The Red Sox are winning and nobody has any passion for this team. That is the premise of an article by John Tomase in today’s Boston Herald.
Tomase complains that this likable, winning Red Sox team that has brought so much excitement to New England this summer is actually an afterthought because Fenway Park wasn’t sold out for last night’s game with Baltimore. Really. That is how he defines the level of interest in this team.
In a word, Tomase is off base here. I live in New England and I can assure you that the Red Sox are providing fans with plenty of energy and excitement as they continue to defy the odds in this pennant race.
Just when you think they are about to hit a skid, they rebound nicely and change direction. They are still the only team in baseball not to lose four games in a row this season.
They are a grind-it-out, never-say-die bunch that is fascinating to watch and impossible to dislike because the overall talent seems less than the sum of its parts. But yet the wins pile up- 20 in their final at-bat.
From everything I’ve seen this summer, the Sox are most definitely a conversation piece because people actually care again. That’s a far cry from the way things were for much of last season when apathetic would be the word to best describe the fan base.
Tomase should look beyond the greater Boston area for the passion because it is most definitely there. Sox fans from Bangor to Bridgeport are excited about their team and are razzing Yankees fans whose team probably isn’t going anywhere this year.
People are watching in groups with interest in bars and restaurants as is the usual summer norm. They are still a topic at the beach and at back yard barbecues.
The main buzz revolves around how important it is for the Sox to hold on for the AL East title because you don’t ever want to go the wild card route.
The real fans in Red Sox Nation know the deal again. They understand what’s at stake.
Just because Fenway isn’t full on a given night that proves fans are mostly disinterested? Nonsense.
The diehards are still there. They were the 32,000 or so that represented last night. I saw plenty of cheering and celebrating when Mike Carp won the game with a bloop in the eighth and Koji closed things out in the ninth.
And how did Fenway sound when Dempster hit A-Rod last homestand?
As for the other roughly 6000 fans who can’t buy in to this team yet because of the horrors of September 2011 and the entire 2012 season? They are the “pink hat/fair weather fan” brigade and they probably don’t get the love affair with this team anyway.
They are not how you measure the passion level of a team’s fan base. They are there after the hard work is done and the winning is easy. They bond with the superstar name players. But they abandon ship when the wins are of the grind it out variety and the names aren’t as sexy.
Because casual fans are staying away we are now supposed to buy that there’s no passion in the Nation? I don’t. Not for one second.
I’m sure there are a hundred reasons why there are empty seats at Fenway at this point in the season but lack of passion isn’t one of them. The fans that are there get it and always will. The ones that aren’t are missing out and never will.