Saturday, March 08, 2008

Expectations Management

Dan reminds Red Sox Nation to temper their expectations about the Sox this season. He says they are a good team and a deep team but points out that the season is a long grind and there are plenty of other good teams out there. He scoffs at the notion that the Red Sox are a dynasty--a notion that I believe is only perpetuated by his fellow sports writers?

Petty Dan re-emerges today. He aims his snarkiness at the nouveau Red Sox fans, the ones who joined the Nation in 2004; the ones who wear pink Red Sox caps; the ones who apparently did not know that the sport of baseball even existed prior to 2004. Why do these people bother him so?

Obvious Dan also reminds us that "Every team in major league ball averages at least one loss every three games." I wonder if he has been hanging around Bill James too long?

Contradictory Dan spends a column telling people that they are fools if they think this is the most awesome team ever but then he says,

The Sox are good, and if they'd acquired Johan Santana, they could have been the best Red Sox team of all time.
Santana is obviously a superb pitcher but this kind of comment smacks of everything he wails against in the rest of the column.

It is not a horrible column....but in my mind, there are the typical tired elements of Shaughnessy fare: State the obvious; criticize the expectations (ones that he feeds with one hand and slaps away with the other); ridicule the fans; state the obvious again; and finally contradict himself undermining the whole premise of his column.


ObjectiveBruce said...

The Pink Hat Crowd, with its disdain for anything that happened before October, 2003, is pretty annoying to anyone who paid actual money to watch a game in the Butch Hobson era. Somehow I can't see a lot of the nouveau swooning over the likes of Bob Zupcic and Luis Rivera, much like people who thought it so cool to be seen watching Bird, McHale and Parish wouldn't have been caught dead wearing a Todd Day or Eric Williams shirt; and those with the Big Bad Bruins bumper stickers couldn't name five players by the time Orr, Esposito and Cashman gave way to Fergus, Curran and Simmer. It's nice to have the masses caught up in it, but their fawning makes me wanna 'fro up.

Dave M said...

I actually agree with you to an extent OB. I am at a disadvantage not living in the Boston area and am not subjected to the daily presence of the nouveau rich. I think it might annoy me a great deal. I just have a hard time imagining that these people are so omnipresent so as to call them out repeatedly like this. I could very well be wrong.

I will tell you that I was taken aback by the obnoxious Sox fan. I go to a handful of Sox-Orioles games in Baltimore every year. In the past, Red Sox fans were by and large very respectful of Orioles fans. In my most recent visit last summer, many of the Sox fans were downright nasty. It was not becoming at all.

roger bournival said...

I love this one:

This is not to be negative.

Poppycock! Shank, your entire career has been based on being negative. Curse of the Bambino, anyone? Can Shank explain why no one on the Red Sox will speak to him? I bet he was smirking when he wrote that sentence.

Anonymous said...

What gets me is apparently Dan thinks you can't be a "real" Red Sox fan unless you've been a fan since 1901?

I mean, isn't everybody a new fan *sometime*?

Anonymous said...

//Petty Dan re-emerges today. He aims his snarkiness at the nouveau Red Sox fans, the ones who joined the Nation in 2004; the ones who wear pink Red Sox caps; the ones who apparently did not know that the sport of baseball even existed prior to 2004.//

:In Rocky the Flying Squirrel voice: "Not again!"

Jeebus, CHB, give it a rest, willya? We get it! You've made the point about 8,000 times already!

Monkeesfan said...

Hell just froze over - Objective Bruce is right.

The fact is the pinkhats are crowding out the real fans but only attend the games etc. because it's considered chic to do. And they don't even give a damn enough about the game or the team - a few years ago I went to a Manchester Wolves game and there were some pinkhats - at an Arena League II game?!? - chatting in their cellphones instad of watching the game.

I'm seeing it with pinkhat Patriots fans, too - people who don't know who Darryl Stingley was (never mind know that Darryl's son Derek is a successful AF2 coach), or who John Hannah was, or what happened that ended Chuck Fairbanks' tenure with the team. All they know about is Brady. Would the pinkhats have made the effort to support the team in the chaos of the final year of Fairbanks, the Ron Erhardt roller coaster, the Ron Meyer chaos, the Raymond Berry renaissance and subsequent chaos, the collapse of the Kiam and Orthwein years, and the unstable first eight years of the Kraft era? Did the pinkhats sweat out the overtime win over the Miami Dolphins before Kraft purchased the team, or the comeback wins over the Vikings, the Jets, the Giants, the Dolphins and Bills in back-to-back primetime games, or the Colts when down 28-7 at the half, all during the above-mentioned unstable opening eight years of the Kraft era with the often-chaotic Parcells and Carroll periods?

Do the pinkhats even know who Mike Holovak was when he passed away?

I doubt it - they just chat on their cellphones, buy up the tickets to be seen at the game, and do all of this because it's considered chic.

No wonder Shank hates pinkhats. Tony Maz in 2005 nailed these despicable bandwagoners right in the eyes; having Shank rip them as well hardly qualifies as outrageous.

paul said...

"I mean, isn't everybody a new fan *sometime*?"

Good point. Give it 20 years and the old pink hats will be berating the new fans over their lack of knowledge of the Rentaria debacle. They'll get angry if they don't know who Gabe Kapler was or the doctor who performed ankle surgery on Curt Schilling so he could pitch in the '04 post season.

It's all relative. Trashing new fans because their lack of knowledge is like an elementary school teacher yelling at his class because they don't know the finer points of the Polk administration. New fans need to be taught and not nitpicked to death because of their ignorance.

Anonymous said...

I hate the "Pink Hat" crowd as much as the next guy HOWEVER you can't blame people for WHEN THEY WERE BORN....think of it, as far as the Patriots go (and the Red Sox for that matter) if you were born in 1990 you probably know nothing but success....but you do appreciate it more if you've sat through years and years of "heartbreak"

Monkeesfan said...

Paul, the problem is the pinkhats don't want to learn. They just want to be bandwagoners. If they wanted to learn tehy would not buy the pink hats.

mike_b1 said...

It's hard to take the fashion high ground when you are still sporting a perm right out of Welcome Back Kotter.

dbvader said...

Talk about a strawman argument.

Instead of trying to offer an actual preview of the Red Sox season, which would require some effort, CHB justs attacks some made up belief that people are wildly forecasting 115 wins.

Dan's posture is a cheap cop out. He can attack a false premise while offering no substantive analysis.

Timmy said...


Somebody Googled ex-Bruins, ex-Red Sox, and ex-Celtics!

Toss in Terry Duerod and you would've hit for the cycle!

Your Pal,


JJS37 said...

Well, the original blogger pretty well nailed the stupidity of his "column." Really? We shouldn't think the Sox are going to go 162-0. Cancel the t-shirts. Really? Even the best teams lose 1 out of 3? Man! But seriously, here's what I don't get, as a bunch of you said: what is his contempt for fans just getting on board? Really, isn't that how it goes? So the only people who can like the Rolling Stones (a dated reference in dedication to CHB) are the people who originally saw them, like 50 years ago (Im sure CHB was one of them)? Unless you have a game ticket souvenir from pre-1967, you don't count. I'm glad someone died and made him the guy who sets up all the rules. Moron. You think when he cashes his check he runs as fast as he can before they change their minds?

PJ said...

You know what, I'm just going to go ahead and admit it. I'm a pinkhat Pats fan. No, I don't actually own the hat, but the teams were so awful during my formative sports years that I could not handle rooting for them (if it's even possible to "root" when your team is 1-15). I was already taking enough abuse for loving the Sox, who we can all remember once had a penchant for choking at the worst possible time.

So I started showing up during the 2002 NFL playoffs. Sue me. Call me a poser. But when the most exciting sports moment in recent memory was Ray Bourque winning the Stanley Cup with another team, I needed a little good sports news. So I became a Pats fan in earnest.

I don't like the pinkhats and I hate that you can't get tickets to O's-Sox games anymore (I live in DC). But these people are around because our team is winning. Some of them will talk on their cell phones through games; but some will actually learn who Walpole Joe Morgan is. Fact of the matter is, they're here, they're not leaving as long as the Sox keep winning, so why bother complaining about it? Let's be happy that we are finally rooting for a great team.

And you Pats fans are stuck with me and my Brady jersey. But you'll judge me differently at a hockey game, when I'm in #23, Craig Janney.

Anonymous said...

My god. Obtuse Bruce is right about something. I'm not even going to engage in the debate going on here: The pink hat brigade sucks. Period.

Anonymous said...

I became a Red Sox Fan in 1986.

Does that make me a Pink Hat?

After all. I' still here. Even after the Hobson/Kennedy years.

Monkeesfan said...

anonymous #16 - negative. By becoming a fan when it wasn't chic, you were and are a real fan.

paul said...

So what about all those people who became fans during the '67 season? The Sox weren't popular at the beginning of the season but captured the imagination of Boston during their great run.

They would be the original pink-hats, no?

Monkeesfan said...

paul, it still wasn't chic to be a Red Sox fan, and if those fans who "joined the team" in 1967 stuck with them through the slump years, the 1975 World Series run, and onward, then they weren't pinkhats. Pinkhats are fans who only support the team in good times and refuse to stick with them in bad times. They're not dedicated fans and never will be.

paul said...

Fair enough, Monkee. The Sox really haven't had too much heartbreak the last couple of seasons...Come and talk to me in 20 years of ups and downs. I think that most of the pink-hat crowd will be around (and a heck of a lot more knowledgeable about the game).

Did you think that the nuns that started showing up in '67 had any idea what a safety squeeze or the infield fly rule was? There are always going to be bandwaggoners.