When the season started I issued a list of demands the Red Sox needed to fulfill in order to win me back after the dual Chicken & Beer/ Bobby V Era fiascos. The 2011-12 Sox had done the impossible: They made me hate them. Made me take pleasure in watching them lose for the first time in my life. I was a woman scorned, and I wasn’t going to just come crawling back because they wooed me with sweet talk about how they were fixing the problems or handing me a bunch of roses in the form of Big Papi’s extension. There were serious trust issues between us and it was going to take more.
As far as my list goes, it’s been pretty much a mixed bag. For every item I can check off (“Care More Than I Do”, “Don’t Be Dinks”), there are some they still haven’t gotten right (pay the price to stay healthy [see “Bucholz, Clay”], work fast, leave Iglesias at shortstop). And to be fair to me, that was a pretty reasonable list. I didn’t even have “Win” as one of my demands. I just wanted a team I can feel good about rooting for while they change the culture and I’d worry about making the playoffs next year.
Well we’re now 2/3 of the way into the season and not only am I all in, I can’t believe there’s anybody alive who isn’t. I mean, what’s not to like about this team? And this ride they’re on? They don’t have half of Tampa’s pitching, but they’re a game up. They don’t have the Yankees payroll, but they’ve buried them. They’ll go half the season without their ace because he’s got all the heart and toughness of a state worker, but they’ve got the best record in the league. But they’re getting walkoff wins, 3 shutout innings from a AAA call up, unassisted double plays from outfielders, guys tearing each other’s shirts off and, most important of all, they’re an impossible bunch not to like. They may or may end up being good enough to make it to the post season; there’s a long way to go. And I still don’t trust ownership as far as I can shoot a load. But win or lose, they’ve won me over. And to paraphrase the great Peter McNeely, if you don’t believe in them, then you’ve got a big dump in your pants. @JerryThornton1