It’s All Good … For Now

UsatodayFeeling good yet, Sox fans?

Two wins. A combined 21-4 score. Two Big Papi homers. Another huge day from usual second-half fader Mike Lowell. A solid start from Curt Schilling. And a Yankee loss that pushes the division lead above 6 games.

These things should have Red Sox fans waking up happy this Saturday morning. The Sox are 4-1 to begin this road trip, with two games to go. The often-inconsistent and much-maligned Sox offense has scored 50 runs in nine games (5.6 runs per game), while the Sox’ pitchers have allowed just 31 (3.3 RPG). The Red Sox are now 14-9 in August and have essentially the same cushion in the standings as when the month began.

If the offense is indeed finally clicking (beter late than never, right/), it could be just in time to roll into September and October. Hey, the season’s not over yet, and the Sox could use a little more padding before facing the Yanks six times in the final month, but that thought is appetizing indeed.

To continue with the warm fuzzies, I point you to Tom Verducci’s excellent SI piece
on the Sox — in which he notes the clubhouse remains as loose as ever,
even when the lead was down to four games and Eric Gagne was blowing
saves like … well, you can fill in the rest of that one:

Gagné’s teammates, however, seemed less troubled by the
loss. Backup first baseman Eric Hinske, for instance, figured Saturday
was a good day to ask the clubhouse barber for a Mohawk haircut.
Centerfielder Coco Crisp showed up wearing a green trucker’s hat,
lime-green T-shirt, green belt and white sneakers with green plaid
accents. "Whoever wears green today, good luck will be bestowed upon
him," Crisp explained.

And where, someone wondered, had he heard such a thing?

"My psychic," he replied earnestly. "Man, look at me. I should be batting fourth."
 
 

That day, of course, Big Papi broke through with the monstrous grand slam that hurt Jered Weaver’s feelings.

Meanwhile, USA Today this week called the Red Sox "America’s new home team,"
saying, "Sorry, Yankees" and using the fact that the Red Sox are
shattering road attendance records as an opening to profile the
craziness that follows the team wherever it goes.

It’s a Red Sox high this morning — at least until the next combination
of a Sox loss/Yankee win, at which point I reserve the right to take my
spot in line on the Tobin.

80 comments… add one
  • the quote from papi about pedroia in that verducci article had me howling: //Says Ortiz of Pedroia, “Everybody loves him around here. And his defense? Incredible. I tell him it’s because he’s so low to the ground. A ground ball can go under his glove and it’s still going to hit him in the cup.”//
    your last paragraph is dead on. :-)

    beth August 25, 2007, 8:23 am
  • well, as i’ve said a number of times paul, it was inevitable…the yankees could not continue to play at the clip they had since the break, and the sox were too good to look as ordinary as they had over the same stretch of time…i think we all knew the yanks had the ability to make a run, and they may make another one, but for all practical purposes, the race for 1st is over…the yanks best bet all along was the wild card, and even [my] hope for that is fading…
    count me as one who is not all that surprised about the sox popularity on the road…they are a first place team who has finally put the yankees [the most hated team] behind them [both in the standings and with events like the dice-k signing], which appeals to fans of other teams, maybe because of the whole underdog thing and all…and they’re interesting, almost charming in some ways [hard to hate]…i hear that they get a large number of new englanders follow them to road games…also, they are bound to have a large number of transplanted new englanders spread over the rest of the country…and last, but not least, don’t under-estimate the “closet-fan” syndrome…aka: front-runners…remember back when the dallas cowboys won a couple of super bowls and they began to be referred to as “america’s team”…all those cowboy “fans” with their cowboys paraphernalia seemed to come out of the workwork…

    dc August 25, 2007, 8:49 am
  • Nothing beat waking up and seeing the Yankee boxscore this morning, ESPECIALLY after the Sox doubleheader. Breakfast of champions.

    Atheose August 25, 2007, 10:17 am
  • I wouldn’t expect Paul to actually look in side the numbers when he can follow the lead of the rag known as USA Today.
    The Yankees consistently out-draw the Red Sox. The only difference in those road attendance numbers?
    The Red Sox “draw” 55,000 in Yankee Stadium while the Yankees “only” draw 35,000 at Fenway. Otherwise, you know, the Yankees are “America’s Team”.
    http://strikezonesandendzones.blogspot.com/2007/08/lots-of-room-for-you-on-red-sox.html
    But if it’s in print it must be true. Right?

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 10:42 am
  • From the always-great Replacement Level Yanks:
    “Yes, Boston has straight outdrawn the Yankees on the road, 38,803 to 37,906 per gate (the Yankees had one straight doubleheader, so it’s not per game). That is a FACT. But if you’re looking to draw a larger statement about who is coming out to see the teams, you can’t just look at that number.
    You have to look at only the games not against each other.
    Think about it. If you don’t do it that way, you’re implying that the 54,951 fans who come to see the Yankees host the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium came to see the Red Sox, and the 36,651 who come to Fenway are coming to see the Yankees.
    If you take out those games, then the Yankees draw an average of 38,043 on the road, while Boston draws 37,133. That’s an 1800+ seat swing the other way. So I think it’s hard to look at those numbers and draw the conclusion that Boston’s a better road draw by any measure.”

    tom yf August 25, 2007, 11:40 am
  • Woosta, you bash the USA Today as unreliable, but then cite someone’s blog?
    Insert hypocricy-related joke here.

    Atheose August 25, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • long drawn out statistical fight because of a USA today article saying the sox have become america’s team….seriously YF you have fallen to a new low.
    I keep seeing the nerdy proff. from the simpsons saying
    “well you see as they draw more on the Tuesday before the sun shines, and on this day there were more yankee fans in attendance than devil ray fans so that should count for them, and then we see the happy chart I made GLEEMING CHARTS!!”
    it just makes me laugh how butthurt yankee fans are this year HAHA

    TheTree1918 August 25, 2007, 12:05 pm
  • Given home parks, the Yankees draw the most on the road (1800 more in fact – thanks tom). So by USA Today’s logic they’re “America’s Team”.
    And no, I don’t care where I read that fact.

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • <

    Atheose August 25, 2007, 12:13 pm
  • D’oh, meant to quote this:
    //And no, I don’t care where I read that fact.//
    Damn typepad.

    Atheose August 25, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • Why are you changing the topic?
    (BTW: “It just wasn’t Clay Buchholz’s night… Relying mostly on his curve and fastball, Buchholz struggled with his command all night, especially in the first inning when he issued back-to-back walks to Keith Ginter and Andy Marte to load the bases.”
    http://www.projo.com/pawsox/content/sp_bb_pawsox23_08-23-07_JE6RP1V.34b7803.html
    Gasp! The fastball! That’s his 4th best pitch! What happened to the two “better” ones – the slider and change?

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • You’ve got to love the blowjob Verducci gives the Sox. Contrast that with last year, with the Yanks up 10 games, he writes a piece destroying their clubhouse chemistry.
    Fantastic!

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • At least one person in the main stream media gets it right. From the front page of ESPN.com:
    “Gammons: Yanks still America’s Team”.
    And yup, I just managed to cite ESPN and Gammons in support of the Yankees.

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • Well you have a habit of dismissing any newspaper/website that says something good about the Sox, but then quote a Yankee fan’s BLOG to back up your argument.
    If you’ve read anything on Clay, the reason most people didn’t want to see him rushed to the Majors was because he struggles with his command of his fastball. That’s actually exactly what I said with regards to his fastball the last time you and I talked about it–that his command of it is extremely lacking, which is why he relies on his other pitches as his “out” pitch.
    This is also the reason he’s been throwing mostly fastballs–the organization wants him to work on that command. Isn’t that what the minors are for?

    Atheose August 25, 2007, 12:52 pm
  • By the way Woosta, where’s that article? Can’t find it anywhere on ESPN.

    Atheose August 25, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • “… look in side the numbers.” ??? Please…,indeed, let’s look inside them. The Spankees continue to be a huge draw not because they are beloved by the fans, but at least partially because as dc noted they are the most hated of teams. Everyone wants to see the Yankees play when they go on the road for at least a couple of reasons that have nothing to do with being a Yankee fan: The Yanks have a star-studded $200,000,000+ line-up, maybe not the BEST line-up that kind of money can buy, but a stellar batting order none the less. That’s something people pay to see, AND in addition most fans really really want to see the home team beat the damned Yankees. Put simply, the Yankees may truly be the MOST hated franchise in the history of ALL professional sports. That puts butts in the seats of ballparks all across the country.
    The Red Sox, on the other hand, are the beneficiary of several factors involved in creating a home-team atmosphere for themselves at many ballparks they play at on the road. The biggest factor may be the flow of population out of the northeast in recent years. As mentioned before, the transplanted New Englanders around the country are still huge Red Sox fans years after leaving, myself included. Another factor is the size of Fenway and the difficulty in actually getting tickets for a game in Boston. Conversely, calling your transplanted family member in Cleveland to get you tickets and flying out for a visit and a Sox game is easy by comparison. Driving down or catching a a commuter flight to new yawk or Baltee-more and catching a game there is also a relatively easy proposition. Another reason these Sox are a draw is the character of this team, with a huge good-natured bear like Papi as your frontman, people can’t help but like your team. Tough as nails 110% competitors the likes of Youklis and Pedroia, and characters such as Manny and now starter/now reliever Julian Tavares only add to the appeal of this team. And while I’m certain there is an element of bandwagonism with this Red Sox team, I think that many of those fans came when the perpetual underdog Red Sox overcame the vaunted Yankees down 0-3, when practically EVERYONE gave them up for dead, and in the process hung the Greatest Comeback Defeat of All Time around the overpaid necks of the Yankees. That kind of thing turns people into fans of your team. So while the Yankees still fill stadiums on the road, the Red Sox get opposing ballplayers in their own ballparks complaining about the lack of fan support for the home team, the most notable and spectaular examples being recent visits to Cleveland and Baltimore.
    So, it is in fact inside the numbers that demonstrate that the Yankees draw because the are the team everyone loves to see get beat, the Red Sox are the team with the most vocal and most widespread fan-base and when have you ever heard of a ballpark packed to the rim with fans and the majority of them are in the opposing team colors rooting vociferously for the visiting team?
    On a regular basis? never happened… Till these Red Sox

    Brian August 25, 2007, 12:57 pm
  • Brian,
    New quote for your argument, from Garland yesterday: “It was like I was pitching a road game.”

    Atheose August 25, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • Brian, there’s something to what you say about the Yanks being the most hated team in America. In my view, they’re a polarizing team, which means that they are also up there with the most loved team in America. Going to Yanks-A’s games at the Coliseum, you see a lot of Yanks hats in the crowd.
    You’ve created a nice little narrative about the Sox being beloved around the nation, but it’s pretty biased. There’s truth to it indeed, but I’ve met plenty of people around the country who hate the Sox and their fans. Julian Tavarez is appealing to people? When did that happen? That’s kind of like me saying that Ron Villone has captured the national imagination.
    Back to the Yanks. Because they have essentially been the winningest team throughout baseball history, and because there are quite a few transplanted New Yorkers (from a rather large city by the way), New Jersians, Connecticutians,etc, the Yanks actually have a large following around the country of fans who like the team. This is undeniable. They are both loved and hated. And probably more people love them than love the Sox. And probably more people hate them than hate the Sox. The Sox have a lot of catching up to do in both departments. They’re doing a good job of it recently.

    Nick-YF August 25, 2007, 1:25 pm
  • Good point Nick. I think it SEEMS like there are more Sox fans than Yankees fans because Sox fans, in general, are more obsessed with their team than Yankees fans–this year especially. There have been a lot of quotes lately about Red Sox fans overpowering teams in other cities with the “Let’s go Red Sox” cheer, which you don’t see in Yankees games. So no matter how the numbers fall, perhaps it just APPEARS like Red Sox fans are drawing more of a crowd because they’re louder.

    Atheose August 25, 2007, 1:37 pm
  • “the fact that the Red Sox are shattering road attendance records as an opening to profile the craziness that follows the team wherever it goes”
    I’m sure fans on both sides don’t treat the appelation of “America’s team” more than a reason to rag on the other team, but the stats are pretty flawed.
    The “random blog” actually has a pretty good breakdown of the numbers:
    Take out the head-to-head matchups between the Yanks and Sox, and the Yankees drew more than the Sox at every road stadium, except at the Rangers, where it was their home opener, and at the Twins, where the Sox played a weekend series and the Yanks played a mid-weeker.

    flarez August 25, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • “maybe not the BEST line-up that kind of money can buy”
    Maybe not, but certainly the best lineup money has bought in mlb this year:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/aggregate?statType=batting&group=9
    “the Yankees may truly be the MOST hated franchise in the history of ALL professional sports.”
    Again, maybe. They are, however, the most successful franchise in sports history. Maybe that puts a few “butts in the seats” too?
    Your scientific “look inside the numbers” aside, doe anyone really care who holds the title of “America’s Team”? I know I don’t…

    Andrews August 25, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • I know I don’t either, Andrew. If I anything I care more about the most read newspaper in the land putting a lie on the front page. But then when has the media ever let facts get in the way of a good story?
    I’m glad Gammons clarified things (link to podcast on ESPN frontpage) though. It’s makes Brian’s fiction easier to laugh at.

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • I don’t think it’s a lie, Woosta – just an opinion. That’s ok. Short of doing some kind of exhaustive survey, I don’t see how it can be proved one way or another – probably helped to sell papers, which was the intent, anyway.

    Andrews August 25, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • Does that blog break down the percentages of Sox fans to Yankee fans at Fenway and the Stadium when these teams play each other? It is an exercise in deceptive logic to simply throw out the games against each other when there are fans from the road team in the stands at both parks. To simply toss out what will be nine road games each from the equation for reasons that aren’t particularly clear is simply not logical.
    Also, I like how apparently this article has been out for three days, and already Yankee blogs across the Internet have already taken it upon themselves to break down the stats and “prove” it wrong. Wow. A bit thin-skinned, aren’t they? My, how the worm turns.

    Paul SF August 25, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • “when there are fans from the road team in the stands at both parks.”
    You have a point – much easier for sox fans to get tickets at the stadium than vice-versa.But, impossible to know if that covers the difference.
    Again, why does it matter?

    Andrews August 25, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • My point exactly, Andrews. I thought it was a cool story, and the numbers on their face say the Sox have the highest road attendance in baseball. USA Today took that to its half-logical extreme and called the Sox “America’s team.” Some Yankee fans, apparently, do not cede such titles so easily, to the point of throwing out games that still count in the statistics to make their points. That seems more dishonest to me than USA Today’s extrapolation.
    I don’t care much one way or the other, but it was neat to see the Sox get the front-page centerpiece on USA Today, and it dovetails with my larger point that in the last week, things have been looking very good for the Sox.

    Paul SF August 25, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • What’s a “half-logical extreme” and how can it be more logical than an illogical argument? These syllogisms are confusing me. I always thought America’s Team was the Braves. That’s what TBS told me.

    Nick-YF August 25, 2007, 2:26 pm
  • I always thought the cards were America’s Team – this hunch was sort of confirmed by all the cardsfan callers on xm radio…

    Andrews August 25, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • ” in the last week, things have been looking very good for the Sox.”
    Not to stick a pin in your balloon, but this should be tempered by the fact that in the last week you’ve been playing the two worst teams in mlb. (just as the yanks run against lousy teams earlier this month should be qualified)

    Andrews August 25, 2007, 2:53 pm
  • If that attendance story was assembled by anyone but USA Today, I would have had to assume it was a cheeky feature meant just to tweak the pride of the Yankees. But since it was by USAT, I can only conclude that it was done in all seriousness, which means we have to take it as somewhat less than that. USA Today is to journalism as styrofoam peanuts are to real goobers. And the USAT is just as good at providing packaging when you’re shipping dishes.
    As for this thread, it was clearly meant in a lighthearted manner. The Sox had a good day yesterday, regardless of what “America’s Newspaper” has to say on the matter. It isn’t often that you get a chance to go up 1 1/2 games on someone.
    Although with the late start of the Yankee game, didn’t the Sox really just gain 1 game on August 24, with the Yankees playing an August 25 red-eye/night double dip?
    I think I just broke my brain.

    FenSheaParkway August 25, 2007, 2:55 pm
  • For me, I think it’s telling that the Sox are drawing basically the equivalent numbers of fans on the road (throw out the Yankee Stadium numbers and the Fenway numbers, fine) that the Yankees do. Even if the 1000 fan difference holds, that’s got to be a massive change from 10 years ago, from even five years ago when Henry et al took over. So forget “who is America’s team?”, as I find that to be a silly, silly question in any realm, but think about the fact that the Sox are effectively drawing the same number as probably the most famous franchise in all of American sports. That’s illustrative of fine marketing by the Sox’ brain trust (in addition to possible flight from the Northeast, though I don’t have the census data handy), nothing else. This isn’t zero-sum Yankees/Sox stuff, not sure why it always has to be treated as such.

    SF August 25, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • Woosta… My fiction? The fact that there is even a debate about the issue is great as far as I’m concerned. But truthfully, the Yankees while they may be the most universally recognized BRAND NAME in the world, the Red Sox are becoming an international brand name as well. I would dispute that the Yankees universal loathing by fans of every other team equates to an equal number of fans that love them. Counting up the entirety of the fans from other cities that truly passionately hate the Yankees and weighing that up against those that truly passionately love them, I dare say that the HUGE, VAST (and any other superlative) majority would line up in the hate the Yankees category. I can honestly say that virtually every passionate fan of an American league team I’ve known or have talked to, hates the Yankees. Actually, it seems almost universal for true Red Sox fans: The next best thing to a Red Sox win is a Yankee loss. And of course the Red Sox winning a double header combined with an extra inning loss at for the Yankees an 3:30 in the am? Priceless…
    I have no doubt that when it comes to casual fans the Yankees have world-wide legions, and while the Red Sox lag behind in that category, who cares?
    The Red Sox have more fans willing to not only travel the distance to see them and wear the team colors, but be vocal enough to cause several comments by home team players.
    I’m sorry, but the Yankees in their glory days did not inspire anything like that. You can delude yourself all you want.
    And while I don’t particularly care if the Yankees or the Red Sox are truly America’s team. I know that the Red Sox have by a wide margin the most passionate vocal and well traveled fans of any team. Y’know what really caps it off for me? The LETS GO RED SOX cheers in Yankee stadium toward the end of the biggest choke of all time…

    Brian August 25, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • Sure, Paul, we should just ignore the fact that one team hosts the other in a ballpark that holds at least 200k more over the season. What part of “Against every other organization the Yankee draw more” are you having trouble with?
    At least Gammons recognizes the truth. Paul like his distorted version of it.

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • Actually, the Yankees draw on average 1800 more people for each road game. That’s statistically significant.
    Funny, the Sox are in first by 6 games and that’s not enough for their fans. They still want a title they’ll never get: The Yankees are the biggest draw in American sports.

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 3:19 pm
  • Chill, Brian, let’s try to keep it a little less antagonistic…
    The fact is that the Yankees have been and are still probably the most recognizable brand in baseball and will be for some time. But the strides the Sox have made in challenging the Yankees is impressive.
    I don’t doubt there are more Yankee fans worldwide, around the country, and I agree that there are probably more Yankee haters milling about as well. Isn’t that a sign of their success? Wouldn’t a small part of us Sox fans be thrilled to be the annoying powerhouse? If the Sox pull down another title this year just wait for the anti-Sox backlash – it happened after 2004 and will happen again if we take the trophy. A part of me found that satisfying, frankly, since it meant one thing: we won.

    SF August 25, 2007, 3:20 pm
  • I’d say the Sox winning meant one thing: They’re relevant again.
    I actually had a horrible dream last night – that the Sox did win again. And the last time I had dream about a baseball team winning a Series? The Yanks in 1996 when they were down 0-2 to the Braves.

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 3:25 pm
  • ” I dare say that the HUGE, VAST (and any other superlative) majority would line up in the hate the Yankees category.”
    Brian, I say you’re right. 26 WS titles in 89 seasons inspires a lot of hate, jealousy, envy,etc…
    “Damn Cardinals” or “Damn Red Sox” just doesn’t have the same ring…:)

    Andrews August 25, 2007, 3:32 pm
  • “Damn Astros” sort of rolls of the tongue, provided they could ever accomplish enough to make it worth saying.

    FenSheaParkway August 25, 2007, 3:37 pm
  • “…already Yankee blogs across the Internet have already taken it upon themselves to break down the stats and “prove” it wrong…”…not unlike what you do paul, when you see a pro-yankee observation that you’re certain you can refute…
    “…If the Sox pull down another title this year just wait for the anti-Sox backlash…”…come on sf, be fair, you sf’s have done the same thing relative to yankee winning, by whining about the spending, sox injuries, etc….giving the sox their due would be a lot easier for most yf’s if they felt it was reciprocated, and that’s just not always the case…
    final note: are sox fans so hungry to win something that they’re hanging their hat on this somewhat flawed analysis of attendance [my earlier comments notwithstanding]?…come on guys lighten up, your own boy, gammons, has apparently poked some holes in the argument…

    dc August 25, 2007, 3:48 pm
  • Damn right, which is why all that success has created a wellspring of hatred passed down from generation to generation. True fans of any other team pretty much hate the Yankees wholesale. So, like I said the Yankees may in fact draw more on the road, but not because their fans show up in droves. It’s at least in part because they are the team people want to see beaten by the home squad.

    Brian August 25, 2007, 3:48 pm
  • giving the sox their due would be a lot easier for most yf’s if they felt it was reciprocated, and that’s just not always the case…
    This is an ironic comment considering the content of the post I made that you are responding to.

    SF August 25, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • I think this debate is largely pointless and was not the intent of my post. If the fact that a paper with dubius respect in journalistic circles calls the Sox “America’s team” really incites Yankee fans so much, take it up with them. I frankly don’t care. I’d rather be the defending World Series champion than the defending road-attendance champion anyday.

    Paul SF August 25, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • actually brian, it’s because all the girl-fans want to see jeter close up…

    dc August 25, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • Do I REALLY think the Sox are America’s team? Who the hell cares… But I do think that the article missed the point. What I do believe, is that the Red Sox, have the most passionate fans, fans that are willing to travel and show their passion far and wide.

    Brian August 25, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • Brian, Yanks fans do show up in droves. I don’t what how else to argue this point, but just to state the reality. And I believe Yanks fans are more passionate than Sox fans because I believe Yanks fans are more passionate than Sox fans, ad infinitum. Ergo, they are.
    SF’s point is I think the most interesting in this thread. The Henry team has done a remarkable job with what was already a strong brand. The front office has invested money in a winning team that will sustain its success over a long period. The marketing strategies have worked–some of them have been hokey (ie. the election for president of RSN), but they have helped expand the fanbase noticeably.

    Nick-YF August 25, 2007, 3:54 pm
  • Brian, the Yankees DO draw more on the road.
    As to why, unless you want to go out and do a census at every ballpark of Yankees fans versus the home team and Sox fans versus the home team, your whole argument is biased by your fandom.

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 3:54 pm
  • paul, you’re the one who decided to create the post by quoting the “paper with dubius respect in journalistic circles”, so it’s appropriate for folks to address you about it…if it was bs, why quote it?…because you DO care…
    sf, no irony at all…i see that you gave the yanks “popularity” some credit, but the comment i was responding to was this one: “…If the Sox pull down another title this year just wait for the anti-Sox backlash…”…
    “…I think this debate is largely pointless…” = paul losing another argument that he started…cool

    dc August 25, 2007, 3:56 pm
  • Ah, Paul, you DO care, enough to:
    1) Cite a three day old “story”.
    2) Post a pic of that front page.
    3) Defend the results against all reason.
    At least Gammons has the sense to comment on the real “story”. You did not.

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 3:57 pm
  • Well there you go, it all makes sense now, it’s Jeter’s girlfans that swing the road attendance figures! That settles that!
    Paul, you don’t really want to be a Cardinals fan, do you?

    Brian August 25, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • What I do believe, is that the Red Sox, have the most passionate fans, fans that are willing to travel and show their passion far and wide.
    This is absurd, Brian. It’s a silly argument. The idea that the Cowboys were “America’s Team” back in the 70s, or 80s, or whenever that was termed was almost a joke: they were loathed by everyone I knew who wasn’t from Dallas. It’s just impossible to make a blanket statement that one legion of fans has more passion than any other. I imagine there are Cardinals fans and Cubs fans who would argue your claim, along with fans from twenty-something other teams. As proud as I am to be a Sox fan, I am under no illusion that our group of fans is the “best”. I only know we are the smartest, and that’s enough for me. ;-)

    SF August 25, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • And see, because Yankee fans believe a thing the entire fabric of Space/Time is warped, at it becomes a fact!

    Brian August 25, 2007, 4:04 pm
  • paul, you’re the one who decided to create the post by quoting the “paper with dubius respect in journalistic circles”, so it’s appropriate for folks to address you about it…if it was bs, why quote it?…because you DO care…
    I already addressed why I posted the article, dc. Take it or leave it, but stop trying to read my mind. So far, no one has addressed my question of why throwing out the Sox-Yanks games is appropriate in determining the “real” road attendance figures, so I don’t consider my aspect of the argument to be lost. If you must know, I raised my eyebrows a bit when I first saw the headline, as I still think the Yankees are the most popular team in America, but I still think arguing over road attendance figures to make the point one way or the other is pointless.

    Paul SF August 25, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • Paul –
    You have your choice as to which data to look at. But just looking at just the road average deceptively ignores a few things:
    1) The Red Sox play the Yankees, on the road, in a ballpark that holds 55,000.
    2) The Yankees play the Red Sox, on the road, in a ballpark that holds 35,000.
    That difference alone gives the Sox a 200,000 advantage in road attendance.
    3) On the road, the Yankees play to 84% capacity. The Sox play to 82% capacity.
    In other words, there are fewer available seats when the Yankes play on the road. In other words, there’s more demand.
    4) Against the vast majority of baseball teams, the Yankees draw more than the Sox.
    In other words, looking across baseball, against the A’s, the White Sox, the Tigers, the Jays, the Rays, etc. – the Yankees draw more.
    And which, is it Paul, do you care or not care? Cause you’re still fight the point that the article and your post are deceptive. Most especially, if the Sox are “shattering road attendance records”, they’re still in second place.
    And aren’t you part of the media? Well, your reporting on this story comes closer to USA Today than Gammons. Not that I should expect you to be objective in this matter.

    Woosta YF August 25, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • “…So far, no one has addressed my question of why throwing out the Sox-Yanks games is appropriate in determining the “real” road attendance figures…”
    paul, i’m not a mind-reader, but i’m a pretty fair judge of motives, and you’re quite easy to figure out, frankly…i was merely defending the other posters’ right to challenge your original post…that’s still allowed right?…someone did present an argument as to why the numbers might be skewed given the capacity of fenway vs. yankee stadium for example…yankee fans can’t get tickets to fenway, and i don’t know how many tampa bay fans live in boston, or how many baltimore fans are willing to travel to boston to see their awful team lose again…success begets popularity, so enjoy…and you did lose the argument [you started] by conceding that it was “largely pointless”…

    dc August 25, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • FWIW, I think this article is bull… the attendance stats do argue for Yankee supremacy as far as road draw. (of course, that doesn’t necessarily reflect a love of the team… I’m a lot more likely to watch or go to a Yankees game than some random team’s game because I’m impacted by their fortunes. But that doesn’t mean I’m a fan.) I’m guessing the Yankees hard-core fan diaspora is about the same size as the Sox diaspora. Maybe a little larger since a lot more people live in NYC. :)
    However, I think the Sox may be closing the popularity gap a bit. The “kids” around here wear “NY hats” (they don’t call them Yankees hats, interestingly), but increasingly I see teenagers sporting flashy new Sox caps (B hats?). I don’t think they wear the hats because they’re fans, though. Anyway, all that is just to say that as far as name recognition the Yankees are still way ahead, but the Sox are getting there too.
    Of course, I’m not particularly happy about this trend. I don’t want it to be “cool” to be a Sox fan! It used to be that any time you saw someone on the street in a Sox hat or shirt, you could exchange knowing smiles, or a chat about last night’s game; now it’s just as likely that the response will be “oh I just like the hat.” And if it keeps going, there’ll be a backlash, just like there was/has been against the Yankees. I think people already got kinda sick of us after 2004 (and not without reason)… I don’t *want* the Sox to get as big and polarizing as the Yankees. Except for the part where we get more revenues and can spend more on players. ;)

    Jackie (SF) August 25, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • This post, I suspect, was another good baiting job by Paul – in the end by protesting, he gets to say that “and yanks fans don’t think about the red sox- riiiight!” We all took the bait; he wins. :)
    Touche, Paul.

    Andrews August 25, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • excuse the lousy english – I hope you get my point.

    Andrews August 25, 2007, 4:44 pm
  • To be fair to Paul’s original post, the thing that everyone is focusing on here (the USA Today article) was buried in the second to last paragraph and contributes very little towards the overall theme of the thread. It’s the Yankee fans that jumped all over the citation (it is fair game of course, Paul included it, and the cover shot was overkill, out of proportion with the amount of ink he gave it in the body — if I had been Paul’s editor I would have recommended against the image), while the rest of the post goes left untouched. Seems like everyone is looking for a fight, from where I sit, myself not included for once.

    SF August 25, 2007, 4:51 pm
  • andrews, you’re giving paul way too much credit…he’s not that calculating…not looking for a fight sf, just responding to the noise…personally, i didn’t take this as seriously as i might be given credit for…i mean what’s next from you guys, a post about fenway selling more hot dogs despite your disadvantage in seating capacity?… ;)

    dc August 25, 2007, 5:13 pm
  • i mean what’s next from you guys
    USA Today did a study that showed that Yankee fans spend more time in the bathrooms at the Stadium than the Sox fans do at Fenway. Clearly the Yankee fans are drinking more (or the bathrooms are WAY nicer, not a stretch to think about), or simply have weaker bladders. This, I am sure, is a clear fact and proves that we Sox fans are far more sober in the assessments of our own team and of others.
    ;-)

    SF August 25, 2007, 5:16 pm
  • funny sf…actually, i can’t imagine anyone hanging out needlessly in either stadium’s bathrooms…yuch…as for me, i like beer and i have a weak bladder…[did i just share too much info?]… ;)

    dc August 25, 2007, 9:13 pm
  • Wow seems like I missed some great drama here today…
    America’s Team? Uggh no matter what I say here I am going to come across as a homer so I might as well go for the gusto. I will leave you with this…1995-2006. Longevity and consistency. No team can say the same, at least during my lifetime. So if you want to be called America’s Team, go for it. We’ll just let the 26 World Championships, 39 Pennants and 46 playoff appearances console us.

    John - YF (Trisk) August 25, 2007, 10:31 pm
  • Which is why the fact that this year especially, the Red Sox fans actually are turning out in far greater numbers, are more vocal, wear more team apparel and show up in force in so many more far flung cities, than Yankee lovers do, just isn’t the point. The point is that Red Sox fans all across the country finally sense the end to the Evil Empire’s AL East domination, and THAT is a reason to come out and cheer the Red Sox wherever they are playing. And THAT comforts me quite nicely.
    Are the Red Sox America’s team? Who knows, but having watched the game of baseball for over 40 years and loved the Sox when Tony C was my favorite player, I have never seen anything resembling the cheers coming from the stands at almost EVERY Red Sox road game… speaking of which, did anyone hear how loud the fans were yelling YOUK!!! whenever Youklis stepped to the plate in Chicago, today?

    Brian August 25, 2007, 11:48 pm
  • Y’know something else, I’m a fan of other teams in other sports and other times, some of those teams were far more dominating than this current Red Sox team, yet of all the teams in all the sports over the decades of being a fan of baseball, hockey, basketball and football, I can never ever recall a packed stadium, arena or ballpark that sounds remotely
    like stadiums sound when the Red Sox come to visit this year. No team in any sport, at any time during my lifetime, and perhaps in all of sports history, has brought so many vocal and obviously loyal fans to whatever venue they are playing in.
    Yankees draw a lot, lots of people want to see them lose. Sure, they have fans on the road, compare them to the sea of Red Sox red I have seen every place the Sox have visited this year, there is no comparison. And while we are debating, as a percentage, who’s fans venture into the den of the enemy in larger, more vocal numbers? Sure Fenway doesn’t hold nearly as many but surely the image of Red Sox fans deliriously celebrating the 2004 ALCS comeback victory IN Yankee stadium is etched in the minds of Sox fans forever, and more than a few Yankee fans too.
    Which also is very comforting to me.

    Brian August 26, 2007, 12:19 am
  • Everyone is giving me far too much credit here.
    I added the USA Today story, almost as an afterthought, because I’d meant to post it several days ago and forgot about it. In thinking about it, I realized it could fit as kind of another example of how everything seems to be rolling the Sox’ way, of late.
    The picture was even more of an afterthought — I found it while searching for the link to the USA Today article. I enjoy including newspaper front-page pics when I can, and the size is the only way you can actually read the subhead. Including it also speaks to my time as a young Sox fan, when it was a big deal for the Sox to make it on the front page of USAT (to which our family subscribed when I was growing up). It’s always been pretty cool to see the Sox get good press on the front page of a national newspaper, so again, this seemed to fit the tone of my post.
    So, sorry, guys. No baiting. No hidden motives. I know you like to think otherwise, but that’s all there is.
    Of course, everything in the post is open for discussion. I would like someone to point to the comment in which I defended the Sox as “America’s team” or argued that they in fact have legitimately outdrawn the Yankees. I haven’t — because I didn’t feel such a debate was worthwhile. I don’t believe I told anyone they couldn’t have this debate or try to keep people from having it. I gave my opinion and moved on.
    Woosta — surprise! — began this argument, dc. Not me. I did not respond, as is my policy regarding trolls like him (and frankly wish it would be more people’s policy until he can manage the length of a single debate without insults, ad homenim attacks or unnecessary antagonism). As more people cited further Yankee blogs’ response, I questioned the logic behind their analysis but at no time entered the debate over who was the true “America’s team.” Like I said before, it’s probably the Yankees, and I still don’t care. I’d rather be world champions. Apparently others care a lot more than I do about road attendance figures. Fine.
    If there is an argument here, it is obviously with USA Today — not with me. I called the debate pointless because I feel it detracts from my larger point, and I don’t believe who has the better road attendance is that great a deal — except as it relates to my point, which, again, is that everything seems to be breaking the Sox’ way. Perhaps I shot myself in my own foot, as SF suggests, by using the front page image as such a strong visual element, but, as I said, I simply did that because I thought it was cool.
    Sorry if that’s not conspiratorial enough, shadowy enough or masterfully logical enough for you. But it’s why I posted what I did, and why I responded the way I did.

    Paul SF August 26, 2007, 2:26 am
  • fair enough paul…i accept your explanation…i only suggested that you started the debate because it was you that presented the material in your post without a disclaimer or explanation, giving it your implicit [at least] endorsement…that started the ball rolling…if you want to say that woosta’s reaction was more than expected and more than the situation deserved, i get it, but you can’t be shocked that you got some reaction from yf’s especially given our fragile state of mind these days…i understand the need to blow up the picture, but as sf pointed out, that seemed to accentuate the point even if it wasn’t your intent to feature it in your post…trying to downplay it later was, well, too late…my first response to you at 8:49am is how i really feel about the topic…the later entries i made were mostly just noise so i could be part of the debate…sf and i put things into perspective at the end by joking with each other about hot dogs and bathrooms…that’s how it should be more often around here…

    dc August 26, 2007, 8:02 am
  • what a gigantic argument over something as silly as road attendance.
    who cares about road attendance? yanksfans, i guess? i guarantee you die-hard new englanders don’t care in the least about fair weather fanboys. i’ve been rooting for new england teams all my life, and i will for the rest of it regardless of whether they’re “america’s team” (as silly a concept as that is) or not. win, lose, draw, road fans, whatever. that’s what it means to be die hard. i’ll still tease my yanksfan friends with “yankees suck” jokes when the sox win, and cry in my beer when they don’t. but it’s not life and death. been there, done that, and i’m back now — try to have some perspective, people.

    soxfan August 26, 2007, 8:17 am
  • amen soxfan…you missed just one little fact: “…who cares about road attendance? yanksfans, i guess?…” …uh, it was a sox fan that posted the news in the first place, later explaining that he didn’t really endorse it…for the record, i accepted his explanation…you are right on however with putting things into perspective…doesn’t make you or me any less “die-hard”, whatever that is, but i’ve got other things in my life that are more important to me, and i hope i always will…

    dc August 26, 2007, 8:41 am
  • Paul wrote:
    “…using the fact that the Red Sox are shattering road attendance records…”
    Meanwhile, I and everyone else merely disputed that “fact”. Why? Cause it’s false when you bother to scratch a mere millimeter below the surface.
    And so Paul is doing a wonderful job of trying to obfuscate things. He said something that isn’t true by relying on a source he himself called “a paper with dubiuos respect in journalistic circles”. And as dc points out, he muddied things even more by posting the “money” shot and making it seem as if that was the point of his post.
    Paul, do a better job and I’ll have nothing to say.

    Woosta YF August 26, 2007, 11:25 am
  • Paul, do a better job and I’ll have nothing to say.
    Yeah, right. I have a bridge for sale, too.

    SF August 26, 2007, 12:37 pm
  • Yawn to this whole debate. Clearly the most beloved team in all baseball is the D-Rays since, despite their miserable performance, they still exist.
    More interesting to me: did anyone else hear that the Comerica Park official scorers reversed the E call on Polanco from Friday night’s 1st inning – thus keeping intact his record number of errorless innings? Pretty shady in my book. Never liked the home-field scoring system – seems fraught with favoritism.

    IronHorse (yf) August 26, 2007, 12:39 pm
  • Okay, I’ll have less to say.
    Meanwhile, if Paul can insist on calling me a “troll”, he deserves the label of “hack”.

    Woosta YF August 26, 2007, 12:44 pm
  • I really don’t see the need for personal attacks. We write stories, good, bad or otherwise for a purpose. That purpose is to have intelligent discussions about the Yankees, Red Sox and MLB. If you don’t agree with what the author says you don’t need to make the attack personal. This is supposed to be fun guys and gals.
    Back to the topic at hand. Do we always need to hear from the media (Not Paul) about how light hearted and fun the Red Sox clubhouse is? How loveable those Sox are and how evil and business like the Yankees are. This goes back to ’04 with the “Idiots” and “Cowboy Up.” That nonsense has zero outcome on the game. I have been coaching baseball since I was 21, I am now 32 and granted it’s not at the ML level, but each team has it’s own identity. Some are like the “Idiots” and some are like the “Evil Empire” and there just is no evidence that either make a team more effective. To me it comes across as trying too hard to be accepted or to find a niche. The Red Sox have the 2nd highest payroll in the game, that’s what keeps them in the running, not Coco’s green get up or because Millar passed out shots of JD before a big game. I would be more willing to accept this “Us Versus The World” attitude if they were say the Brewers or the Diamondbacks.

    John - YF (Trisk) August 26, 2007, 12:57 pm
  • Iron Horse:
    I was watching the game when Polanco’s “Error” occured. I turned to my buddies and said that error needs to be on Thames. If you watch the play closely it was an E3, not an E4. Thames footwork was AWFUL and the throw was just not that bad. He played that ball like a DH. I do agree though it’s shady to go back and change it, should have been the call from the get go.

    John - YF (Trisk) August 26, 2007, 1:03 pm
  • Kudos John – now this is more interesting than “who is America’s team”.
    I agree with you but with one one caveat. I do feel that while each team has its own character, organizations (including sports franchises) tend to develop organizational cultures – so much so that even changing Presidents and Managers over the years can have little lasting influence on those cultures because they get so embedded.
    A lot of it is myth – but myth does not mean falsehood – it is a collectively bought into belief about an organization, group, nation, etc.
    As a yf, I choose to buy into the myth that there is a “Yankee” way of doing things that gets translated into lots of little things: no names on the uniforms, no facial hair, no special perks, etc. The Clemens deal was disturbing to some of us because it took a big bite out of one of those rules of how the Yankees do things.
    Jeter is in part beloved because he is the latest in a long line of Yankees who exemplify how the game is to be played – hardnosed baseball, all about winning and not indiviudal achievements, cleancut, etc. The no-celebrating antithesis-of-K-Rod Mariano is another.
    Fans of other teams like to paint it all as uncaring dispassionate business-like operations and sometimes concoct their own mini-identities in opposition (look, we LOVE facial hair and we can grow mohawks and we look like slobs – yippee!), but I will always prefer my Yankee mythology and will put the Gehrigs, Dimaggios, Jeters, and Mos of the world on a higher pedestal than the flash in the pan slobs-r-us teams.
    I think if you ask a football fan what the Chicago Bears culture and style of play is vs. the Raiders vs. the Cowboys you will get remarkably consistent mythologies abotu those storied franchises also.

    IronHorse (yf) August 26, 2007, 1:15 pm
  • Sorry John – was refering to your critique of the regular press drumbeat of “the Red Sox are fun! – the Yankees are not!”, not your response on Polanco. Perhaps you are correct re: Thames – the footwork was bad, but he had very little time to react to the throw, which was coming hard and low from pretty close.

    IronHorse (yf) August 26, 2007, 1:17 pm
  • Trisk:
    I totally agree about chemistry and the impact, but baseball is a game of personalities and stories, and the temperament of the clubhouse is just more of baseball myth-making — for me these types of stories are a good thing, they add to the lore of the game if done well. So that doesn’t mean that because I love the “idiots” I thought the idiots won because they were idiots, but rather that in 30 years I will still remember the idiots as a seminal team in my life, partly because of their personality. I think the stories that we read about clubhouse character focus too much on how that character influences the standings and should just be left as fleshing out teams and their players.

    SF August 26, 2007, 6:24 pm
  • That nonsense has zero outcome on the game.
    Amen, Trisk. I’ve been preaching that line for a long time — mainly that winning fosters great chemistry and smooths over any differences in personality. Losing does the opposite and exacerbates those differences.
    And then there’s the late-1970s Yankees, who won with TERRIBLE chemistry. It seems many in sports media confuse correlation with causation on that issue — or even reverse the causation entirely.
    Doesn’t mean I don’t like reading stories about how great the Sox are/how evil the Yanks are in the clubhouse though. ;-)

    Paul SF August 26, 2007, 7:42 pm
  • Right, like last August’s Verdouchi hatchet job on the winning Yankee clubhouse. That was fantastic! Good to see his hard hitting journalism is at least consistent with this week’s Sox feature.
    Oh wait…

    Woosta YF August 26, 2007, 8:27 pm
  • Some are like the “Idiots” and some are like the “Evil Empire” and there just is no evidence that either make a team more effective.
    True, but I think a team’s chemistry is part of what makes them interesting to follow. As SF said very eloquently above.
    Ironhorse – your post made me giggle. Citing the “no celebrating” Mo and the fist-pumping-after-every-play Jeter as model players in the same breath? Really?

    Jackie (SF) August 27, 2007, 3:17 pm

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