Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cry Me A River

I was part of a revolt once. It was back in junior year of high school. I was in Mrs. Jones' English class (my favorite class) and she decided to let a student teacher come in and take over. Well, we were all pretty used to having Mrs. Jones and not happy with the change so it didn't exactly go over well with the class. You see, we knew how to work Mrs. Jones. We knew which buttons could be pressed and how far we could bend her to our will. This new chick comes in and we immediately hated her. Who did she think she was? All running the class like she owns us and shit. Well hell no we won't go. That lasted for about a week. Now I mentioned that this was my favorite class and in this week we weren't getting anything done. I loved writing but being stuck in a holding pattern with the teacher was annoyingly counterproductive. The bully the teacher routine got old and tired and personally I didn't care anymore. She didn't seem so bad once you got know her. She gave us some letter writing assignment for homework and I took the opportunity to address her. It was signed anonymously but anyone with half an eye open in that room knew it was mine when she read it loud. Basically what the letter entailed was a series of compromise, moving forward and actually getting some work done. The class, more than likely bored with the routine as well, agreed. After that it was all rainbows and sunshine.

Mrs. Jones was Terry Francona, the student teacher was Bobby Valentine. Get it?

In the end, all revolutions are met with compromise. So what the fuck is up with the Red Sox right now? Boo friggin hoo Francona's gone and you have a new boss. Boo friggin hoo he does things different. Cry me a fucking river. Whatever Francona was doing wasn't working so a change was necessary. I remember September 2011. I remember the absolute embarrassment of that implosion. I remember hanging my head in shame and swearing off baseball for an entire season. I have the luxury of doing that, but these players don't. As a fan, I've barely shown up to games. As players they've done likewise. There is no intensity, no teamwork, no accountability, no compromise. Just a bunch of whiny overpaid losers stomping their feet and not getting their way.

Let's begin at the beginning...

Ownership doesn't just fire Terry Francona, but they commit a complete and total character assassination on the man before he even reaches the exit door. It's my personal opinion, and that of many others, that the owners were the source of "leaked" information about Francona's marital issues and alleged prescription drug use. I take it with a grain of salt. They knew Theo was heading for the hills on the fastest possible horse so they had nothing to lose. In killing Francona's character the killed any chance of respect for the incoming manager, either from the team or from fans.

I still insist that hiring Valentine was a very calculated move. He's a guy who runs his mouth, calls players out and in short makes himself a target for the masses. The media and fans have focused their frustration solely on the new boss. Let's be honest, he doesn't have much power to begin with. Rumor has it Terry wasn't even allowed to make his own lineup, Lucchino sent it down from above. Rumors, but still... Francona let the wheels come off the bus last year when he lost control, Valentine isn't going to make it any better. He can't command respect in a clubhouse that has no accountability.

(pic via LOLSox)

Not one single player was made to pay for last year's mistakes so why would they change their ways now? The owners have every single aspect of that team micromanaged to a fault... except the players. Not one single member of that team has performed to the best of their abilities. You can see the toxicity in the dugout between each other and with the coaches. They hate their jobs right now. Is it really that hard to put on a uniform and play ball? Shit I'd do it for free. These guys get paid millions of dollars to put on a major league uniform and play at some of the greatest ball parks in America and they're acting like spoiled little princesses. Instead of accepting the new sheriff in town they go to the owners and complain. Boo hoo we aren't getting our way. Shut the fuck up. Just do your job, collect your check and shut the fuck up. The opinions of players are not necessary.

I'm going to say this once and I'm going caps lock this: JASON VARITEK CANNOT RUN THIS TEAM. No. No. No and more NO. If Francona couldn't and Valentine can't how does anyone expect Varitek to get results? This meme has been going around and frankly it's annoying. This team needs a manager that demands respect, Varitek is not going to be that man. I don't know where this idea started, but it's dumbassery on parade. That is all.

I understand how easy it is to blame the new guy but not once have I seen Bobby Valentine come out of the dugout and vomit up 8 runs in 5 innings. Leaving Lester in too long back in July was not to intentionally embarrass him. Lester did a great job of embarrassing himself. No one can embarrass you, you can only embarrass yourself. No one is doing their job. No one is performing. I've heard the boos at Fenway and I would be booing til I was hoarse. A fan pays good money to see a team perform and no one is producing. It's been so bad that the owners have come up with gimmicks that are abhorrent to the current state of the Sox.

Releasing balloons into the city with tickets. A story of a kidnapped Wally. What a joke. They are so out of touch with reality that they insult the fans with this shit. All they care about is asses in seats. Don't even get me started on the supposed sellout streak. Fenway's 100th has turned into psych ops for the sychophant fans. Ho hum if we pretend we aren't losing then it can't be happening. La di da. Sweeeet Caroliiinnne.... ugh blow me.

So who does Gonzalez think he is? Che Guevera? C'mon man and even more disappointing Pedroia had a hand in this "revolt"? If I were the owners listening to a bunch of millionaire assholes complaining I'd have given each and every one a one week unpaid vacation and let some minor leaguers come up. Mandatory game attendance on their own dime, just sit back and watch the minor leaguers do your job. But then of course, I command accountability. Personal responsibility. Every one of those bitches would be in time out. The owners in this case, do not. They apparently think ignoring the problem will make it disappear. As much as they've done for the team and stadium itself, they need to call it and fall on their swords. Check Francona's back. There might still be one there.

In closing, this is pathetic. This team will not make the postseason. They will continue to fail miserably and nothing will change. Let another manager come in. It won't matter one bit. A team that refuses to be led will never succeed. I have absolutely no optimism left for this year. To be honest, I didn't have much at the beginning. Let the sycophant Sox fans fill the wagons. I'll never completely abandon ship, but this has reached a Jersey Shore level of embarrassment for those watching with their eyes open. It's a train wreck and the owners and players can't decide who the train conductor is.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

RSVPhobia: It's a thing.

This is not a sports blog. I feel I should explain that before I begin this next post. I may write about sports more in the future, but this is pretty much a Me Blog. Okay, I've explained... moving on.

As much as I appreciate the thought, your kid's birthday party scares the crap out of me. As a matter of fact, the invitation alone brings me feelings of sheer terror. I would love for every parent to just understand this, but maybe I should explain.

If you are the parent of a child with Autism/Aspergers you know exactly what I'm talking about. The mere mention of "party" sends a panic signal to your brain.

Sensory overload! Red-faced meltdowns!

"Oh God you have a laser tag themed birthday party?!?!?! For the love of sanity NOOOOOOO...."

Yeah all of that.

When my son goes to a party he sees everything at once. He doesn't just see ice cream, cake, presents, games and kids. He sees it ALL at once. He wants it all to happen right then and he wants to control it. He understands the idea behind buying a gift for the birthday boy/girl but he doesn't like it. He cannot stick to the hosts schedule it needs to happen NOW. All of it. NOW. There are children running around screaming and playing games and he can't focus. It's too much to take in. Therein sensory overload. Complete and total over-stimulation. Most kids can handle this just fine, but not my son.

Imagine you walk into a room and suddenly a stereo turns on. Not just any stereo but one of those Bose systems with 5 speakers and a bass unit. Now imagine every single one of those speakers was turned on to it's highest possible volume, bass turned up to 10 and everything is thumping. You can feel the music as you grit your teeth to bear the volume. Now imagine a pulsing light. One of those ones you see at a club. Flash, flash, flash. The music is pounding and reverberating through your whole body. The light is flashing in your eyes. How long do you think you could stand this? 5 minutes? 30? Okay, now imagine the room is locked. Do you feel uncomfortable yet?

That is exactly how my son feels when he's put into this type of unpredictable, unscheduled, anything can happen type of environment. It's chaotic and uncontrollable which makes it very uncomfortable for him. He just cannot handle it. As fun as it should be (and he knows it should be fun too) it's not. In his mind it escalates to a boiling point and when that happens it's best for us to escape. So we do. Anywhere we go we have a pre-planned escape mapped out. My husband and I say to ourselves before we go anywhere (zoo, racetrack, party etc.) "We need to be prepared to leave in case this goes south." And we do. My son's comfort level is more important to us than anything else and we constantly need to compromise our plans to fit his needs.

This is not a lesson he needs to learn either. This is not something he needs to get used to or adjust to. In the grand scheme of life, birthday parties aren't going to rank high on the list of important challenges accomplished. But it's important that my friends who are parents know that this is in fact just that for my son. A challenge. I don't feel the need to force him into this situation because it's uncomfortable and frustrating for him.

It has nothing to do with your child, you, your house, your party. It has nothing to do with you. Please remember this. It has nothing to do with you. I'm sure your party will be great, your child and his/her guests will have fun, but don't be upset if we only stay a short time. And if we just don't go, I need that to be understood too. Some days he may be able to handle it, others not so much.

One more example:

This weekend my Uncle is getting married. As soon as I received the invitation I had decided that myself and my daughter will go and we'd leave my husband and my son at home. There's just no way I can expect this boy to sit through a wedding ceremony and then try to handle a reception afterwards. He'd have to be dressed up first of all which is problem #1. You know how when your t-shirt has a tag it's kind of annoying? Well, he interprets that as pain. Real physical pain. So if he's dressed in an outfit that is anything other than his favorite clothes his comfort level drops. Problem #2 would have been asking him to sit still during a ceremony. Not happening. He's already uncomfortable in his clothes, asking him to sit still and be patient and quiet would have been too much. And of course, problem #3, the reception. It's a party with presents and cake and ....oh my God sensory overload would have already happened.

I hope this has made some sense. I felt it should be explained. I realize the inconvenience it brings to your event, but this is what we do. If you saw your child struggling you would help. You would alleviate whatever bothered him or her and you would be there for them. I would love to attend parties like "normal" parents, but that's just not the hand we were dealt. Parties shouldn't inspire fear, but they do for us.

I'd like to finish this up by saying that this is not just an autism-ism (great word thought up by a friend. Thanks B.D.)This is not something that is limited to children with behavioral or social issues. Somewhere there is a parent out there with a perfectly "normal" child who is just as scared of parties as I am. Not ALL autistic children feel this way. If you know me, you know I don't like calling my son autistic. I like calling him by his name. Every child, no matter what their diagnosis, is an individual and should be treated as such. So Mrs. Whatsherface up the street may have an autistic son who can handle parties, but my son can't. All I ask of my friends is to just please, please, please even if you don't understand what I've explained, don't take offense.

I promise it's not you, it's us.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Different Take on Beckett

I don't like Josh Beckett. I never really have, but:

Josh Beckett is one of the most talented pitchers the MLB has ever seen. He has a career ERA of 3.88, 1,647 strike outs and a W/L average of .599 (.628 with Boston). He deserves days off and shouldn't apologize for what he does during those days. His start was skipped in favor of bringing up Aaron Cook, from my understanding. It's that simple. He didn't lie and say he felt tightness so he could get on the golf course the next day. He was skipped. This is a non-story had the Sox gotten that win, but then certain "sports journalists" would have nothing to write about so there's your latest Beckett-Diva story.

But he pitched 3 innings last night and gave up 7 runs.


Relax. The man's supposed to be in a hyperbaric chamber on his off days? C'mon. His post game interview was dripping with contempt and petulance, but you know what? You Boston fans (myself included) are a different breed. You're like foaming from the mouth rabid when one of your players (from any team) is less than perfect. Spoiled much? One day he's a king among men for pitching 7 shut out innings, another day he's a team cancer. Make up your minds and stop being Shaughnessy's Sheep mmkay?

I have respect for his talent, but I cannot friggin stand Beckett. I want to. Don't get me wrong. I've always wanted to. I mean seriously, anyone who makes a few members of the Philly pitching staff look like little bitches is aces in my book. His comment to Francona after his first bomb: "Oh yeah. I can hit." I loved it. It was confidence and tenacity and just the right amount of arrogance.

But he's been exposing himself for what he really is and I love it even more. Why? Because players are not perfect. They don't have to be. I never understood fans elevating players to a level of godliness and then stripping them to the bone at the first failure. This is why I try not to get attached to individual players. They are people, not just expensive flesh in a uniform. Just because they play for your team doesn't mean they owe you apologies or explanations for every personal move they make. They aren't your friend. They aren't your family. They get paid to play for the Boston Red Sox and that's it. Last night I saw tweets praising DLowe for his pitching yet bashing Beckett for his. Why? Because he gave up 7 runs or because he went off the map for his day off? Ya think maybe the golf story had him off his game? It can happen. I'm not making excuses for him, but he is, after all... HUMAN. Even more ironic, DLowe had a DUI not that long ago, but Beckett's the bad guy. C'mon, seriously? These players are human and not all humans are going to be endearing. The amount of flak that Lackey got last year for his problems with his wife was just beyond vile. Since when does he have to answer to fans or media regarding his marriage?? Goddamn ridiculous. I don't like Lackey either, but that's a post for another day.

I don't like Beckett and I don't have to. It doesn't make me less of a fan or more of a fan. I just don't like him. It has nothing to do with golf. It has nothing to do with chicken or beer or any other moronic "story" the Globe wants to force feed the public. He just has a cocky don't-give-a-fuck attitude. Does he have to be all sparkles and rainbows and sunshine? Nope. He has to pitch and pitch well. He is a professional who is paid to play ball. He is not paid to be role model for your kids. He's not paid to answer to you, the fan. He is paid to pitch and pitch well. There is no prerequisite to baseball stating that he needs to put on a happy face with fans. There is no prerequisite to baseball stating that I need to like every member of the team. He doesn't need to be liked.

A little support from the home crowd couldn't hurt though. It's not like it's going to make the current dysfunction in that team any worse than it is right now.

As much as I dislike Mr. Beckett I do NOT want him to fail at his job. I don't take pleasure in his failings, but I do take pleasure in fans realizing that players aren't perfect. If the media could take a break from constantly shelling him he might have the motivation to relax and get back into the game. It seems they've placed sole blame on him for the September collapse. Lackey and Lester are mentioned every once in a while, but it always comes back to Beckett being ringleader. Why? Because you (and self-aggrandizing media) KNOW he doesn't give a shit what you think about him. He knows you know. He knows you know he knows too. He knows he's arrogant. He knows he's selfish. He also knows he's the best pitcher on the team and he isn't going anywhere. Love him or hate him. He's Josh Beckett, ace pitcher for the Red Sox and he is not paid to give a shit about fan opinion.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Diehards vs. Pinkhats: Who's Winning?

After 2004 there was a shift. Not just on the team, but in the stands. I personally haven't been to Fenway for a game in over 10 years. My husband and I went in 2001. The Red Sox lost that day, but we stuck around to enjoy the atmosphere anyway. I had fun just being able to experience it. I know if I go to a game this year that atmosphere will be thick with fraud.

There's a war going on in Boston sports. A war with no clear winner or loser. A war that began in Fenway, but not on the field. It's carried over to social media sites such as twitter and facebook. This war makes the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry look like a thumb-wrestling match. It's a war in the stands. Between fans. Diehards vs. Pinkats. It's an epic battle with no winners, no losers and no real exit strategy.

Now before I say more I'm going to make this very clear. Fan fraud does not bother me. I don't care what you wear, what you drink, how you act, when you became a fan... you know why? I'm busy watching the game. If you decide to get up in the 8th and sing Sweet Caroline at the top of your lungs when the bullpen just gave up a 9 run lead, I don't care. If you get bored and decide to start the wave, I don't care. I don't care if you bought tickets to the game for the sole purpose of ogling Ellsbury and Pedroia. I don't understand why others care, but I just don't. I'm busy. There's a game happening here and I'm paying attention to it, not anyone else. This diehard vs pinkhat war has come to a boiling point. But why?

There are, in my opinion, three species of fans.

The Self-Styled Diehard:

Not to be confused with The Lifers. The Self-Styled Diehard's natural born enemy is The Pinkhat. They are in constant battle together to prove themselves as the "better fan". The Diehard throws out the term "Pinkhat" at anyone they please mostly to differentiate themselves from each other. The Diehard's biggest fear is being exposed for what they really are. A Pinkhat. I know it's confusing right? But here's the thing: If we didn't have Pinkhats the Diehards wouldn't exist. The Pinkhat presence brought on the Diehards. The Self-Styled Diehard wants to make it very clear exactly how diehard they are by establishing a set of rules as to what you can and can't do as a fan. Anyone who breaks from those rules is considered to be a Pinkhat. No wave. No Sweet Caroline. No wine. No cell phones. No beach balls. No pink hats. No Truck Day. No Opening Day. No Fenway on Ice. No bricks. No coffee table books. No fun whatsoever can be had at Fenway Park lest you want to be called a Pinkhat. But the dirty little secret the Diehards hold close is that they want to have as much fun as the despised Pinkhats. Self-Styled Diehards go to the game (or watch the game while tweeting) and bitch and moan about what everyone else is doing. Personally, I think they sound like a bunch of arrogant, stuck up snobs. If you want to bitch and moan then direct it towards the team. Because while you were whining about what's happening in the stands you forgot to pay attention to what's happening on the field. Self-Styled Diehards have become so obsessed with calling out Pinkhats that they forget there's a game going on. They feel that establishing themselves as "real fans" is more important. I don't get why they care so much about being known as the better fan, but I do know Self-Styled Diehards and Pinkhats alike were born from the same womb. 2004. They are the Cain and Able of Boston sports. I'll say it one more time: Without Pinkhats there would be no Diehards. How ya like them apples?

The Pinkhat:

Previously known as "bandwagoner". The definition of Pinkhat has expanded over the years to describe both male and female bandwagoners alike. If you are a female and take offense to the term, stop now. The time to take offense is over. It no longer applies to just females. It is a blanket insult used by the Self-Styled Diehards to describe anyone but themselves. The Diehards have their definition, but my definition of a Pinkhat is the following: You go to the game to be seen. You go to the game to "check in" (foursquare; facebook etc.) You haven't educated yourself in the team's history or the history of baseball as a sport. You leave the game when we're down 5 runs in the 6th. You probably think a "balk" is just a misspelled "walk". You can't name more than 2 players and probably have no idea what the batting order is. Also, and this is important, you haven't suffered. If you say 8 years of wins and losses is sufferance enough, you are wrong. A Red Sox fan was built to suffer disappointment after disappointment. I will say 8 years is enough if you've bothered to learn your shit about the team, but sadly a lot of you haven't. This is why you aren't taken seriously as fans. You see a game at Fenway as more of a frat party than a game. You line the owners' pockets by wasting money on t-shirts just to be seen wearing them. You love Jerry Remy, but you probably don't know what position he played when he was wearing a Sox uniform. Some may disagree with my definition, but if you look at what I've written above you'll see the common factor is a lack of knowledge (and suffering) of the game and the team. I urge all Pinkhats to learn their shit then they will be taken seriously.

The Lifer:

The Lifer has never known a time when they weren't a Red Sox fan. The Lifer is the honey badger of fans. They don't give a shit about anything but the game. The Lifer is an armchair coach. The Lifer knows not only the history of the team, but the history of the park and the history of baseball. The Lifer couldn't give a shit about the war between the Diehards and Pinkhats. The Lifer has one purpose. Watch the game. Many Lifers have made the conscious decision to stop attending games. Why? The Diehard vs. Pinkhat war has driven them off. They'd rather watch the game and focus than see other people strut around preening themselves. They couldn't care less if they're the better fan. Lifers don't feel the need to rank themselves. They aren't at the game to brag about being at the game. They're at the game to watch their team win or lose. They're there before the game starts and they don't leave until the game is over. The Diehards and Pinkhats buzz around like flies trying to outdo one another while the Lifer enjoys the game. The Lifer will never chant "Yankees Suck". Why? Respect for the game breeds respect for other teams which breeds respect for other players. The Lifer lives with the saying "We'll get 'em next year." because they knew the team pre-2004. The Lifer has suffered with this team for as long as they can remember. A Red Sox fan was built to suffer. Through one heartbreaking season after another, they were built to suffer. They are built to expect disappointment because they've lived through more losses than wins. The Lifer will look at this blog and not give a rats ass which category they belong in as fans. The Lifer is a baseball fan first and a Red Sox fan second.

Even though I have separated the fanbase into different species I don't think that any one is better than the other. You all bandwagoned this team at one point. Whether you were a child or adult when you hopped on board doesn't matter. Defining myself as a fan of anything is of no importance to me. What others think of me as a fan is of no importance to me. Anyone who's known me for any length of time knows I think this war is petty and self-serving. "If you don't care then why write this blog?" Honestly, I don't know. Maybe because it's annoying to try and have a real conversation about baseball when people just want to point fingers at each other. I just want to talk baseball, dude. I don't care about what's happening in the stands. I care about what's happening on the field. I don't care if you think so and so is a Pinkhat. I don't care if you're supposedly a Diehard. It's stupid. Why it matters to others, I don't understand.

I guess what I'm saying is this: Since when did anyone feel the need to prove themselves and why is this important? Since when do you have to establish the wheres, whens, whys and hows of being a fan of anything? You don't have to, so what is the fucking point? So a few "journalists" wrote some articles on their distaste for Pinkhats because they had a deadline and nothing else to write about. Do you have to follow suit? Diehards will never stop Pinkhats from invading their so-called territory. Pinkhats will never stop having fun at the park. Lifers will never start caring about the other fans. This is a losing battle and anyone taking part in it is wasting their time. Establishing your image as a fan is only important to you.

The Red Sox don't care what kind of fan you are.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wake Me up When September Ends.

After last September's collapse and subsequent media horror show I've tried my hardest to ignore the Red Sox. This is pretty hard to do when baseball is your favorite sport and the Sox are your team. But regardless, I submerged myself in football, basketball and hockey after September because well... the Red Sox organization makes the NY Jets locker room look like a ladies tea party.

I'm not the first to say that I'm embarrassed by my own team. I won't be the last either. As a fan you don't expect much out of the team you pledge loyalty to other than a consistent effort to win. Last year was consistently inconsistent. I don't think the inconsistency can easily be solely attributed to laziness, a feeling of entitlement, or lack of heart. This team had no clear leader. I love Terry as much as the next guy, but when you lose the respect of the players on your team you lose your team. He lost control and fell into the trap of letting the inmates run the asylum. He's gone and he's not coming back. Repeat that. He's gone and he's not coming back.

Enter Bobby Valentine.

In my opinion, the hiring of Valentine was a very calculated move by the front office. He's a guy who likes the cameras, he's a guy who calls players out and he was the only guy with the sheer arrogance to think he could actually "fix" this team. Immediately he's a media target and every move he makes will be questioned, cross-examined and over-analyzed. Boston sports media is a feral dog and Bobby is their new chew toy. Are the memories of chicken and beer fading yet? That's exactly what Lucchino and Henry wanted in Valentine. A distraction. A punching bag. A new shiny toy for the fans to bat at. And it's working.

Now just like everyone else I've been pretty skeptical of Valentine, but my ice cold heart is beginning to warm to him. So he ran his mouth to the media about Youkilis... surprised? No. That's Bobby's thing. He calls guys out. We knew this. Is there any other team in the MLB right now that needs calling out more than the Red Sox? Nope. Now this may ruffle the muddy chicken's feathers because according to him, "That's not how we do things here." Well, suck it up buttercup because you're not in charge. Coaches run the team, or in our case meddling owners and computers, but still definitely not players. And as well they shouldn't. After last year I was of the mind to hire an R. Lee Ermey type to shape these maggots into men, but hey... I'm not in charge. Warming to Valentine or not, I can agree he's made mistakes. My idea of his mistakes may differ from others though.

I think his only mistake of this season so far has been apologizing for his criticism of the players. He started out apologizing to Beckett for comments he made in his analyst days. Why? I'm sure the comments were valid and likely accurate. Undermining yourself is not the best way to start taking charge. Now questioning Youkilis' commitment to the media rather than the man was not the smartest move, but let's be honest. We all watch the games. We all can see that Youkilis has slowed down and his bat is lukewarm. It's too early in the season to judge accurately, but did Valentine say anything new? Nope. He just said it to the wrong people. Taking it back and apologizing for it however, was the mistake. If you are in charge of a team then be unapologetic in taking control. You are the boss. Do your job and make everyone else do theirs. If someone's feelings get hurt, then oh well. When I played ball my coach told me what I did wrong and I fixed it. I didn't question it. I just worked my ass off to fix it. My father played every sport available to him and he always taught me to never question the coach. A player's responsibility is to the team not to their pride. And coaches cannot fall into the trap of letting the inmates run the asylum.

So ask yourself this: Do I hate Bobby Valentine because he's a horrible manager or do I hate Bobby Valentine because he isn't Terry Francona? Bobby didn't get Terry fired. Terry got Terry fired. Terry Francona is gone and he is not coming back. Theo, Varitek, Wakefield, Papelbon, Lowrie, Scutaro, Pedro, Trot, Millar, Manny, Damon, Nomar and Terry Francona are all gone and they aren't coming back. 2004 is over. 2007 is over. This Red Sox team is not THAT Red Sox team. As hard as it is to let go, it's past time. I will always be a fan of the Boston Red Sox, but I will never be a blind fan. We are all armchair coaches and we all have our opinions on how a team should be run, but at the end of the game we still aren't in charge. Let Bobby Valentine finish his time in Boston. We know he's not a lifer, but have the decency to give him a chance because no matter what, he's the only guy who wants the job right now. And one last thing to remember: Getting rid of Valentine will not "fix" this team. After he is chewed up and spat out we will still be left with a team of miscreants. So I don't know about any other fans but I hope he can make a difference before he leaves town.