Dead-on (arrival) column by Jason Gay in Monday’s Wall Street Journal about the star-cross Boston Red Sox.
At this point, there is little use discussing the 2012 Boston Red Sox. There are better stories than an overpaid, overexposed team, spinning no place. In Washington, the Nationals are leading the NL East, close to delivering the city its first playoff baseball since FDR’s debut term. The Cincinnati Reds are rolling; there’s a narrow first place fight between the White Sox and Tigers; and the Baltimore Orioles—long a sad tin can, rattling around the trunk of the AL—are making noise in the wild card race. Meanwhile, there’s a renovated pizza and pasta place near my apartment, and the frozen yogurt store is still bustling like a nightclub. On Saturday my wife saw a cat catch a bird. We just came into possession of some delicious organic tomatoes. My friend Holloway has a birthday on Tuesday; his wife is taking him out for Chinese food. All of these developments are more interesting than the Red Sox.
The hardworking staff is tempted to just reproduce the rest of this piece, but we’ll restrict ourselves to these excerpts:
• Allow me to be a spokesperson for sanity. Boston’s past couple of years have been frustrating ones, to be sure —2011 ended with a comical pratfall on the season’s final night—but the franchise is coming off its most prosperous decade-long stretch since the 1920s. You may remember that Boston won a World Series in 2004 and 2007 (Books were written; Jimmy Fallon was in a movie.) Boston has qualified for the playoffs six out of the last nine years, a rate eclipsed by only the Yankees. If someone had offered you this deal a decade ago, you’d have taken it, instantly. That’s why listening to a 21st century Red Sox fan moaning about poor performance is like hearing the Key West Chamber of Commerce whining about snow.
• [I]t’s been proposed that Texas, not Boston, is now New York’s primary rival. There’s no doubt the Rangers are a better team than the Red Sox. But even if the Rangers beat the Yankees in 10 successive playoff series, and the Red Sox retire from the sport to start a bed-and-breakfast in Hyannis, could a Texas rivalry ever get as highly pitched as New York’s feud with Boston? Geography and a century of confrontation still mean something, even if the aggression feels diminished, in a down cycle. Yankee fans do not walk around wearing T-shirts that read MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. PUNCH A RANGER FAN IN THE FACE.
Enough! Read the piece yourself.