Since it’s December, I can see my Christmas tree on the other side of the living room, and I’m watching a phenomenal NBA game between the Raptors and Sixers on TV, it’s not hard to figure out that we’re pretty far away from baseball season.
It’s that point where we are still feeling the lingering effects from the past season, but we’re also starting to think about little things related to the upcoming season. It’s baseball limbo. Right about now, there aren’t many headlines other than a trade sending Paul Goldschmidt from the Diamondbacks to the Cardinals as well as some guy named Nathan Eovaldi signing with the Red Sox.
However, (ed. note) this was written before that signing. So, for this week’s column, I’m hitting another random topic saved for the slow, dragging periods of the offseason.
The question: when are Red Sox fans “allowed” to complain again?
If you ask this question to anybody who isn’t a Sox fan, they will tell you that we aren’t ever allowed to complain about anything for the rest of our lives. Four championships this century, more than any other team in baseball? They’ll tell you that is about as spoiled as it gets.
While they aren’t totally wrong, it’s unfair to tell a sports fan that they can’t complain about anything ever again. We’re adults, plus it’s what we do. When we see our team doing something stupid, like riding a 15-game losing streak, or keeping the same manager despite finishing in last place for three straight seasons, that warrants at least some level of complaining. In fact, complaining actually makes me feel better. It’s cathartic. Sometimes, there are things that we just have to get off our chests.
However, Red Sox fans should probably keep it contained. We’ve seen four World Series titles in 14 years, and as a fan, you can’t ask for much more than that from your team. We’re obviously allowed to slightly grunt about little things here and there, like if Andrew Bentintendi goes into a 0-for-25 slump.
A little “come on, wake up and get it together, Benny” is acceptable. That’s just a fan being a fan.
What could get annoying would be saying something like, “Good lord, Benintendi is terrible and this team is never going to go anywhere with him. I’m sick of watching this awful team.”
You don’t have to be the guy that says something like that, mostly because it just isn’t true and almost certainly will never be true. And the Red Sox just won the 2018 World Series, so all it will do is make you look like ungrateful and spoiled.
Since the Sox have won four titles since 2004, they’ve earned a hefty amount of wiggle room. The memories from those four incredible seasons should be more than enough to get us through a handful of ugly seasons.
If the Red Sox aren’t in first place in 2019, or 2020, or 2021, or 2022, it’s alright to grunt and sigh in frustration. Just because you root for a team that has seen plenty of recent success doesn’t mean you are required to smile from ear to ear for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But you don’t have to go on long rants about how miserable the Red Sox make you, or about how you can’t figure out why you root for this team because all they do is drive you up a wall.
If the 2035 season comes and goes and the Red Sox haven’t won another World Series in that span, then it might be okay to get a little upset. But until then, you don’t have to be an unreasonable complainer. Since 2004, you haven’t had to go more than six seasons without seeing your team win it all, and most fans would do anything to be where you are.
But then again, if the Yankees pull out ahead of the Red Sox in the division in May, all bets are off.