Monday, January 4, 2016
THE HUNT FOR A RED OCTOBER
I’m a big fan of the good, old-fashioned street brawl. It has a certain honor to it. No weapons, just mano y mano. Once upon a time the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox scheduled these types of knock down drag outs as a matter of principle…are those days gone.
Have we seen the last Red October? I don’t mean the Sean Connery (forgoing all attempt at a Russian accent) skippered submarine; I mean an honest to goodness Sawks and Bombers prizefight.
The Red Sox are no longer the club we love to hate. They spend lots of money; make bad deals that they can now eat if they don’t work out. They sort of remind me of the Yankees of the 1980’s in a way. Boston itself has undergone a change. They have gotten fat and lazy. The angst that once permeated the town is long gone. They won a few and now…well, the anger has faded away.
Yes, they still have Pedy who is truly a throwback player and would’ve done well in the late 70’s. He is cut from that Pudge Fisk, Yaz, Freddie Lynn mold…but he is the last burning ember on a fire that has been extinguished.
The Sox just don’t have that piss and vinegar anymore…it saddens me.
Just down I-95 we have the new New York Yankees. The Ghosts are younger…not that they’ve join Babe, Lou and Mickey on the Great Diamond in the Sky…but the spirit they brought to the Bronx is gone. O’Neill, Tino, Goose, Jeet, Willie, Nettles, Gator, Coney and so on. They were just different. They truly had a blood lust to beat Boston…these Yankees?
Well, they play in a super nice mall. They don’t WORK for a BOSS. They are like a cover band in a way. They know the tunes…but they don’t have the voice.
Now, hope springs eternal. The youngsters on the near horizon seem to have done their homework. They watched the old guard play and seem to want BRING BACK THE FIGHT! They feel like the underdog to the corporate Red Sox. It’s is the only thing that keeps me engaged lately.
Look, I appreciate ARod, CC and the older guys. They were truly great players. Now they are “We HOPE they can give us” type guys. They are looking to go out with class and dignity…and I hope they do. But I miss the guys that went out battered and bloodied. I miss the guys that didn’t play vanilla baseball. They were punchers.
The Yankees made the Wild Card Game this past year…super. They got beat by the Astros. It was like watching the Star Wars Prequels. Yeah, it’s Star Wars…but it sucked. The Sox? They were just lousy…and it didn’t seem to matter so much. They figured they just finish it out. Let their younger guys play (which they did very well) and break out the checkbook…and they CERTAINLY did that. Now they have a BIG TIME ace. Super. David Price is great, but hardly a “I WANT TO DESTROY THE YANKEES” type. Price is a nice guy. I’m bored.
What will it take? Maybe the first game the two clubs play Nasty Nate earns his nickname and puts Big “I WANT TO BE HONORED” Papi on his pants and points at the Red Sox dugout as if to say, “You country club mutts ready to go?” That I’d dig.
I have no idea what 2016 will bring. I must admit my expectations are lower than Stephen Drew’s batting average…. BY THE WAY, HEY NATIONALS! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS THINKING? Was he hired as a vendor?
Happy New Year.
** Is this a shameless plug? Nah, I ain’t in the band any longer. I just wish the Yanks and Sox were like ol’ Slugger. **
--Mike O'Hara Senior "Features" Writer
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