Saturday, February 2, 2019

How does Boston do it?

Since 2007, the Redsocks have won three World Championships, five divisional titles and reached the playoffs seven times. 

Since 2001, the Patriots have won five Super Bowls and 16 divisional titles. Tomorrow, they might win their sixth.

The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, and the Celtics ruled the NBA in 2008.

Since 2002, the Boston Revolution has played in five Major League Soccer finals (though, nyah-nyah, they haven't won any, nyah-nyah!)

Meanwhile, a short train ride to the south, New York City's pro teams consistently offer up minor league entertainment. Take the Knicks, (please.) How can a team become so horribly, fundamentally wretched? If it were run by barnyard chickens, it could not do worse. The Giants and Jets? Putrid, with no sign of change. The Mets? Dear God. And the one traditional source of pride, the Eco-Yankees - our "fully functioning Death Star" - has tucked its ball-sacks into its wallets and settled for wild card flags. We'll likely hit opening day with a payroll about $20 million below the Redsocks'. WTF? Why, why, why?

Truth is, I dunno. A million reasons, maybe. On this Super Bowl Eve -the holiest of days on the American trivia calendar - here's what I got:

1. Boston pro team owners have been more analytical and cutthroat. For example, the Redsocks long ago perfected the art of tanking. Between their two recent championships, they twice finished last. (That's how they drafted Benintendi.) In those free-fall seasons, they cleaned house - Lackey, Lester, Buchholtz, Sandoval, etc. The Yankees, on the other hand, have chased every wild card like a golden retriever running down a mail truck. And the staggeringly horrible Knicks - an affront to humanity - seem to always believe they are one aging star away from a championship. It's contagious. The Giants this last season drafted a RB, thinking they could go from 3-13 to a title. What hubris! What stupidity! 

2. Boston teams have consistently chosen youth over age. Several times, the Patriots not only finished first, but then entered the NFL draft with multiple first round picks. The Knicks, on the other hand, traded practically the next century of draft picks for fading Carmelos and Marburys. (Wow. I just realized the chasm between the Patriots and Knicks; it's like one of those 100-mile high mountains on Jupiter. It may be the starkest description imaginable of heaven v. hell.)

3. New York's one advantage - market size - is carved up into fractions - Yankees/Mets, Giants/Jets, etc. - while Boston unites under one franchise per sport. Meanwhile, the socialist rule structures of major pro sports has undermined whatever financial advantage a New York team could have. Take away the extra money, and - frankly - NYC simply offers more distractions. What are the Bruins going to do on a night out in Boston? Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum? 

4. The old-money, inbred aristocracy of New York's owners - the Steinbrenners, Dolans, Maras, Tisches, etc. - is as sorry a bunch as has ever soiled a country club happy hour. Their priorities include horses (Steinbrenner), trophy wives (Tisch), Hollywood (Mara) and the achievement of absolute zero mediocrity (Dolan.) Winning teams are mere icing on the cake. What's important is to eliminate awkward situations. The Yankees had Derek Jeter batting lead-off to the very end, long after his stroke went south. The Giants will go with Eli Manning until he's on Medicare. Why change? Nobody wants to create a messy evening. Good grief, their kids attend the same schools. 

There are other reasons - the sportswriter communities, the craziness of celebrity status, etc. - but make no mistake. Tomorrow, it will be a battle of the coasts. And on the East Coast, the power center is Boston, as it has been throughout this millennium. New York is the Second City. 

6 comments:

Mediasavvy said...

The answer is obvious, NYC has been colonized by Boston. Consider this:

Our last two mayors are from Boston (Bloomberg & DiBlassio). That's pretty much who's been in charge since 2001. All that pursey-lipped social decision making? Sooooo New England. NY'ers are naturally more savage about their politics. We wear our weapons on our hips, our opinions on our lips and our enemy's scalps on our belts for all to see. New Englanders hide all that and pretend they don't do such naughty things.

Our nightlife looks like a sad imitation of Boston's night life. Forget the punk and hip-hop movements that NYC forged, today's night life feels more like a post-college frat and sorority party.

Manhattan, Brooklyn have been over run by rich white kids from New England. My native people are gone.

Our financial, IT and real estate have been overrun by rich white kids from New England and their parents.

We are a colony of Boston. It's time to rise up and throw off our colonial chains!

Anonymous said...

I BELIEVE I CAN PINPOINT THE BIGGEST REASON, WHY THE BOSOX AND PATRIOTS STAY AHEAD.

I HAVE POSTED THIS MANY TIMES AD-NAUSEAM....

THE BOSTON TEAMS ACT IN THE NOW...THEY LOOK TO THE FUTURE, EVEN WHILE THEY ARE WINNING...AND THEY TRADE OR RELEASE PLAYERS THAT NO LONGER PRODUCE TO THEIR STANDARDS.

THEY TRADE TALENT THEY CAN AFFORD TO LOSE WHILE IT IS STILL VALUABLE.

EXAMPLES: PATRIOTS TRADING CHANDLER JONES
PATRIOTS TRADING JIMMY GARROPOLO
RED SOX TRADE JOSH BECKET, ADRIAN GONZALES, CARL CRAWFORD
RED SOX RELEASE PABLO SANDOVAL (DESPITE $95 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT)
RED SOX DEMOTE RUSNEY CASTILLO (DESPITE $72 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT)

NOW, COMPARE THIS TO WHAT COOP AND THE GANG ARE DOING....
JACOBY ELLSBURY (STILL ON THE ROSTER-$63 MILLION REMAINING)
C.C (NEW 1 YEAR CONTRACT $8 MILLION DOLLARS 39 YEARS OLD, HEART CONDITION)
BRETT GARDNER (NEW 1 YEAR CONTRACT $7.5 MILLION DOLLARS-35 Y/0- DECLINING)

JUST THOSE FEW NIBLETS TELL YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHO IS STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE, AND WHO ISN'T.

HoraceClarke66 said...

All the reasons ALL-CAPS gives are very true. And so are most of Duque's points.

But the question is why? And much as one can point to this or that thing wrong with NYC as a city, they're irrevelant.

First, Boston is incredibly like New York now. Way overbuilt, filled chic-a-bloc with glass towers to provide land banking for the rich. Most of the old flavor has been drained from the town, for worse and for better (Southie was no big loss.).

But none of that matters. Today's sports leagues are these completely contained cartels. NYC could still be as wild and lively as the 1920s, and the teams would be doing the exact same things they are doing now...

HoraceClarke66 said...

...MMeaning: today's sports owners only win if they really want to win. And here's where Duque's point about heredity wins out.

There are too many owner dynasties now in this town. As he points out, the Dolans, Steinbrenners, and Maras are all in the second or third or fourth generation.

It's impossible to keep up the hunger and drive that long—at least for the same thing. It's why monarchies don't work.

George Steinbrenner was a driven soul, desperate to get out of the shipping business and from under the thumb of his dictatorial father. Hal and Hank are probably pretty scarred psychologically, but they're not trying to escape Cleveland and a failing industry.

Instead, they will keep putzing around New York, maybe amusing themselves with the idea of building a global sports empire, and trying to maximize earnings like any other bored, home-trading billionaires.

Too bad for us.

John M said...

Mediasavvy is absolutely correct. Two mayors who have destroyed Manhattan and swaths of Brooklyn and replaced them with mindless glass condos and chain stores. 125th Street is simply a commercial American nightmare, the Bowery has gone from down and out alcoholic bums to rich bums who lack humanity, and my beloved East Village is overrun with wealthy NYU bros and fake blondes teetering on spike heels. These guys never "got" New York, so they recreated it to fit the souless mediocrity of New England.

Where was Steinbrenner from, really? Cleveland? Hal would be a great owner for the Indians. Not the Yankees.

Carl Weitz said...

Horace...you are 100% correct. I hope if and when the Steinbrenners decide to sell the team and move their yachts, sailboats and family to Bimini that they sell the team to some owner or group that grew up passionate Yankee fans and not to some soulless corporate entity like Fox or Facebook.