Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Boston's grand and glorious "tribute" to Mariano

For starters, a disclaimer: I didn't see it.  I tweaked a gonad during the NY Giants game and was still in the whirlpool, waiting to see Dr. Andrews (which would make a great phrase to describe being passed out on the couch, right?)  Also, frankly: I didn't want to see it. I figured their idea of a "tribute" would be a gag bag of cheap references to 2004. Seriously, didn't everyone?

Well, folks, here is the reality:

We will never, in our lifetimes, live down 2004.  Won't matter if we make it to the asteroid, the zombie apocalypse, or the death panel hearing: Some caustic Redsock frat-boy will mention Mariano's blown save just to watch the last bubble from our lip, the last blip on our flat-line. Curt Schilling's ketchup sock will never go away.

So... giving the Great Mariano a big check and a bunch of door prizes was simply an excuse to hold a beery 2004 nostalgia party, like the one we ruined when Fenway turned 100. This was always fated to happen. No reason to get angry. Next year, or maybe in 2015, when Derek Jeter runs his final lap, maybe we should reconsider sanctioning such events. But we will deal with 2004 forever. That's a fact. 

But there was something particularly Redsockian about Sunday night's party, and it goes to the nature of honoring a closer. Imagine Big Papi's final game at Yankee Stadium, and some misguided attempt by us to honor him. Would we post a cavalcade of his strikeouts on the Jumbo-Tron? Would we show all his errors (back when he actually played in the field.)  No, of course not.  Because that's not how anybody would remember him. Ahh, but a closer...

There is no role in baseball - or in all of sports - like the closer. Yes, football has the QB and the place-kicker, but they both play an entire game. The closer comes in for three outs. Thus, every game has the potential for a Buckner moment - the kind of disaster that most players experience once or twice in a long career. If you think about it, focusing on Mariano's blown saves  was really a petty thing to do. Everybody knows he blew it in 2004. Everybody. It was like a comedian using the same catchphrase three times, then four, then 10 times in the same routine. They didn't have to reference it. They could have been so much above it - and everybody still would have remembered it.

So they gave him a chunk of the scoreboard, the big check, a nice ovation and - get this - a painting of them giving him a standing ovation. Yes, they commissioned a self-portrait of themselves basking in their great moment of forgiveness and generosity.

They have this self-image of being evolved from the days when they traded Carlton Fisk, booed Wade Boggs and tore down Roger Clemens' pictures.  They really like the notion of a painting that shows them standing graciously for Mariano. That's how they want to see themselves: Enlightened, forgiving, fair, magnanimous. 

What a joke.

Another disclaimer: I recognize that my lowest incarnation as a human being is the monster inside me that roots for the Yankees. As a Yankee fan, I am a bi-polar, borderline, psycho nutjob. Always was, always will be. I believe that because I am a bi-polar borderline psycho Yankee fan,  I am not one the rest of the time. The Yankees are what saves me from living under a bridge and talking to Pez dispensors.  (Take that, Dr.  Melfi!) Therefore, I am going to give Boston fans a little slack here and say what I believe they were thinking, as that "tribute" played.

"Aw, this is so wrong.  We are ridiculing a great player - he's the one being gracious, not us. And sometime, down the line, we will pay for this."

That's for the future. Are you watching, Slade Heathcott? 


KD said...

I kinda thought they were being gracious and then they began the montage of Mo's failures. I could not believe what I was seeing. They took something special and rubbed shit on it. Weird.

SanJoseKid said...

The red uniforms, the beards, the cloven hooves, isn't it self-evident that this team and its fans are the spawn of Satan? That is why THE LORD took Babe Ruth from them. That is why they wandered in desolation 1918-2004. Boston, as the British soldiers who garrisoned that city will attest, is home to a pack of animals. Boston strong? You bet, because they do not practice fundamental human hygiene. The team clearly reflects the fan base. Agreed that Yankee fans can be obnoxious. But the Yankees (not the Dallas Cowboys) are the NATIONAL team. The Yankees, players like Mantle, personify the regular guy rising to the heights of his flawed potential. Seriously. It's not just sports. There is something like a morality play in a Yankees victory. So, when the Red Sox make the World Series it's akin to Enron execs getting away with suitcases of cash. Preaching to the converted here, but it must be said after that travesty at Fenway last weekend, when the Pantheon of Evil (Red Sox front office) deigned to shake the hand of a once-poor Panamanian who will return home to do public service. I really hate the fucking Red Sox, and THE LORD understands why.

el duque said...

SanJose, you left out one important thing.


SDB said...

You're lettting them off rather lightly here.

Even when Ortiz and Pedroia were presenting Mo with gifts, they were being announced as future/likely Hall of Famers to soon join Mo in Cooperstown.

Yes. Mo's tribute ceremony turned into an excuse to remind people about the HOF chances of Ortiz and Dustin the Troll.

I could understand the roast part of it as a way of poking some fun before the tributes started, but to work those sort of things into the actual tributes seemed even more classless and typicall Bostonian/Red Sox-ish.

I don't know what I want more, for the Sox to just be annihilated in three games in the ALCS, or for them to reach the World Series, have hope of a third set of rings... and then to be swept at the hands of the Dodgers (ideally with the names they got rid of last year doing much of the damage) or the Pirates.

SanJoseKid said...

Compare two greats, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. Williams had difficulty accepting the limitations of people that lacked his ability (99.9% of the population). Proof? Ask the guys that played for him when Ted managed the Washington Senators. Mantle? Drunk, philandering, and somewhat deficient as a parent. But Mantle, with his failures and triumphs inextricably woven together, is Everyman. Unlike Williams, Mantle was plagued by self-doubt. Mantle was no hero. He was just like you, just like me. That's the point. But at least for my generation, you endure the regrets and savor the few triumphs. And Mantle did that in a public way. How can anyone dislike The Mick? Even when grinding his ax, Jim Bouton had to admit that Mickey had the ability to lift up his teammates in unique ways, and that mattered to Mantle. Babe Ruth, too, was a common man, with warts and a beer-belly. Yes, the Red Sox are popular these days, and you see young people especially sporting Red Sox caps. But, you know, meth is popular these days as well.

el duque said...

They have us by the throat. They killed us last weekend. Absolutely killed us, then savored their victory with the Mariano "tribute."

But we brought this on ourselves. They didn't put us behind Cleveland and Baltimore. It's been a long time coming. The fear is that we will be a long time down.

Squid Lips said...

As for the "big" check, the amount wasn't disclosed, was it? Bets the sucker bounces.

BernBabyBern said...


John M said...

Boston is a classy city. If a pint of Night Train and kicking the canes out from little old ladies is your idea of classy. They drive like shit and talk like morons, too. Why would we expect anything more of them than what they did?

In reality, it doesn't matter. Even if Bloomberg is really a Massachussetsian sent to turn New York City into the suburbia it has always loathed. Even if they win the Series five years running. They will always be the Pittsburgh of New England, a second-tier, second-class city that lives in the shadow of New York, Chicago, LA and one or two other actual places of importance.

This year, Bloomberg radio--available previously only in NYC and on Sirius radio--started broadcasting in Boston. Think of that. Chicago is home to the commodities exchange, but Boston, which is home to shitheels with schmucko beards, gets the nod as the second city for broadcasts. You expect that kind of inanity from Bloomberg. What we saw last weekend (or didn't, since I was trying the 'no watch' juju like duque) was also to be expected.

The only reason I could actually root for them during the '67 Series was because Yaz was Polish, as was my family, school, church and neighborhood. Now we have Big Poopi and the Dwarf Monkey, plus the most hideous group of inbred bearded yahoos in MLB.

A-Rod, for all his weirdness and foibles, is more deserving of our admiration than those crude, classless hypocrites. Did I mention they drive like shit?

John M said...

I hereby apologize to Pittsburgh, which is actually a much classier city than Boston, if as marginal in importance.

Mea culpa.

Mike said...

John M.- That, sir, was truly awesome.

BernBabyBern said...

You know why they had Millar part of a pre-taped segment? Because they last time they had him part of something that was supposed to be special, he was there live and pretty much ruined the Fenway Park birthday by showing up loaded and acting like a dickhead. So, they kept him away from the live Mariano "celebration."

And then everyone else in the organization acted like dickheads anyway.

Anonymous said...

Just a disclaimer real quick-- I'm a Tucson, AZ resident and a San Diego Padres fan and have no idea how I even got to this page in the first place. But I thought what the redsox did was hilarious and kind of touching. Y'all are just a bunch of pouting peters, trying to find something to mouth off about cuz yr team isn't gonna make the playoffs and the red sox are. I hate the dodgers more than any other team in sports, but I can at least recognise that they're better than us this year, hands down, and give them the credit they deserve. You.guys need to all calm down and laugh at the joke, which was what it was. Just a joke.

Terry Kennedy, wannabe rock impessario (trying to sign the Pouting Peters and issuing their first album, "Chris Welsh Admits His Name"), said...

Hey Anonymous: first of all please drop the Dorothy Outta Kansas thing re: how you got here. You typed and clicked your way here like we all did.

Anonymity and advice; exactly what I'd expect from someone who idolizes Nate Colbert...unless you don't, in which case my bad though all the sadder.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

One the only shining moments from the W Bush years was Stephen Colbert ripping the President a new one during the press correspondents dinner, but make no mistake, it was not meant as a 'joke', it was a very public opportunity to ridicule the President. The only club that treated a tribute as a roast was Boston, presenting a painting of him being boooed after he returns to the scene of the crime the next year,,,, it's petty, and it's childish, exactly the kind of behavior we've come to expect from this wonderful organization.

KD said...

Hi Anon. I do understand your point of view. Hell, if I were a Padres fan, I'd see much more of life as a "joke". But you really are an insensitive prick to needle us like that.

so, you sound like a punk kid to me. Do you even remember Nate Colbert? quick, without using the web, tell us about that doubleheader in Atlanta. I was there. Kiss my ring and then my ass.

SanJoseKid said...

Yeah, I know San Diego. Let's see. Nettles & Gossage played there. And then there's . . . not much else but scrub. Oh yeah, you depend on water from Northern California. Hmmm. When should I turn off this tap?