Posted 27 September 2005 - 07:13 AM
Well, here's the quote:
Citing the lack of a public backlash against Schilling for his subpar season -- the Sox ace is 7-8 with a 5.89 ERA -- the player was quoted as saying, ''When he comes into the game, people cheer him like he's the Pope? You think they'd let Pedro [Martinez] get away with this? Why does he get a free pass?"
So if it is Manny, the Herald reporter has cleaned it up some to Anglicize it, an interesting ethical question in its own right.
The whole thing to me is more a commentary on playing in this town than anything else. Unfortunately, the player above points the finger at Schilling and not at the fans, where IMO it belongs. I have enjoyed this year immensely: the team is fighting hard, the schedule's been a grind, we're still in it even though every team we've played has given us their best shot, and all the while the trophy is ours until someone takes it from us. I am even remarkably calm, absolutely utterly even-keeled, going into this final week.
The worst thing about this year for me has been this booing s**t. Bellhorn, had he not produced, would have been let go without the booing. Same for Embree. Same general idea for Foulke. What purpose does it serve then? I've heard plenty of justifications for why people feel they are entitled to boo, but not one justifying the purpose it serves. In the meanwhile, without these guys and others, it's 87 years and counting without a title. To me, respecting the game means respecting what they did. And respecting that what they did was almost insurmountably hard. That is why they only hand out one trophy. Every other team around failed.
It's not right that the respect standard is applied to G38 and not to the others: it ought to be applied to all of them. Fans respect what G38 did -- as they should -- because it was right there in front their eyes, blood and all. Foulke? Well, he was in one piece, even if his arm was about to fall off, and even if the payment for that performance -- surgery, same as Schill -- didn't come till after it was over. So we can boo him. Bellhorn clubs two game-winning homers and a third for necessary breathing room. But we can boo him because that was last year -- and last year now, by definition, is meaningless and besides, it must have been pretty easy because he did it three games in a row. He ought to hit 162 of them this year, then. Embree was a horse for two years. Millar -- shoot, watch those WS DVDs and tell me that what he did to rally the troops down 0-3 wasn't absolutely critical.
Here's the double-standard that pisses me off: All those years before 2004, the fans used history to justify their misery -- to justify what made them a fan. Last year, the thinking was, always matters; what happened last year, and the year before, and the year before, and the year before, means something.
So why now, suddenly, does last year not matter? Because they won it all? That makes no sense to me whatsoever. Because if you respect the championship you've become a fanboy? Well, that would make every major league ballplayer a fanboy, since all them respect how hard it is to get a ring.
It's fine to have expectations, fine to criticize. But booing guys who did something that no Red Sox team has achieved in 86 years -- who did something, in coming back from 0-3, that no baseball team has ever done -- is shallow. It has made me reconsider the idea that Sox fans are "knowledgeable," or at least those fans who do the booing. That's not knowledge. That's stupidity. If Schill's critic wants to point fingers about free passes, point to the stands.