It's always fun to hear someone from the outside -- that being a non Red Sox fan -- say nice things about your favorite organization. Joe Posnanski is doing that with the Red Sox, but specifically general manager Theo Epstein:
There is every reason in the world for me to love the Boston Red Sox fan. One, I love Boston. Love it. Love walking around Boston, love being around people from Boston, love the accent, love the Sports Guy, love it. Two, the Red Sox hired two of my absolute favorite people in baseball — Bill James and Allard Baird. Three, the Red Sox play baseball the way I believe in baseball — especially with Fenway Park as the home park. And four, they’re good. Is it so wrong to love a team that is actually GOOD?
Right or wrong, I do not love the Red Sox. I cannot just pick and and decided to love the Red Sox — it doesn’t work that way for me. I believe in sports loyalty. And I was born for sports misery.
This is especially disheartening because I have now found another reason to love the Red Sox: Theo Epstein. I have always liked and appreciated Theo from afar. He’s obviously very smart, very good at his job, and his grandfather and great uncle wrote Casablanca. But it has always been from afar … until I heard him discussing J.D. Drew on the radio show "Felger and Massarotti" this week
(You can read more about Theo's discussion on "Felger and Massarotti" here and here.)
He doesn't like the Red Sox, but it seems to me that he respects the Red Sox -- which is even better, really. It's amazing how this brief appearance of Theo on a radio show really made Posnanski do some extra thinking:
I have talked many times here about a fan’s desperate wish — desperate wish — to have the team see the game the way the fan sees it. I don’t mean specifics — fire the coach, bench the QB, go for it on fourth down and so on. I mean see it in the macro, in a larger way. If I’m a basketball fan, I would love a team that believes in pushing the ball up the floor. If I’m a football fan, I would love a team that believes in pressuring the quarterback and working the middle of the field. If I’m a baseball fan, I would just love to know that my GM really and truly believes that one thing — that it’s really, really, really important for a baseball player to not make outs.
Anyway, I thought Theo put it perfectly. There’s no question that the Red Sox have some huge advantages over most teams in baseball. They have and spend a lot more money than most, which allows them to be better in so many ways. But they’re awfully smart too. One argument I have never understood is the one where people say that money doesn’t matter because some big money teams lose: "Oh, if money is so important, how come the Mets haven’t won more? The Cubs spend a ton of money, and they didn’t win. The Astros." And so on. To me that’s a false argument — people have been wasting money since, well, since the invention of money.
But matching money with solid reasoning and serious brainpower, that’s an awfully tough combination to beat … even in a game as volatile and unpredictable as baseball. The Red Sox win every year. And I suspect they will keep winning every year. And I suspect that it would be a whole lot of fun to be a Boston Red Sox fan.
Oh, it is. No matter how much crap each and every one of us gets from every non Sox fan out there, it's still pretty fun.
It'll be even more fun if Theo has another piece of hardware in the trophy cabinet come November.