Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Evil Empire II

Now that the Boston Red Sox are on the verge of their first World Series victory since 1918, I thought the time was right to point out that the Red Sox are merely the Evil Empire little brother of the New York Yankees. Sacrilege? Keep reading.

The Yankees are rained down with scorn and derision for what? Their great success? Yes, but in large part because Yankee Boss George Steinbrenner has paid top dollar for top talent. The accusation is that the Yankees buy Penants and Series wins.

If this was the basis for rooting for the Red Sox, or more accurately, against the Yankees, take a moment to look at the Red Sox line-up. None of their top players were drafted by Boston, or have come up through the Red Sox farm system. Schilling, Martinez, Ramirez- all came via high dollar free agency signings, which is exactly how the Yankees build. Only lower-profile players Jason Veritek and Trot Nixon are Red Sox lifers.

If you are a true fan of the underdog, heaven help you. You are stuck with the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers. These teams will wait far longer than the Red Sox have had to for their World Series victory, due to the way of baseball economics.

I am not a true fan of the underdog. I have no pity for Bostonians or Red Sox fans. I actually like star-studded teams like the Yankees and Red Sox. I've been an Indians fan for years, and I've tasted some pretty horrible baseball in my life. The late 90s were a welcome relief to, well, all of the previous years of my life, suffering through the likes of Rich Yett, Jerry Dybzynski, and Larvell Blanks. The Sox may not have won it all, but at least they have fielded some great players- Williams, Yaz, Fisk, Rice, Martinez- and generally competitive teams throughout their history. They have scarcely done penance as compared to fans in some cities like Arlington, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Montreal. Sorry, Montreal! You go from Purgatory to Limbo!

Boston is hardly a suffering sports city. The Patriots have won two of the last three Super Bowls, and 20 games in a row. The Celtics dynasty ranks with the top sports dynasties anywhere, anytime. Prior to the Bruins recent woes, they had made the NHL playoffs 27 seasons in a row. Cleveland has to be first in line on a misery scale.

Of course, the Yankees had a 3-0 lead on the Red Sox just last week...

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