The Twins are eliminated from postseason contention. So if you’re still planning to watch the playoffs, it’s time to find another team to root for. We’ve already talked about Arizona and Atlanta. Next up: the Boston Red Sox.
For a fan’s perspective on the Red Sox, we turned to Derek Stykalo, Lead Writer for the Fansided’s cleverly named Red Sox website, BoSox Injection:
Are you looking for a ball club to root for this October? You like the teams that have character, charm and perseverance yet avoid the arrogant swagger, well then the Boston Red Sox are for you.
This is a ballclub that has character all right, and it starts with their captain, Jason Varitek. Tek, as he’s promptly called was the one who finally stood up to the big, brash, bold New York Yankees. You may recall back in 2003, Varitek took his leather catcher’s mitt and shoved it in the face of Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees. It was a message that said “the Red Sox are no longer afraid of the Yankees” and it was a charge that was led by Varitek. Many Red Sox fans claim that it was that incident that allowed the Red Sox to get over the hurdle of what had been known as the Yankees wall in the postseason, and end the 86 year curse by winning it all in 2004.
Another character player is Dustin Pedroia. If you don’t like watching Pedey play the game of baseball, then you either don’t like the sport or you have your head in the clouds. He’s always giving it his all, no matter what the score, no matter what stage of the game it is. Even on poorly hit ground balls, Pedroia runs to first base like it’s his last chance to ever do so. He’s fun to watch and he wears his heart on his sleeve, unlike Mr. Cano in the Bronx.
They say chicks dig the long ball, and if that’s the case then all the chicks should be rooting for the Red Sox come October. This club has power right through their lineup. Leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury has a new career high in home runs with 27, as does Pedroia with 20. David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez are both threatening to break the 30 homer mark again this season, while catcher Jarrod Saltalmacchia has improved dramatically since the start of the season by belting 16 long balls.
If that’s not enough to sway you over to Beantown, then how about rooting for a team rich in history, not all for the good. This is a club that went 86 years without a championship and has suffered tremendous let downs along the way. How about Bill Buckner’s famous dribbler through the legs or a heartbreaking, game 7 loss to the Yankees in 2003? These are just a couple recent ones, and still they have one of the most loyal fan bases across North America. Some may say that the Red Sox aren’t underdogs this postseason, but any time you have the Yankees finishing ahead of Boston, the Red Sox will always be the underdogs. Far too often we’ve seen the Red Sox crumble at the hands of the Yankees. So if you like the underdog scenario, you’ve found a home in Boston.
One last thing; if you don’t like cheering for the Red Sox, just ask yourself one question: “do I like the Yankees?” If you like watching these brash, cocky, overpaid snobs, then you will have a hard time cheering for the BoSox. It’s pretty cut and dry; you’re either a Red Sox fan or a Yankee fan. There’s no fence sitting here, so if you want to root, root, root for the Red Sox, welcome aboard. It’s going to be a bumpy ride and I can’t promise that you won’t have your heart broken. What I can promise is that you’ll have more fun cheering for this club than any other. There just seems to be a mystic about this club that captivates the fans. It grips you like a vice and quite often it leaves you wanting more. Are you ready for that?
Puckett’s Pond’s Notes:
Derek made the case for the Red Sox pretty well, so I won’t add much. Aside from the superb talent level of the team, the two main arguments for rooting for Boston are their committed, emotional fanbase and the fact that they are the Yankees’ mortal enemies. Anyone who dislikes the Yankees should consider cheering Boston on this fall, because they seem to end up playing each other in the ALCS pretty frequently.
The other side of the coin is that if you like the Yankees, you’ll almost certainly never cheer for the Sox. And there are plenty of fans around the country who aren’t big fans of either one. Yankees/Sox fatigue has claimed millions of baseball fans, especially those who don’t like seeing the huge sums of money these two throw around. The Sox entered 2011 with a payroll of about $163 million, a far cry from the Yankees’ $200 million plus, but still incredibly high compared to any small or medium market team. Yankees vs. Red Sox is a Goliath vs. Goliath battle.
David Ortiz may make you root for the Sox or despise them, depending on your point of view. You may remember him fondly from the Twins’ first early 00’s playoff run, or you may be bitter toward him for leaving. Either way, the former Twin has made a very productive career for himself as the Red Sox’ designated hitter, and he still has some gas left in the tank.
Don’t make up your mind yet, though, because we still have quite a few teams to check out. Next up: the Detroit Tigers.