The Boston Red Sox are the newly crowned champions of the baseball world, and I couldn’t feel more ambivalent about their success.
Don’t get me wrong; I have been a Sox fan since I was old enough to tell the difference between home plate and a dinner plate. Becoming a Sox fan seemed less of a choice than a birthright, though my fanaticism did come with a price.
I endured countless sub-.500 seasons, a rotating door of managers, and hundreds of lineup changes, cushioning each blow with this desperate hope for a miracle that always seemed to be a season away. Then 2004 happened and suddenly Boston was transformed into the sports equivalent of Disneyland. Dreams do come true for the fans of the boys down on Yawkey Way and, if the 2007 season was any indication, they do so repeatedly.
On Oct. 30, the Red Sox won their third championship in nine years. Two months prior to their series-clinching win in Game 6, I celebrated my 24th birthday. For half of my life, the Sox (and the other Boston pro franchises) have competed at a breathtaking level of dominance.
Continued excellence is now the expectation at Fenway Park and, no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise, this recent decade of dominance is certainly the worst thing to happen to my generation of Sox fans. We are spoiled.
Over the past decade, there have been few heartbreaks and even fewer losses: the pain of Aaron “Bleeping” Boone’s demoralizing 2003 ALCS Game 7 homer was swiftly erased by a miraculous 2004 season; the stain of Bobby Valentine’s brief but caustic stint as manager was washed away by John Farrell’s brilliant first year in Boston.
Simply put, these are not your granddaddy’s Red Sox. These are the Google-age Red Sox, an instantly rewarding team to match Generation Y’s desire for instant gratification.