For the last year, our usually unbridled Yankee fan contempt for the Redsocks has been tempered slightly because of a) the bombing, b) nobody expected them to win anything in 2013, and c) we were saving it for A-Rod.
Tonight, we will once again remember why Fenway Park remains the world's largest roach motel for seething, trust-fund Harvard frat-boys and rich silver-haired harumphs, whose main contribution to society is the invention of new DWI legal defenses, based on the use of prescription sleep aids. They will boo Jacoby Ellsbury until they cough up Ambien. Then they will drink, re-energize, and boo him harder.
No problem. In a Zen Matrix type of way, this boo-fest needs to happen. They need to feel oppressed. They need an easy target. But listen carefully, folks, because tonight's loud and bile-filled thunder will be the noise made by frogs under a computer-generated full moon. They will be booing a straw man, conveniently created by the Redsocks-owned media and its billionaire ownership.
Boston simply didn't want to give Ellsbury the five-year deal that players at his age need for long-term security. In fact, since 2010, the Redsock organization had been questioning his loyalty and suggesting he would always leave for the West Coast. How joyous they were when Jackie Bradely Jr. had a great 2013 spring training (though it remains his high-water mark.) And whenever Ellsbury was hurt - diving for a ball or sliding into a base - the Redsock Nation collectively inscribed a permanent black mark on his personnel card. At times, they even mongered rumors that he wasn't really hurt at all, he was just enjoying his time off. Well, now he's an evil Yankee, and now he will pay the price. "It's out of my hands," Ellsbury told the NY Times yesterday, of his anticipated reception. "I gave that organization everything I had when I stepped on that field." He did. He's giving us all he has. Tonight, he'll hear what high-minded Boston thinks about it. It would be less cold if he were riding in the wheel-well of a Boeing 707.
Which brings us to Robbie, who comes to NYC next Tuesday. And yes, if you look into the upper left-hand corner of this blog, you'll know that I have not exactly been the most level-headed fan on the subject of the jogger. Part of my anger stems from what I consider to have been a foolish decision made by Cano. I think he would have been better off as a life-long Yankee, who would have received his final over-valued contract just as Jeter did. I think Cano was manipulated into becoming a notch on Jay-Z's sports agency's belt; a night at the Grammys with Beyonce will do that to a guy. (It would work with me.) I think Cano will spend the better part of his final years wondering why he chased so much money that he will never see, with so much of it vanishing down the hole of management fees and entourage costs. Oh, well. You make your bed.
But... should we boo Robbie?
No. No, no, no. Of course, not.
OK, think with me: Wouldn't it glorious if the Yankiverse a week from now simply decided to thank Cano for the great years he gave us, and then moved on? No booing. A pleasant cheer, maybe a standing recognition that players are human, and they instinctively chase money the way Lawrence Taylor once chased quarterbacks. Let him know we remember. Don't get me wrong. I'll still post the Robbie Goldfinger updates. (There's a difference between snark and booing. I believe snark is a higher evolved form of boarishness.) But I won't even boo the TV.
But tonight, let's take notes. Let's see how Boston does it... and let's NOT be them.