Random Thoughts: Sox Wrap

Much like how I roll at a singles mixer, I’m all over the board.

-I’m sick of the Dropkick Murphys. When kids and moms start anticipating hearing your songs, but you’re not yet being played on Top 40 stations across the country, something’s wrong. It’s not really their fault that the Red Sox, NESN and Fox beat “Tessie” and “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” to death, but I get a feeling that we aren’t even close to hearing the end of them anytime soon. Stardom is great. Over-saturation is not.

(At this point, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention CK The Entertainer’s question as how exactly Aerosmith has been pushed out of the New England rock spotlight in this situation. If Papelbon is going to dance, why not do a jig to “Last Child” or “Love In An Elevator”?)

-Ditto all of the above for the Jon Papelbon dance. Our beloved feared closer is turning into a trick pony for the all too willing national public. He’s just starting out his career, people…is this the fate we really want for him? Maybe this? I like my closers ornery and unorthodox, not dancing buffoons. There’s still hope, but I think there’s a good reason why Josh “Stone Cold” Beckett chose not to follow up on his promise to dance if the Sox won a title.

-I, like others, was disappointed that the Red Sox championship parade was just two days after the World Series win. Considering a good percentage of New Englanders were draggin’ ass or absent (like me) on that Monday after, two days in a row off from work was probably a tough sell. However, I can definitely understand that the players wanted to get home after a long season of baseball though. Then again, what’s a few more days of being treated like gods, really? You think Alex Cora and Eric Hinske are eager to let this feeling go? Probably not.

Side note: It’s funny how the Boston media mentioned the players wanting to go “home” as the reason they didn’t want to stick around until Thursday. Considering they spend all but four/five months here and that their jobs are here, that’s a funny concept to me. My guess that home is double-speak for “getting the hell away from Red Sox fans and reporters for five months.”

-I really didn’t need to know that Curt Schilling wrote letters to his teammates in anticipation that he won’t return next season. It’s a great thing he did, but I wish some things were still kept private. This might sound crazy, but I don’t mind it when fans don’t know every single thing that happens between teammates. I think the sanctity of a clubhouse is one of those things that athletes will always have over civilians and anything they can do to help keep that curtain pulled helps with the larger-than-life aura they carry around. I realize we’re in an era where more and more fans are being brought past the velvet rope, but these guys are in a fishbowl enough. Back off a bit…

-Can NESN be considered a true media source? The parade coverage seemed more like the last day of high school as opposed to anything else. I felt bad for Tina Cervasio, normally a real pro, and her pandering act to the players’ kids and wives during the pre-game speeches inside the Fens and on the duck boats. Yeah, I know this isn’t Game 7, but still…

-Hinske, Royce Clayton, Brendan Donnelly and Eric Gagne will get World Series rings. The world awaits word on the ring fate for Wily Mo Pena (remember him?) and Jeff Bailey (you probably don’t remember him). The discussion on playoff shares and ring distribution was a favorite topic among my crew in 2004, especially when it came to Nomar.

-One of the topics I covered on NasonCast last week was the appalling media coverage given to the New York Yankees on Monday, less than 24 hours after the Sox had popped the champagne. While not much more can be said on the pitiful Scott Boras and his client A-Rod’s decision to announce free agency on Sunday night, a lot can be said on ESPN’s decision to air a SportsCenter special on the New York Yankees ‘Dynasty in Transition’.

The first item: New York hasn’t won a title in seven seasons. Boston has won two in four after not having won a single one IN ALMOST NINETY YEARS. Did ESPN just assume that everyone was tired of hearing about the Sox? Did they use up all of their airtime when they swept Colorado? What happened?

The second: For this special, ESPN trotted out Yankees superfan Mike Greenberg, Yankee apologist Buster Olney, Yankee announcer Michael Kay and about 121 other “experts” to discuss A-Rod, the impending managerial decision and everything pinstripes. I usually like Greenberg, but come on. Isn’t it up to him as a thought-leader for The Network to ask if this subject is relevant? If not, where are the editors and decision-makers? I felt all season long that the Yankees coverage on ESPN bordered on obsessive at times, the daily opinions on whether their season was taking off or sinking becoming nothing if not mind-numbing. In all actuality, this was a perfect bookend to a season where it became obvious that everything not Yankees was put not just on the back burner but behind the stove.

Finally, this team isn’t relevant anymore. (Did I say this already? It’s worth repeating.) I don’t care if they have a big payroll. I don’t care if they are in a state of transition. So are 50 other professional sports teams. I don’t care if they’re in a major media market. So are the L.A. Kings and New York Mets. I emailed ESPN ombudsman Le Ann Schreiber last week on this matter and I hope it’s a topic I see covered in her next piece. I cannot imagine I’m the only one complaining about this…or maybe ESPN has just stopped caring altogether about fair coverage. Believe me, the Sox get their fair share (Peter Gammons is a subject for another day), but if you tell me it’s anywhere close to the Yankees, you are insane.

Side note: I cannot imagine what it’s like to cheer for another team other than the Sox and Yankees. We must be the two most-hated franchises in baseball. Poor Kansas City and Pittsburgh, the latter of which announced their manager on the same day Joe Torre was named to take over the L.A. Dodgers. Great move.

You know, I think I’m going to call it good tonight. More on the Patriots and some incredibly invisible reporting following their victory over the Colts tomorrow….

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