter going toe to toe with Halliday in Game 5 was one of the best pitchers’ duels I’ve seen all season. I’ll be rooting for them.

– Kristen

What happened to the Red Sox and how it happened is almost too good for real life. As for Lackey, Beckett, and Lester, they should be totally ashamed of their spoiled selves after what they did. So many players in this league don’t get paid even close to as much as them, but are still out there working their butts off every game. They are a disgrace to baseball.
The Rays Rant- http://yossif.mlblogs.com/

I don’t know that it’s what they did Yossif, so much as the timing of what they did. Some of the funniest stories in baseball lore are tales of players, especially pitchers, goofing around during the game. But those all revolve around teams that were doing well or were so far out of it, it wasn’t even funny. But it stopped being all fun and games when the downward spiral started. That said, I highly doubt the Red Sox September played out the way it did just because of beer and chicken, even with the attitude that went with it…and, not to take away from Popeye-gate being a bad, bad idea, I still say we don’t know the whole story. The anonymous source clearly had a motive and I doubt fully enlightening Boston fans was that motive.

– Kristen

I’m glad I’m not the only one that can’t bring themselves to root for Texas. I’m just too bitter, I almost cried when we traded Napoli. I’m still crying. I wanted a Rays-Diamondbacks series but I’ll put my faith in St. Louis. My dad always liked the Cards because he says they took good care of his favorite Angels when they left.

P.S. I laughed so hard at your Monty Python reference. :)

Yeah, maybe next year we’ll be less petty about these things, Laura, and as a reward not have to demonstrate our new found maturity because we’ll be able to root for the Angels the whole way through. I’m pleased to meet a fellow Python fan. I love throwing silly stuff in with the baseball. :)

– Kristen

Kristen-I’ll be pulling for the Cardinals in this one, too. I am just a bitter fan also, and can’t root for the team that eliminate, er…embarassed, the Tigers. No way. I think that Fielders staying with the Brewers is a possibility, and I wouldn’t mind seeing that. The big two of Boston and New York have first base wrapped up, anyway. Speaking of Boston…I agree that the clubhouse doors need to be closed to the public. Not our business, I don’t think.
–Mike

I would like to see Prince stay too Mike. I like the idea of some home grown prospects always being one team guys their whole career. Ditto Pujols, actually.

– Kristen

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