If September of 2011 didn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth as a Red Sox fan, then you just weren’t paying attention. I’m sure there were plenty of fair-weathers (the old school term I prefer instead of pink hat) turning on their flat screens on September 30th wondering what the hell channel the Red Sox game was on. My bet is those are the same fans that jumped off the bandwagon and are currently trashing the team whenever prompted today. Truth be told I don’t really care if those fans come back. Sure they may have had something to do with the Red Sox payroll ballooning up over $150 million, but it has been proven time and time again that it doesn’t take that kind of money to have the honor of raising the Commisioner’s Trophy so I am good with the faux-fans disappearing.
As I read content from other blogs and sports websites, there seems to be a great deal of Red Sox bashing going on. I am not going to sit here and defend what happened in September, but what I will say is this team is still stacked. I will be doing plenty of roster posts during spring training, but for a quick pragmatic synopsis; the Sox had to replace their closer, number 7 and 8 hitters, and number 4 and 5 starters from opening day last year. I wouldn’t say that is completely detrimental to what was being touted as possibly the greatest team ever assembled going into last season.
Sure the bandwagon had to stop for gas and everyone had to get out and stretch their legs, however when it came time to get rolling again it seems a large number of folks decided not to continue the voyage. I’m okay with this, it gives all of us die-hards a little more leg room.
Even the greatest of Red Sox fanatics’ patience was tested last fall. Nobody liked what went down, but the fact of the matter is the team as constituted is still very talented. There are questions with health, the bullpen, and the back end of the rotation, but find me a team in baseball that doesn’t have any of these issues…you can’t.
So sign me up for another 162 game grind. The AL got stronger in the off-season, so it will be a battle for the Sox, but that doesn’t mean the season is lost. Hell Vegas has them at 8-1 only behind the Phillies, Yankees, and Angels.
Maybe with the fair-weather Red Sox fan population decreasing I can actually buy a weekend game ticket for a June game without having to go to the secondary ticket market. Unfortunately they will be crowding up The Cask N’ Flagon again by then if the Sox are in first place.