When Matthew Kory wrote on Tuesday on this very site that the Red Sox were likely due for regression after their 97-win regular season, there was a strong argument to be made that he merely said what we were all thinking. Not only was last year a magical season, it is rare that any team will win 97 games in a given year, given the considerable forces of attrition in baseball. Even defending champions have to fight their way to that type of record, and the best of the best don’t usually get there.
So there’s nothing untrue about what Kory said. The difference between Matthew and us is that he dared say it aloud, violating each spring’s implicit code that the Red Sox will go 162-0. This is a code of a society to which we don’t belong and doesn’t have strict reeducation procedures. We hope Kory’s rehabilitation, should he be caught, is as painless as possible.
Just kidding. There is no secret society of Red Sox fans, beholden to former pitcher Alfredo Aceves or otherwise, that reeducates "bad" fans of the team and pledges they conform to their bizarre opinions, namely, that the Red Sox will make it through the 2014 baseball season without losing a game. If that’s what you came here looking for, you’re in the wrong place. Don’t come back here Tuesday night at 7 p.m. for the meeting. Don’t bring donuts – I know, it’s stereotypical, but don’t do it anyway, because everyone won’t love it. Don’t forget that there is no password, despite what Marc tells you.
There is no Aceves signal.
All of this is fact, but if there was such a society, if this was true, and the members of this believed the Red Sox would go 162-0, Kory would have violated said code, had he been aware of it. Given his spirited but ultimately fruitless campaign for vice president of this organization (it would have gone), it would seem he could not feign ignorance of its bylaws, the second amendment to would have said, in plain olde English:
- Yankees Suck!
- The Red Sox are flawless in concept and execution by definition, and should never be expected to lose.
- Don’t think about it.
It’s ridiculous, right? But it’s a good representation of how we look at sports. In sports we want domination, at all times, when our teams are involved. When other teams are involved, we prefer drama, everything else aside. The idea that we want our teams to win each game and the idea that we want them to win every game have remained separate; the idea that we want the Sox to win each game and that they have somehow failed if they do not succeed has not, to this point, matured to the point that we believe should never, in fact, lose, even if one is a logical extension of the other.
Forgive me. I spent too much time outside on one of those recent warm-ish days, and I’ve caught a spot of a cold. I’m just a normal person sneezing, and not a member of the cult of Alfredo Aceves, from which Matthew Kory is now banished. I’m a totally normal Red Sox fan and believe all the exact same things you do. My wearing a Red Sox hat means the same thing as your wearing the Red Sox hat.
I like the same players you do, for the same reasons. Of course Dustin Pedroia is the most important player on the team. Of course they’ll win 94 games, or 89, or 101. Of course A.J. Pierzynski isn’t the right type of clubhouse guy. Of course Jacoby Ellsbury is overrated. And a traitor. Of course the Rays suck. Of course we’re still the underdogs.
This isn’t a place for disagreement, after all. We’re all in the same boat, so to speak. We're here to take the Red Sox seriously. The idea that they could go 162-0 is ludicrous, and we don't waste our time on silly matters. To that end, we never act like a simple loss is an invitation to panic or a string of four of them is crime against mankind. We always keep our heads. We're just normal Red Sox fans, dammit. The smartest and best fans on the planet. Isn't that good enough?