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The Taylor Swift-Red Sox Crossover You Never Knew You Needed

Speak Now (Red Sox Version) (From the Mind of Avery)

One thing I love about as much as the Boston Red Sox is Taylor Swift. So as I sat on the floor of my room at 12 ET on July 7, ready to listen to her re-recorded version of her 2010 album Speak Now, the Sox’s series-clinching win over the Texas Rangers just hours before sat heavily (and happily) in my mind.

And then, as I finished the one-hour-and-44-minute masterpiece, I thought, “There’s gotta be some way I can combine my two true loves into some sort of article for this week’s feature.”

So, here you have it: I have assigned a Red Sox player or Red Sox-adjacent personality to each and every track from Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). I hope my fellow Swifties out there enjoy this one, and maybe I can convert some people to see the greatness of Taylor Swift with this piece.

P.S.: Vault tracks will be coming in the next week or so. I haven’t listened enough yet to comfortably determine who they may associate with even though I’ve had the album on repeat all day.

Mine: 2004 Red Sox

World Series: Red Sox v Cardinals Game 4 Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

“Wonderin’ why we bother with love if it never lasts”

Like any team through the regular season (and playoffs), you love them one day and hate them the next.

“As everything was slipping right out of our hands…

“I say, “Can you believe it?””

I’m always told the story of how incredibly and obviously hopeless my dad was seeing his favorite team of all time go down 3-0, when my mom infamously asked him if anyone had ever come back from being down 3-0. His response was something along the lines of “no one ever has, and it sure as hell won’t be this team to do it for the first time.”

“You are the best thing that’s ever been mine”

Sparks Fly: Michael Chavis

“My mind forgets to remind me you’re a bad idea

You touch me once and it’s really somethin’”

Looking back at his minor league performances, we all should’ve known he was destined to be a mostly homer-or-bust kind of player, but we all got excited seeing the promise he had. That home run in Chicago was the “touch me once” part of this. If only we could have had that Chavis for most of his time in Boston.

“And I could wait patiently, but I really wish you would

Drop everything now,”

Replace “drop everything now” with “hit another productive home run.”

“Get me with those green eyes, baby, as the lights go down”

His eyes are green! I think.

Back to December: Chris Sale

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

“Because the last time you saw me

Is still burned in the back of your mind”

Frequently for the past few years, the last time we’ve seen Sale is getting/being hurt.

“So, this is me swallowing my pride

Standin’ in front of you sayin’, “I’m sorry for that night”

I’m sorry you got hit by a line drive that night, and fell off a bicycle, and did whatever happened on that west coast road trip.

“And I go back to December all the time

It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missin’ you

Wishin’ I’d realized what I had when you were mine”

I go back to the good ole days of 2017 and 2018 when he was uninjured and thriving and consistently dominant. It turns out an empty rotation spot brings nothing but missing you, realizing what you truly provided to this team.

“Then I think about summer, all the beautiful times...

And realized I loved you in the fall

And then the cold came, the dark days”

In the summer: Sale was fantastic, in the running for a Cy Young.

In the fall: he won us a World Series on an embarrassingly nasty strikeout of my personal public enemy No. 1: Manny Machado.

The cold came. He’s chronically hurt, on a bad contract, gone forever.

Speak Now: Pedro Martinez

“I am not the kind of girl

Who should be rudely bargin’ in on a white veil occasion

But you are not the kind of boy

Who should be marrying the wrong girl”

Martinez’s departure after 2004 was a cruel (not) summer, and if I was cognizantly alive at that time, I would have SPOKEN NOW and not allowed that to happen.

Dear John: Dave Dombowski

“Don’t you think (20)19’s too young to be messed with?”

Dave Dombrowski messed with me PLENTY during his Red Sox tenure. Specifically in 2019, when he refused to acquire any bullpen help at the trade deadline. We would’ve, could’ve, SHOULD’ve had Andrew Chafin and his luxurious mustache in Boston, but Dombrowski chose to play a dark, twisted game instead.

Mean: Dan Shaughnessy

“You, with your words like knives

And swords and weapons that you use against me”

Considering this song was written about an overly hateful journalist, it seemed to me that Shaughnessy is one of many options to dedicate “Mean” to.

“Well, you can take me down

With just one single blow

But you don’t know what you don’t know”

Shaughnessy may have many blows to dish out, but he also has a lot he does not now (like many a Boston sports journalist).

“You, with your switching sides

And your wildfire lies and your humiliation

You have pointed out my flaws again

As if I don’t already see them”

Pointing out flaws that players, fans, and coaches are already aware of seems to be the main point of Shaughnessy’s job description.

“Drunk and grumblin’ on about how I can’t sing”

I am almost positive that at least part of his free time is spent similarly to this lyric.

The Story of Us: Xander Bogaerts

Los Angeles Angels v San Diego Padres Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images

“A simple complication, miscommunications lead to fallout...

The story of us looks like a tragedy now”

There was definitely some aspect of miscommunication that lead to the end of Bogaerts in Boston, and what once was a happy tale is looking rather tragic now.

“Now, I’m standin’ alone in a crowded room

And we’re not speakin’

And I’m dyin’ to know

Is it killin’ you like it’s killin’ me? Yeah

I don’t know what to say since the twist of fate

When it all broke down”

Seems like Bogaerts no longer has an interest in speaking about his time is Boston. Which kills me. But does he feel the same?

I planned to write an article after the sad conclusion of the Bogaerts situation, but seriously could not find the words besides another Swift lyric that came to mind: “There’ll be happiness after you, but there was happiness because of you. Both of these things can be true.”

Never Grow Up: Rafael Devers

“To you, everything’s funny”

Devers is the biggest goofball on the Sox in recent memory and it’s one of his many defining and endearing traits.

“You got nothing to regret”

He plays like he has no regrets (besides holding himself accountable) which is also refreshing to see.

“I’d give all I have, honey

If you could stay like that

I won’t let nobody hurt you

Won’t let no one break your heart”

I would hurt anyone who hurt him. Consider this a threat.

I don’t want our little ice cream fiend to grow up, even though he’s older than me he’s just like a cute little kid.

Enchanted: Nathan Eovaldi

“Same old tired, lonely place”

An absolutely fantastic description of the relative mediocrity of the 2018 Red Sox rotation before Eovaldi joined.

“Shifting eyes and vacancy”

Shifting faces, as a hodge podge of Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, Hector Velazquez, Brian Johnson, Drew Pomeranz, and Steven Wright started games throughout the season.

“Please, don’t be in love with someone else

Please, don’t have somebody waiting on you”

He was in love with someone else (the Rangers), and there was somebody waiting for him (many teams looking for cheaper starters)

Better than Revenge: Alex Rodriguez

2004 American League Championship Series - Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees - Game 6 Photo by Jim Rogash/WireImage

He’s better known for the things that he does on the mattress!!... or in the back of Florida tanning salons. (I will not acknowledge the new lyric change).

Innocent: Rob Refsnyder

“It’s okay, and life is a tough crowd

Thirty-two and still growing up now

Who you are is not what you did

You’re still an innocent”

He’s 32 and still growing up now (blossoming into a Major League lefty-killer).

Haunted: Mookie Betts

“You and I walk a fragile line

I have known it all this time

But I never thought I’d live to see it break”

The fragility of contract negotiations between the Red Sox and Betts was very obvious, and, ultimately, the downfall of his time in Boston.

“It’s getting dark and it’s all too quiet

And I can’t trust anything now”

Those contract negotiation talks and rumors seemed never-ending and it was hard to realize who to trust with those reports. In the end, once they stopped, it was done for.

“Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this

I thought I had you figured out

Something’s gone terribly wrong

You’re all I wanted”

I mistakenly convinced myself that that crazy game 162 in 2019 would not be Mookie’s last in a Boston jersey, but I was wrong. Something went TERRIBLY wrong and we lost the first homegrown MVP the Sox had had since Dustin Pedroia in 2008.

After writing the song, Swift said, “‘Haunted’ is about the moment that you realize the person you’re in love with is drifting and fading fast. And you don’t know what to do, but in that period of time, in that phase of love, where it’s fading out, time moves so slowly.” So yeah. That seems relatively similar to the whole Betts situation.

Last Kiss: Eduardo Rodriguez

All the while as we were worrying about losing Betts after that fateful end in 2019, we overlooked the fact that another end may be coming for a (partially) homegrown legend.

“I never thought we’d have a last kiss

Never imagined we’d end like this

Your name, forever the name on my lips”

I never thought of the idea that Eddie would not be in Boston until free agency rolled around and the Sox seemed wholly uninterested in keeping one of their best starters over the past three seasons. He’s the one that got away!

“So I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep.

And I’ll keep up with our old friends just to ask them how you are”

I follow his wife on Instagram.

Long Live: 2018 Red Sox

Swift wrote this song as a sort of love letter to her fans, which is honestly what the 2018 season felt like to me.

“​​I said, “Remember this moment”

In the back of my mind

The time we stood with our shaking hands

The crowds in stands went wild

We were the kings and the queens”

The crowds in stands literally did go wild throughout the season and in that “crowning” World Series moment.

“You traded your baseball cap for a crown

When they gave us our trophies

And we held them up for our town”

They traded their baseball caps for… other different baseball hats when they gave them their trophies but you know what she means.

Taylor Swift clearly loves baseball, which is why you should all love her.

“Hold on to spinning around

Confetti falls to the ground

May these memories break our fall”

It’s bittersweet remembering this team considering so few of them remain, but we will always have the amazing memories to break our fall.

Ours: Nick Pivetta

“So don’t you worry your pretty little mind

People throw rocks at things that shine”

Any time you people are mean to Pivetta I just want to tell him not to worry about it. Haters gonna hate, but he can’t help but shine (in a bullpen role)!

“The stakes are high, the water’s rough

But this love is ours”

The stakes of standing with this man through whatever may come are HIGH. The hate is prevalent, yet I persist, and you all will never hear the end of it.

“And it’s not theirs to speculate if it’s wrong”

Stop speculating about the Red Sox trading him because you’re wrong.

Superman: Jarren Duran

Oakland Athletics v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Very muscular dude. He is definitely my top pick to secretly be a superhero out of everyone on the team.

“To save the world or go to work

It’s the same thing to me”

I don’t necessarily think he’s saving the world, but he saves my personal sanity sometimes! Which I suppose is an aspect of his job.

Honorable mentions:

“And the cynics were outraged

Screaming, “This is absurd”

‘Cause for a moment, a band of thieves in ripped up jeans

Got to rule the world”

This lyric from Long Live is clearly written FOR the 2013 Red Sox so I just had to include that and acknowledge what an amazingly fun and fantastic team that was.