Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Red Sox = Yankees + Hypocrisy

Red Sox President Larry Lucchino once famously called the Yankees the "evil empire" for outspending the opposition en route to championship after championship. With a fan base that carried itself with the self-important entitlement of a Hilton heir, the Yankees have forever been the team that all right-thinking fans loved to hate.

Today, Red Sox and the Yankees have melded into one axis of evil, each outspending the rest of the league and undermining the sense of fair competition.

(By the way, it's this sense that the game is rigged that really is the objectionable thing about all this. The appeal of sports is that it's a fair, honest competition, where the underdog can have his day and the big shots have to prove themselves day in and day out. By letting a few teams buy their way into contention every year, baseball feels corrupt and unfair. In other words, it's less fun.)

Sure, the Yankees at $201 million still spend significantly more than anyone else, but if you're a fan in Tampa or St. Paul or Pittsburgh, is it really that much more outrageous to see a team outspending you by three times rather than just double?

But here's the thing that really gets my goat about the Red Sox. Yankees fans know they're rooting for Darth Vader, Exxon-Mobil, and Ivan Drago all rolled into one. That's who they are, and they revel in it.

But when they lose, especially when they lose to the Nationals, they have to suffer all the embarrassment of losing despite their titanic advantages. The old saying goes--the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Well, the Yankees every year set themselves up for the biggest, hardest fall, and they take those lumps honestly.

Red Sox fans on the other hand try to have it both ways. They run their team like Darth Vader, but they still want you to believe they're Luke Skywalker. They act like they're still the sweet innocent white hat, and all the while they're stealing your lunch just like Darth Vader. (Sorry for the triple-mixed metaphors.)

So to all you DC-based Red Sox fans who will fill the stadium tonight--if you want to root for an underdog, it's time to don Nationals red. Otherwise, it's time to come clean. You're all Yankees fans now.

60 comments:

Ben said...

Oh Steve. You have landed right in the biggest open wound of my baseballing life. You see, I live in Boston. Right in the middle of people saying 'Oh, I understand. The Red Sox break my heart all the time too." Or "it's tough being a Red Sox fan" Screw you it is!!!

Anyway screaming resentment and marriage straining hatred for the the Sox aside, we can however learn a little from them. Firstly, they have a fair number of home grown guys in their team, they scout well and they start every spring training with 7 guys all off whom could be starters on a major league team. The fact is they are a frightening well run organization.

I don't think we should copy them blindly but, there are real strength to the organization that Stan could learn from. Not least of which is that the Sox are a stats obsessed organization, from the draft to building a batting order to which prospects they keep and which they trade.

Harper said...

Go Yankees! Wait a second...

Deacon Drake said...

I lived in Boston for four years (1996-2000) and immediately realized that Red Sox fans are the most insufferably bitter and ignorant fans outside of Dallas (or maybe the SEC).

Nothing pissed me off as much 2004, being here in DC and watching pretty much the entire city jump on the Red Sox bandwagon... where did these turds come from? And who made all these red and green hats?

Good luck dealing with all the human refuse that infiltrates the stadium this week.

Ben said...

Favourite quote from a 'die hard fan' of the Sox during this off season

"So, who is the Teixeria guy? You ever heard of him".

If he doesn't wear a 'B' or pinstripes they've never heard of them.

Grover said...

I hate the Red Sox just as much as you, but I don't think it's fair to them to group them with the Yankees as far as spending goes. Most of their talent is home-grown or the result of trades for their home-grown talent. Of their starting lineup, starting rotation, and top bullpen guys, only three were really "bought" with deals that could be considered out of the price range of some small-market teams: Jason Bay (via Manny Ramirez), Daisuke Matsusaka and Brad Penny. You could argue that their wealth enables them to retain talent that other teams might lose, like Youkilis, but that's hardly "evil" on the level of the Yankees free agency excesses.

Their fan base, however, is far more annoying than even the Yankees. If the criteria is arrogant, pretentious bandwagon fans, they are the true evil empire of baseball.

Steven said...

How many homegrown players were there on the 2004 Red Sox team. Outside of Huizenga's Marlins, there's never been a more blatantly "bought" championship than the 2004 Sox.

Anonymous said...

@steven - there were about 9 players

Last I checked, the sox had the 4th highest payroll. not sure how that fits into the top 2.

Also, in 2004, they were dealing with the previous owner's group philosophy. the better question is how much "home grown" talent is on the team today. It's quite allot - the Nats need to get a better front office and scouting system. they're certainly in a good draft spot to get great talent (look what it did for the Rays!)

Will said...

Haha. I can see that I'm not alone. I too am living in Boston and have to deal with this daily.

I actually had a conversation just last night, where a friend was telling me about the Sox game she went to. It went something like this:
Her: "It was soooooo much fun! We won in the 9th! Whatshisname hit a home run."
Me: "You mean Nick Green?"
Her: "Uhh yeah, I guess so."
Me: "Yeah that was just about the shortest homerun I've ever seen. It looped just around the Pesky Pole." (Seriously, it was hit 317 feet)
Her: "The what?"
Me: "The Pesky Pole... you know, the yellow foul pole."
Her: "Oh... yeah, whatever. It was so fun!"

This is not an atypical conversation. The fans may be passionate, but their knowledge extends only to whomever is on the 25 man roster, and is severely limited at that. It's amazing that I'm the one telling my friends who Lars Anderson is and how good he's supposed to be.
Talk of the National League is a completely different story. The NL might as well be Independent League baseball to them. If they don't play the Sox 18 times per season, they don't matter.

So here's to hoping we sweep!

Will said...

Anon, I'm not sure where you got nine. According to my count there was only one starter who was homegrown (Varitek), though Nixon and Youkilis both played useful roles from the bench.
Of the pitchers, I don't think there's a single player who came through the Red Sox farm system, unless you're going to claim Schilling. If you really want to stretch it, you can claim Lowe and Wakefield, but for three players to be Sox farm products is absolutely terrible.

Don't get me wrong, the Red Sox have done a fantastic job recently of developing youth, but Steven's spot on that the '04 WS title was bought.

RIYank said...

Homegrown talent:
The Yankees currently have on their roster the following players.
Alfredo Aceves
Brian Bruney
Melky Cabrera
Francisco Cervelli
Joba Chamberlain
Phil Coke
Brett Gardner
Phil Hughes
Derek Jeter
Romiro Pena
Andy Pettitte
Jorge Posada
David Robertson
Chien-Ming Wang

I don't know if you'd count Mariano Rivera; certainly they didn't go acquire him as an expensive free agent, so I'd say he's just as home-grown as, say, Beckett or Ortiz.

That's quite a lot of home-grown talent. Plainly the Yankees spend more money, I don't mean to dispute that! But the 'home-grown' trope is part of what's so irritating about Red Sox Nation.

I live in New England, too, and actually I like Red Sox fans (true ones, not the "pink hats"), but you've got a good point about the hypocrisy.

Grover said...

RIYank-

Come on. Seriously?

I'm not defending the Sox. I hate your team and their team with equal passion.

But if you think that list of home grown Yankee talent compares to Youkilis, Pedroia, Lowell, Beckett (both acquired through trade), Lester, Buchholz, Papelbon, Ellsbury, etc. ... well then I guess you're just as misguided as every other Yankees and Red Sox fan I've ever met.

Take Bay, Dice-K and Penny off the Sox roster, and they still win close to 90 games. Take Teix, A-Rod, Sabathia, Burnett, Damon and Matsui off the Yankees roster and they'd be lucky to get to 70. If you think differently, you're just plain wrong. Again, I hate both teams equally, but any baseball fan can see that.

Steven- you're right, the 2004 title was bought to a large extent. But as another commenter said, that was a year after the new FO came in. Their front office is now a model for all franchises. Their fan base, however, is another story.

henry said...

The only piece that really gets me is the 'homegrown' piece. It's completely insane. The rundown above was good, here's mine, position by position:

http://www.stupidwish.net/2009/04/sox-are-not-homegrown.html

I'm a Yankee fan. I know this makes me a jerk. That's exactly the difference.

Shawn said...

If we're going to play the generalization game, how about we stereotype Nationals fans as the equivalent of baseball bumpkins who have no appreciation for a game, scream like every fly ball off the bat is a home run, leave a tie game in the 8th inning, and can't even half-fill a park on a beautiful Friday night after they took two of three from the Yankees?

There's jackasses in every fanbase. And successful teams have a glut of bandwagon jumpers. How is that the fault of the organization?

The propensity of people to label sports teams as "evil" is just laughable. Unless I see John Henry or George Steinbrenner & Sons sacrificing kittens, there's just no call for it. There's no reason why they should apologize for exploiting the advantages that they have. The Red Sox are sixth in payroll this year, behind the Yankees, Mets, Cubs, Detroit and Philly. Why no vitriol towards the Tigers?

The Pirates don't stink because they have a low payroll, the Pirates stink because they have a terrible management team.

Johan Santana and Torii Hunter don't have rings, not because the Twins have a poor management team, but because they had an owner that refused to spend money on payroll. The average payroll during his years in Minnesota was $47,520,813. Pohlad's est. net worth in 2007? $3.1 billion (a little less than 2.5x what Steinbrenner was worth). From 2002 to 2007 they received an average of $20 million in MLB revenue sharing. I feel bad for the fans of the Twins, but not because of the inequities in the baseball market.

And Ted Lerner is estimated at 2.5 billion net worth. So quit crying about being outspent, and direct the anger at the owners who seem to have no interest in fielding competitive teams.

Steven said...

Shawn--Spoken like a true Yankees fan.

RIYank said...

Grover,

I think you're exaggerating.
First, Buchholz isn't on the Sox' roster, so I don't know why you're counting him.
Lester, Papelbon: compare Hughes, Chamberlain, Bruney. I don't think there's a huge difference there. (I do think Lester is the best of those, so far.)
Pedroia, Ellsbury: compare Cano, Melky Cabrera. I mean, really compare them, not their media reputations. Look at OPS+ and UZR.
Lowell: compare Swisher.

Youkalis: I'll give you that one, he's an elite player.

Compare Tek to Posada.
Compare Jeter to, uh, Nick Greene.

Rivera? Pettitte?

I also find it a bit mysterious that you left out Hideki Okajima, Seito, Lugo, J D Drew. (Hm, okay, it's not mysterious that you left out Lugo, I take that one back.)

My point isn't that the Yankees' talent is mainly home-grown (I thought I made that clear). It's that the difference between the Yanks' home-grown talent and the Sox' is a lot smaller than the popular image would have it.

RIYank said...

Damn, "Youkilis", not "Youkalis". I always do that.

The Oriole Way said...

Yeah, you can't count Beckett and Lowell as "homegrown" just because they were acquired via trade. They were acquired via trade because the Marlins couldn't afford to pay them anymore.

Ben said...

I can't believe that anyone is seriously going to argue that the Twins are a worse run organization that the Yankees.

Not to harp on the point but, the people in your fan base has almost as much to do with your marketing department as you ability. The fact that you can buy Yankee hats in Milan, Boston and Austin means that the non-die hard fan is being actively targeted.

It's not bad business but you can't court the ignorant fan and then disown or claim they are just a natural bi-product of being a team. Just like the Red Sox cannot dosown the pink cap brigade and we can't disown the 'only at the ball park when the Sox are in town brigade.

Sasskuash said...

Shawn,

You're killing the fun of trash talk. We don't have a team to enjoy, at least let us make ourselves feel better by bashing other franchises. Especially on a blog that focuses on our team. Please- we need something to keep us interested and the incompetence at the top of this organization shows no signs of offering a decent product anytime soon...

Shawn said...

Oh so close, Steve. But cried in 1986 and I suffered through the early/mid nineties at Fenway.

And the fact that I've had season tickets for the Nats since their inception won't stop me from wearing my Sox jersey tonight. I've waited for four years to not have to drive to Baltimore to see them play.

But don't let any of that stop your irrational arguments. Please, continue.

Oh, and I think pink hats are ridiculous. For any team.

Anonymous said...

@will,
Steven didn't say starting 9 - he said "team" in 2004. Doesn't matter anyway because that was a transition team. 2007's WS team forward is more indicative of "home grown" talent when looking at the 40 man roster.

There are idiot fans everywhere, there are knowlegable fans everywhere. no need to lable a whole fanbase

Steven said...

Shawn--what's that got to do with anything.

Your team isn't an underdog. They're a behemoth. Yankees fans at least admit that. Red Sox fans try to have it both ways and it's obnoxious.

Grover said...

I think people, including me, are confusing terminology here.

Nobody really cares of your talent is "homegrown" or not. No, Beckett wasn't a Red Sox prospect. But Hanley Ramirez was.

See, nobody thinks the Ramirez-Beckett/Lowell trade, or those like it, were in any way unfair or "bad for baseball." It wasn't a case of payroll disparity upsetting the competitive balance to the detriment of the sport as a whole.

But plenty of people think the fact that the Yankees can just outbid everyone for guys like Sabathia, Burnett, Teixiera, Damon and A-Rod upsets the competitive balance to the detriment of the sport. The only player on the Sox roster about whom you could arguable apply the same logic is Bay, who was acquired through Manny and his massive free agent deal from back in the day.

Yeah, sure, the Sox have lots of guys who didn't go through their farm system. Just like every other team in baseball. So what? Nobody cares about that. What non-Evil Empire fans care about is whether their team can get a fair shake. A-Rod, Sabathia, Burnett, Teix, Damon ... 25 teams in baseball know they never had a shot at signing more than one of those bank-breaking guys, heck some couldn't even afford one of them. And 29 teams in baseball know they couldn't afford to sign all of them. You just can't say that about the Red Sox stars.

I ignored bullpens completely because almost all bullpens are largely comprised of trades and free agent acquisitions.

I'm not a Sox fan, but I can look at those lineups and the individual contracts that go with them, and see the difference plain as day. And I think if you are honest with yourself, you can too.

Livingston said...

The premise of this post (and the billions others like it) is misguided and contradictory. The gist seems to be 1) Yankees and Red Sox spend more than everyone (true) and 2) Yankees and Red Sox are always in contention. The missing part (3) is that the Yankees and Red Sox do not always win World Series. They spend more to stay in contention? That means nothing. It doesn't guarantee an outcome. In the 2008 Yankees case, it only meant that they spent $200M on payroll for nothing (except, of course, for the 4.3M fans that paid to attend, and the millions of others that pay for cable to watch).

How about these numbers? Here is each (principal) owner's net worth:

-John Henry: $860M
-George Steinbrenner: $3B
-Ted Lerner: $3.2B

(It's important to keep in mind that Steinbrenner put his organization together when he was worth a lot less.)

So, of all the owners who could spend from his own pocket to jump-start an organization, Lerner has the most. Yet, unlike Henry, he does not hire bright new people (like Theo Epstein), and unlike Steinbrenner, he does not foot the bill for his own, new stadium.

Essentially, Steinbrenner built the Yankees into a brand that can afford to spend like they do. Henry (and others) purchased a team that was an established brand, and improved on it. They've been willing to spend not only on players, but on front office talent.

Ted Lerner has $3.2B, hired Jim Bowden to destroy a team before it began, and ran Daniel Cabrera out for 8 starts this year. Not to mention, the stadium isn't even that nice. No view of the rivers, cheaped out on the blue stone finish around the stadium, and put parking garages outside of left and right field.

The whole premise of Red Sox and Yankees are rich and spend and blah blah blah is completely misguided. They have owners that have built and improved their brand, enabling the teams to generate a tremendous amount of revenue to reinvest in the team. The Nationals, God bless 'em, have an owner who does not spend on front office talent, and had a GM who spent meager dollars to contract bad players.

People who believe that money is everything in sports haven't paid attention to the A's, Twins and Marlins, who have been in perennial contention. Making this type of argument after 10 years of small market teams winning is more intellectually bankrupt than saying that more money is the answer to the nation's schools.

Livingston said...

Oh, but the point about Red Sox fans pretending like their owners don't also spend an absurd amount of money is spot on. However, I thought they'd stopped pretending about that after the second bought World Series

tas said...

It's odd to see a Nationals fan complaining about teams that sign all stars to huge contracts when late last year...

How serious were the Nationals about acquiring Teixeira? They offered the switch-hitting slugger an eight-year, $160 million contract during the Winter Meetings. A couple of weeks later the offer went up to nine years, $180 million.

It's in hypocritical for a Nationals fan to complain about high pay rolls when his team wanted to increase their payroll by over 20% with one contract?

Meanwhile, the Red Sox play are division rivals with the Yankees -- a team which spends $80 million more than them on pay roll -- and they aren't underdogs? I know the Red Sox spend a lot of money, but come on. Also, the Red Sox are spending $7 million less on pay roll this year than Nationals divisional rival Phillies, the world champions. How come nobody accuses them of buying a championship?

All Red Sox hate, all the time. It's not the Sox' fault if your team can't sign all stars or develop a farm system that feeds quality ballplayers to the major league club. Get over it.

Ben said...

To be fair Grover, the word on the street was that we offered more for Teix. He just wanted to play for a 'winner'.

Shawn said...

Speaking of terms, I'd like Livingston's take on what "bought" means.

I've never claimed the Sox were an underdog, nor that they don't spend tons of cash. In fact, I'm happy that they do. I object to the misstatement that the Yankees and the Red Sox spend more than anyone else.

Steve, what does what have to do with anything?

Steven said...

All Red Sox hate, all the time. It's not the Sox' fault if your team can't sign all stars or develop a farm system that feeds quality ballplayers to the major league club. Get over it.

Again, spoken like a true Yankees/Red Sox fan.

You guys are so easy.

Steven said...

I object to the misstatement that the Yankees and the Red Sox spend more than anyone else.

I comment in context is more rhetorical than precise, but to get down to the details, in fact, the Red Sox and the Yankees over recent years have spent more than any other teams. In the last 2 years a couple teams have popped up to bump the Sox down a bit, but as I'm sure you know, here are the teams' respective ranks over the last 6 years:

2004: 1 and 2
2005: 1 and 2
2006: 1 and 2
2007: 1 and 2
2008: 1 and 4
2009: 1 and 4
2004 through 2009 total: 1 and 2.

RIYank said...

Grover,

Agreed, about trade vs. home-grown.

The only player on the Sox roster about whom you could arguable apply the same logic is Bay, who was acquired through Manny and his massive free agent deal from back in the day.

Wait, I hope I’m misunderstanding.
You think any team could have acquired Daisuke Matsusaka, irrespective of how much money the team had available to spend? You don’t acknowledge that the Red Sox have Beckett on their roster, right now, because they have a big cash fund? (You are aware of Beckett’s contract extension, right?) Similarly Mike Lowell? Why do you keep ignoring J. D. Drew? And you say you “ignored bullpens”, but you didn’t. You mentioned Jonathan Papelbon as an example.

I think if “you were honest with yourself”, you would see this!
;-)

Grover said...

tas and Ben-

There's a huge difference between offering to Teix ... and offering to Teix, Burnett and Sabathia in the same offseason. With a $33 million free agent contract, a $22 million contract, and a four-pack of $13-15 million contracts already on the payroll. I thought I made that clear when I said that 25 teams can't afford "more than one" of those guys, and 29 teams can't afford them all.

See, we were willing to take a huge gamble on Teix because we liked him so much. There's a massive difference between that and rolling the dice on a dozen or more Teixieras every decade.

Wow, you guys really do jump through hoops to try to convince yourselves that the Yankees play on something resembling a level playing field. It must be exhausting.

Ben said...

Just like it's not your fault that filling your roster with over paid, and fading veterans seems to have stopped working as a guarantee of World Series titles of late.

Your right Steve, that is fun.

Grover said...

Apologies, RIYank. You are right, I improperly listed Papelbon. And I ignored Drew, mostly because I don't consider him a particularly special talent. But I should have mentioned him. I guess my point wasn't who is "home grown," but rather, who isn't.

Yeah, I know about Beckett's contract extension and Lowell's money. And yeah, not every team can afford them. But any team willing to at least spend "competitively," and who also had the werewithall to acquire Hanley Ramirez, could have had them. That's why I don't see Beckett the same way I see, say, Sabathia or Burnett. The Sox "earned" Beckett by finding Ramirez and then spending wisely on him. The Yanks bought Sabathia by paying more than anyone else can afford.

Again, I'm not a Sox fan. I hate them, in fact. That's just how I see it as an equal-opportunity hater. And I think most of my fellow haters would agree.

Shawn said...

Fair enough, Steve. Let's just all make sure we define our time frames and terms. :-) Are we discussing redistricting or reapportionment?

But the fact that there are owners out there that have the ability to fund competitive teams, yet refuse to, is not the fault, nor the problem of the Sox (either), the Yankees, the Dodgers, or anyone else.

And "spoken like a Sox fan," isn't a rebuttal, it's an ad hominem attack.

Rusty said...

Are some Red Sox fans ignorant? Yes. They are also the fanbase more responsible than any other for the SABR movement.

And why is it the Red Sox's fault that we travel so well? I stayed at a hotel in Detroit for a three game Red Sox-Tigers series and the hotel bar was filled with Sox fans who were there just because.

Meanwhile, Nationals games attract 3,000 households on tv.

Steven said...

Just fwiw, homegrown v. non-homegrown is not really the issue. Being able to re-sign all your good homegrown players is a huge advantage. Being able to always pay over slot in the draft is a huge advantage. Being able to spend whatever it takes in international free agency is a huge advantage. All these things are ways that $$ helps the team get and keep more good homegrown players.

Free agency isn't really the best way to use financial clout to win championships.

Steven said...

And "spoken like a Sox fan," isn't a rebuttal, it's an ad hominem attack.

The point is that when Yankees fans outbid you for ARod, this is what you say about them. But then when you use your clout to take Manny from Cleveland, all's fair in love and war.

Yankees fans generally just say, "yeah, we're bullies, so what?"

Only Red Sox fans try to have it both ways.

RIYank said...

Grover,

Okay, fair enough.
The Red Sox spend a whole bunch of money on free agent talent, at a level that very few clubs can compete with. In the cases of Matsusaka and Drew, they appear to have over-spent; in the cases of Beckett and probably a couple of others, they've made good deals. (I think it's disputable whether Beckett was 'earned' -- yes, they got him in a trade, but they then spent a bundle extending him. They still got a bargain, I believe, but most teams couldn't afford to take the chance.)

But the Yankees, I would agree, are at another level again. Spending this past winter on Sabathia and Teixeira, not to mention Burnett, was something that no other team could have afforded to do.

Shawn said...

I agree totally with Steven's last comment, btw.

Livingston said...

Shawn: I meant it facetiously, in the sense that if the Yankees championships are bought, as many percieve, then so are the Red Sox. But, the same could be said of a lot of teams.

Steven: I'd love to see someone account for owner resources when discussing team payroll.

Again, Lerner's net worth: $3.2B. Carl Pohlad (Twins): $3.1B. Steinbrenner: $3B. Steinbrenner spends and builds a system, the Yankees win. Pohlad doesn't spend, builds system: Twins win. Lerner doesn't spend, doesn't build system: Nats lose.

Yet, it's still the same old story that the Sox and Yankees spend, spend, spend and that's all there is to it. It has nothing to do with an owner who has the personal resources to make a short term investment and build a system that can generate its own revenue.

Steven said...

If the Marlins had Boston money, they never would have traded Beckett. Please, people. Can we just be honest with ourselves? The Sox are heavyweights. Be proud of your behemoth status. Stop trying to convince us you're little sisters of the poor.

Ben said...

Easy Grover.

I misread your post. I'm not a defender of the Yanks Sox, or any other big spender.

Michael said...

First off, I didn't bother to read the comments... I'm not going to comment on the comments. This is primarily for the blogger.

I've been a Red Sox fan my whole life, born there, raised there, and still love them no matter what, no matter how poorly they do or how much money they spend. That is what being a fan is all about. Putting your heart into it. Evil is not defined by how much money you spend. It's defined by the fans in my opinion. I loved the Red Sox thru the 80s and 90s when they were decent sometimes, but crap most of the time. I actually loathe the Sox fans who get mad at players who don't perform, or who consider abandoning the team because they aren't doing well. This I feel is much more common with Yankee fans. Hence, them being more evil than us. And I do see it much more in NYY fans, as I moved to NYC about 6 years ago. So there is some basis for semi-unbiased comparison. Both the Yanks and Sox have the random fan who only became a fan because they were the underdog at some point. They are fake fans, and nobody likes that.

Yes, the Red Sox are becoming more evil, but it is because of the fans across the country who have no connection to them... who, all of a sudden, became fans after 2004. I will root for an underdog because it is fun, but when they win the WS, I'm not going to abandon my roots and become a fan of another team.

If there are any Red Sox fans out there who have no good connection to them except for 2004, and you live in DC, and have no other baseball bias... be a Nationals fan. It's the right thing to do. It annoys me to no end to meet somebody from Omaha who is a Yankees, Bulls, & Cowboys fan.

You def have some good points, but the sport vs business aspect will always ruin things. And the "random fan" aspect. Be more specific, because there are good Sox fans out there, and good Yankee fans too (I have a met many).

Grover said...

Rusty-

The Sox haven't always traveled well. Last time the Red Sox played in DC, in 1971, they drew a total of 12,000 for a three-game set.

Where did the new passionate fanbase come from? I think you know the answer as well as I do.

I'm not holding that against you guys. Winners draw fans, we all know that. No problem here. But don't come to a Nats blog and act like a condescending prick (We're responsible for SABR! You guys only draw 3,000 TV viewers- ha!) just because nobody watches our losing team. Nobody watched your team when it was a loser, either.

Shawn said...

Dammit. I agree with Steven's homegrown talent and free agency comment.

ARod wasn't a bidding war, it was a trade with Texas. The only reason that the Sox didn't ship Manny to the Rangers for ARod was because the Players Union refused to allow him to restructure his contract for a lower annual value (might be wrong about the specific terms, but the MLBPA was definitely not going to let a player accept LESS money).

ARod would have stayed in Texas if it wasn't for Aaron Boone blowing out his knee. Was it unfair of Texas to spend 252 million on ARod?

Ben said...

You know what kills me. For all this argument about who is more evil, my wife (who incidentally could name the Sox 40 man roster and top prospects) said she's not sure she can root for the Sox because the Nat's/Expos make me so damn unhappy for so long.

That's got to be worth something.

Shawn said...

Ben, I would like to buy you and your wife a beer. Sounds like you'd be fun to watch a game with :-)

Michael said...

Arguing Homegrown vs Acquired is flawed from the beginning. I think it makes more sense to argue bought vs aquired, traded, claimed, homegrown. Because you can't consider Ortiz "bought" because he was released by the Twins, but he isn't Homegrown either. It was a little luck, a little insight, and a little bit of taking a chance, and some good scouting.

Breaking down 2004:
Varitek - received for Slucumb.
Bellhorn - from COL as conditional piece of trade.
Reese - Signed as FA'04 for 2.5mm
Mueller - Signed as FA'03 for 2.1mm
Manny - Signed as FA'01 about 20mm/yr
Damon - Signed as FA'01 about 8mm/yr
Kapler - Signed as FA'04 for 750k
Ortiz - Signed as FA'03 for 1.25mm, then avoided arb with 4.5mm in '04
Arroyo - off Waivers in '03. 330k in '04.
Schilling - traded a bunch of mediocre players to get him in '04 at 12mm
Lowe - received for Slucumb.
Wakefield - signed as FA'95 for 450k.
Pedro - received for CARL PAVANO!!!
Foulke - signed as FA'04 at 4.5mm

Anything that wasn't a signing in 2004 is just good managing. Anybody bought in 2004 we can consider buying to complete the team to try and win a championship. In 2004, the Red Sox paid 7.75mm in new contracts. If you want to count contracts acquired thru trades and arb, it goes up to 24.25mm. Hardly "buying a championship." Most of the giant salary they had in 2004 was strategically building a team over a couple years, honing it into what became the greating team in baseball for that year. :)

Livingston said...

Steven: 1) I'm not a Red Sox fan. I am a Rockies fan.

2) Again, you offer an anecdotal argument about Florida not having Boston money, and if they did, things would be different. Well, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts the world would be a whole lot sweeter.

Loria is worth about the same as John Henry, and both had additional investors. He has the money to make the Marlins a perennial contender, but he wants to make a profit off of the team, not pour money back in. Plus, the Marlins get revenue sharing money and still do not invest more back into their team via payroll.

Lerner has Steinbrenner kind of money. Why hasn't he spent more to get a better front office, who will scout instead of steal?

The premise of your argument is flawed and misguided. All teams are not going to be able to spend the same amount of money. Some will spend more than others. Revenue sharing makes up for some of that. What about owners who have the money to spend and build like the Yankees/Red Sox, but just don't? Lerner is one of those owners, and it proves your argument is poor.

Ben said...

Shawn

Champions sports bar shows any Nationals game.

They have a lot of my money. let me know if you want to see a game.

tas said...

@Steven: Thanks for not addressing a single one of my points in your attack against me.

Sean Hogan said...

Tas, you have to admit that that was the most stereotypical Boston comment ever. "Everybody hates on Boston all the time, make them stop!!! ='( It's not our fault that we're better than you!"

I have no problem with Boston winning-they built their system right, and it's quite impressive. My problem lies in the fact that they have the most annoying and ignorant fans in baseball. Their bandwagon fans (who think the entire baseball world revolves around them) don't deserve the good team they have...too bad they didn't have to wait 180 years for that WS.

I don't care if this is an attack on you. I don't know you, but I can only assume you're a bandwagon fan like 99% of Sox fans.


In other news, Brian Bruney was not home-grown by the Yankees. I didn't cherrypick through the list, but I remembered his stint with the D-Backs when I saw him.

Anonymous said...

steve, you guys don't have any fans because local residents care more about politics or trying to get a rap album. i love these fictional stories about these dumb sox fans that dont know what the pesky pole is called. i call bs.

Ben said...

Sorry anon.

There are a bunch of knowledgeable Sox fans but, I have no trouble believing that story and, I have a hundred like it.

Mac G said...

Best thread ever. Carry On

Anonymous said...

I could tear apart posts by so called fans here calling out the red sox organization and comparing home grown players and hating on fans but it just isn't worth it. instead i'll say my piece.

comparing the red sox homegrown players...and by homegrown i don't mean some loose interpretation like beckett who along with schilling and manny have been the biggest buys of the current red sox run...is nonsense:

pedroia and cano compared. one has a gold glove, an mvp, a roy award, and a silver slugger. the other has exactly one of those awards and was questioned if he was even capable of being an everyday player just last year...want to guess which one is which.

jacoby ellsbury and melky cabrera...lets see...one has game changing speed 50+ steals a year if he stays healthy, and has made exactly one error so far in his career. the other is a good overall outfielder with so so speed. you could compare gardner more favorably with ellsbury.

papelbon and any reliever on the yankees besides rivera...not even close. elite closer who has closed out a world series vs the biggest hole in the yankees club.

papelbon and joba...see above also see 2006 for what should be done with joba in the future.

phil hughes and ian kennedy vs jon lester and clay buchholz...the pitchers dangled about in santana talks by both teams. lester has a world series clinching win under his belt as well as a no hitter and a season in which he was close to the ace of the red sox staff. buchholz has a no hitter and is currently tearing up the minors. the only reason he isn't up in the majors is the ridiculous amount of starting pitching boston throws out there day in day out. if he was in the nationals system he would be up in the bigs pitching high in the rotation. phil hughes largely unproven because of injury...could be a number one maybe a number two if he continues to pitch well but as of right now he is limited to long relief because of poor yankees management in my opinion. ian kennedy...largely a bust in the majors...closest of the comparisons if you include chamberlain and drop kennedy's name but i would still give the nod to the red sox.

bruney...see daniel bard as they have the same amount of experience to base a serious discussion on...or see manny delcarmen who has been both brilliant and terrible all at once.

if you want to compare talents you need to go back 10 years to when the yankees had jorge, jeter, pettite, etc. those would be much more interesting and much more favorable to the yankees.

as for the fans...i can tell you that pink hats will always bring down the collective iq of a fanbase but read almost any sports writer or player talk about the real fans in boston and one word will be repeated...knowledgeable. my baseball knowledge extends beyond yawkey way or 161st street. don't lump as all in with the idiots.

that's all i have to say because reading half way through this thread made me question how much most of the posters knew about baseball...especially the yankees fans who saw their fan base turned into the same bandwagon frenzy in the 90s...lebron james anyone?

have fun hating on the red sox because they run a damn fine organization and you will have something to hate on for a long time hopefully.

finally i wont even go into the ridiculous excuse for a franchise the nationals currently are...if they give strasburg 50 mil gauranteed before he ever pitches in the majors then it will be even more ridiculous.

Sean Hogan said...

Another typical Sox fan. You talk down on everyone else because the team you support has been good for the last 5 years. They're not a dynasty. They've won 2 World Series in the last 5 years, not the 5 that most Sox fans pretend like they won. Just because you root for a team with a good record and a recent WS victory doesn't make you a knowledgeable baseball fan-I'd even go as far to say that rooting for a crappy team like the Nats makes you a better one because it proves that you actually care enough about the game to pick a team and stick with it through rough times.

One other thing-how is giving 50 million just to be able to bid on Dice-K a smart and responsible move and giving whatever to Strasburg irresponsible and stupid? HYPOCRITE ALERT!!!! There's no chance in hell Strasburg signs for $50 mil, and even pointing that out makes you look like more of a Boston jackass who knows nothing about baseball outside of the Sox' 25 man roster.

Go sniff your own farts somewhere else...jackass!

Sean Hogan said...

And don't even get me started on how much of a little bitch you are commenting as anonymous. Grow a pair and sign in, at least that way you might have a tiny sliver of credibility.

Gary said...

@RIYank
I think Rivera has played for the Yankees since the start of his MLB carreer. He was signed by them when he was like 19 yrs old. I don't think Lowell and Beckett qualify as "homegrown" talent. They were acquired by the Red Sox while both players were already established major league stars. Lowell was an All-Star, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger before he went to the Red Sox and Beckett was already a World Series MVP. I really don't think that you can buy a World Series just because you signed pricey free agents. If you think about it, some of the the biggest pieces of the 04 and 07 championships were acquired either the year before or the very same year. Ortiz, Ramirez, Damon, Schilling, they were all signed when they were already in the bigs and they all played an important part in 04. The same goes for Beckett and Lowell. While they still had Schilling, Ortiz, and Manny, it was the boys from Fl. that helped them win that second title in 4 years. Don't get me wrong, the Sox have a great farm system, but it is a bit hypocritical of their fans to critizice the Yankees for being big spenders, always acquiring "mercenaries". Personally, I think it's great that these two teams spend so much money. It shows the loyalty that they have to their fans because they don't pocket the cash that comes in, they put it to work on the baseball field. They respect their fans, cause even though both teams have many bandwagon fans, they still have an overwhelming amount of true die hard fans that really do know their baseball. I'm a Yankee fan, and I'm glad that the Sox are a good team, because in the end, when either team wins a division title, it has that feel of having been a world series. This is because no team is as good as the Yankees or the Red Sox. Still, the Yankees should've kept Torre. He's shown that it wasn't only because he had great players in his championship teams, he really is a great manager. Just look what he's done in LA.