I want to start off by saying that while I’m about to rip on Bill Simmons, I actually really like his work. I’m a fan of his writing style, and I like how he molds pop culture and sports together which I don’t find being done a lot of other places. That being said, I was really excited to see that he was going to keep a running diary of all the first games of the 4 divisional playoff match-ups. As any of you have to know if you have read really any of Bill Simmons’ work, he’s from Boston and an unabashed Red Sox fan. I certainly don’t have a problem with that in and of itself, but last time I checked the Red Sox didn’t make the playoffs this year. In fact I believe they finished behind the TORONTO BLUE JAYS. Well if you read Simmons’ playoff diaries you just might think the Red Sox are primed for a playoff run.
In the four combined playoff entries, Simmons managed to make TWENTY-TWO explicit Red Sox references. I initially started out going to post all the Red Sox references on here just to show you how many there were. That was after only reading one of the diaries, and quite frankly the document that I pasted them into is now a full two pages. I basically looked for any reference to a former Red Sox player that went past anything considered rationally related to the current game. Also, plenty of references to current Red Sox players, and even some connections that Simmons drew that I have absolutely no clue how he ended up involving the Red Sox’s.
Just to give you an idea what percentage of his time was spent making Red Sox references, about the average number of comments in one of these diaries was 50. So the amount of Red Sox comments would be roughly half of one whole game summary. And to be fair I didn’t even count all the anti-Yankee comments even though to be honest they are completely fueled by Simmons being a Red Sox fan. But since really any one that isn’t a Yankee fan would make a lot of the same comments so I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Besides, even without those comments, the amount of Red Sox love was more than enough to get past the ridiculous level.
Now of course, he writes about sports, and he’s a sports fan so it is inevitable that you are going to talk about your favorite sports team. I’m certainly guilty of this and writing about the Cubs and Bears probably more than most of our readers care. The difference you ask? Simple, he’s paid to cover sports and talk about all the teams knowledgeably. Simply telling me how so many of these players used to play for the Red Sox isn’t really showing me that you paid attention to anything else in baseball besides the Red Sox. I’m going to give you some of my personal favorites that I noticed while reading them, the Sports Guy is in bold, and my response is in italics.
- Actual quote from Joe Morgan: “I always thought Grady Little did a great job, even with Boston, with the exception of the Pedro incident.” That’s like saying, “I always thought Britney Spears had pretty good taste in men, with the exception of K-Fed.” Yeah, Grady Little left Pedro in too long, but the man listened to his veteran pitcher, didn’t want to put the game in the hands of his “shaky” bullpen and it blew up in your face. Pedro gets out of the inning and Little is a hero in Boston for having the guts to stay with your best pitcher.
- Grady Little is involved and doing inexplicable things. I’m getting flashbacks. This isn’t good. I feel sick. Once again, just let it go. You’ve got your World Series, no use getting this worked up over a Mets-Dodgers game . . . honestly.
- Wow, this hurts. I’m a few minutes behind the game on my TiVo right now, but the TiVo was manually set to record NESN for Red Sox games even though the season ended two days ago … that’s right, I’m suddenly watching bass fishing with Charlie Moore and special guest Ed Marinaro. I can’t imagine how in any way that is relevant to the Mets-Dodgers game, or in fact how it matters to the MLB Playoffs at all. That’s right, it doesn’t except to point out that despite the Red Sox’s having a World Series their fans are hard wired to whine about them not winning.
- That’s like the Red Sox batting Manny sixth this season or something. You know, if Manny played. WAAAHHWAAHH, We have one of the greatest right handed hitters of all time but we still aren’t happy because he takes a couple days off. I’m pretty sure almost any other team would take him and not complain about the phantom knee injuries and eccentricities.
- Meanwhile, Dave Roberts singles to start off the first for the Padres. When I’m hawking a “Curse of Dave Roberts” book 40 years from now, I just hope you don’t hate me. First of all, its been TWO years since you won a Championship so calm down on the curse shit. Secondly, aren’t you the one that holds the giant grudge against Fox and Joe Buck for all the Curse of the Bambino crap they played during the playoffs? I mean I guess its ok if you can turn around, write a book , and make a buck if you get a chance. What, you already did that after the Red Sox won the Series. . . that’s what I thought, so Shut-Up.
- This seems like a good time to mention that Dave Roberts is 3-for-3 with a run scored. You can almost hear Bob Lobel screaming, “Why can’t we get guys like that?” back in Boston. Yeah, because Dave Roberts makes up those 11 games you finished behind the Yankees. Not to mention he’s putting up numbers in the NL which you keep referring to AAAA ball. But I mean signing guys dependent on speed that are pushing 40 is a great way to set your team up for long term success.
- Curtis Granderson homers off Mike Myers, the 48th ex-Red Sox player we’ve seen today. Yeah the Red Sox have a lot of cash and are really active in free agency. I guess the problem is either they let go of guys too soon who still have something to add to a major league team or they can’t evaluate talent and don’t bother holding on to the players they bring up because they aren’t worth keeping. Either way write a letter to management about their player decisions instead of burdening me with it.
- They just showed that “lowest career post-season ERA” stat — Rivera is first at 0.81, followed by Koufax, Mathewson, Plank and Lolich. So if you’re scoring at home, the 2004 Red Sox didn’t just come back in Game 4 of the ALCS to launch the greatest comeback in sports history, they came back against the guy with the greatest postseason ERA ever. There you go. Some of us might be scoring at home, but we certainly out counting ways the Red Sox are better than the Yankees. In reality there aren’t that many, but congratulations on coming back on them two years ago. I could write about the ass kicking the Bears gave the Patriots over 20 years ago in the Super Bowl but I don’t think anyone would want to read about that when looking to see what someone had to say about a Patriots-Steelers playoff game.
- Chad Bradford gets a Nomar grounder to end the fifth. This ex-Red Sox thing isn’t even funny anymore. Thank you for finally admitting it, we were all thinking the same thing.
*if you’re interested I’ve attached a file with all the Red Sox references I found if you want to see them in all their glory. Boston References