Dan Shaughnessy has some advice for Red Sox fans.
Some might look at all of the above and have negative thoughts. Not me. I have seen the light. I am buying the plan. This isn’t about this year. Never was. The Sox are planning on being great in 2007 and even better in 2008. Let those foolish New Yorkers delude themselves into thinking that the future is now. We know better. We watch the Red Sox.
I can’t understand how such a relentlessly negative person has been able to profit so much from said attitude. Is his “popularity” (assuming it exists) due to some sort of latent masochism on the part of Red Sox fans? The man created the so-called “Curse of the Bambino” and profited from it for twenty years. His columns come fast and furious when the Sox are having trouble—more than a dozen so far in August—whereas in July he wrote two pieces on the Sox, from what I could find (both were warnings that the Sox weren’t really doing that well and that, regular as death and taxes, the Yankees would soon reassert their dominance). Maybe he was on vacation in July, I don’t know. But he sure made himself available when the Sox started having trouble. He’s like one of those guys in Harvard Square with “The End is Near” boards depicting a fiery apocalypse.
As a casual Red Sox fan, I read Shaughnessy’s columns and see a man who doesn’t seem to like the Red Sox at all. As a writer, I can tell that Shaughnessy really pulls out all the stops for the sarcasm-laden pieces like the one above. Do people enjoy reading such schadenfreude-laden diatribes?
In a recent piece on the alleged despair of Red Sox Nation, the Globe‘s Bob Ryan wrote,
The truth is that in this perverted sports climate, the other team is never just allowed to be better, even for a day, let alone a series or a season. No, no. Blame must be affixed. Heads must be severed.
Once upon a time, losing brought a brief period of sorrow. Now it brings rage. The rest of the season, I fear, will not be much fun.
The truth is we need to sit down and figure out what sports are all about. We’ve lost our way.
I think Ryan makes a good point here. And if he wants to help get us back on track, he can start by convincing his bosses to give the boot to the number one source of provocation: Dan Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy’s “advice” column above essentially makes the argument (in highly sarcastic fashion) that we ought to be pissed at Theo & Co. for daring to suggest they’d rather not blow their entire wad on trades in a second-half already dogged by injuries to key players; we ought to be outraged, Shaughnessy suggests, that the Red Sox management aren’t risking future seasons for this one just two years after winning a World Series. Isn’t that exactly the kind of attitude Ryan is arguing against?
I admit it: I don’t follow baseball all that much, and the columnists are where I get a lot of my information. But it seems to me Shaughnessy’s work is fairly devoid of useful insight and instead filled with sarcasm, egotism, and petty potshots at the Red Sox management and players. Maybe he’s got a whole “guy you love to hate” thing going on. Thoughts?