Today at Fenway Park, the Red Sox and their fans–myself included–celebrated the 100th birthday of the most beloved ballpark in baseball’s storied history. Among the alumni was Pedro Martinez, Kevin Millar, Keith Foulke and Nomar Garciaparra from the World Series winning, “god-damn curse” breaking, the rules don’t apply to us- history making 2004 Red Sox.
The reason I mention the team that gave us that World Series title after 86 years of misery is because the 2012 team looks nothing like them. I’m not saying that they can’t win but as far as the rivalry goes, I’m not even sure there is one anymore. In my mind, 2004 was the end of the rivalry as we knew it but with each year it’s dissipated just a bit more and now we’re left with nothing as evidenced by today’s game.
On a day that Fenway Park was buzzing with life and nostalgia, the Red Sox looked the complete opposite; lifeless. Of course it didn’t help that Clay Buchholz mirrored Josh Beckett‘s first start of the season, giving five lucky fans a souvenir.
Home runs from Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez–who took him yard twice–Alex Rodriguez and Russell Martin essentially ended the game before the sixth inning concluded but at one time that wouldn’t have been the case–the old Red Sox would have clawed their way back within inches at the very least.
This team allowed sophomore starter Ivan Nova and the back end of the Yanks’ bullpen to hold them to just two runs, showing no will to win in the process–Something that should never happen when the Sox play the Evil Empire. The Red Sox of the past gave their best effort to topple the Yankees, even if it meant fists–or gloves–flying on the diamond.
It’s not that we can blame a lot of these guys, most of them know nothing of the rivalry that once defined the Red Sox and Yankees but it’s a shame that it’s come to this. The best thing this team can do is get back to hating the “Damn Yankees”.