As haunting an image as it was to see Jonathon Papelbon clutch his hat after the final pitch of the 2007 season, the only relief that came to mind was reason number 10 from Why the Red Sox are Annoying. “Papelbon’s ****, not Irish.” And after watching him pitch the last inning with his face envisioning a circus seal suckoff while gazing into Captain Varitek’s mid-section, it was hard to deny that reason. You can bet a low blow like that will rattle any Red Sox fan out of their drunken states but you can be sure that Kevin Youkilis will open some eyes tonight as he and the rest of the Aryan Brotherhood burn a cross in celebration. No this isn’t going to be a platform to drown in the sorrows of another Boston Red Sox championship (although feel free to comment as needed, it does help a little), this is your first and last wake-up call Red Sox Nation, the evil has shifted and their is little time to escape.
For all the negative attention the New York Yankees receive for their free spending on the open market, the Boston Red Sox have quietly established themselves as the highest paid championship team in baseball history for the second time in four years. At a staggering $143M the Sox raised the stakes on their previous record of $127.3M, set in 2004, further distancing themselves from the third place New York Yankees whose championship in 2000 cost a mere $107M. $143M, that is a payroll of $89M more than their opponents, the Colorado Rockies. I’ll let those numbers sink in for a moment, because I know what your thinking, “who cares, we just won the World Series, and you know what, the Yankees didn’t.” And let me finish by saying, yes, it has been seven years since the Yankees won their last championship. Yes, New York’s payroll has swollen larger than A-Rod’s ego. And yes, without Joe Torre, New York is a franchise in peril. But sadly, that is how it all starts.
The once cursed 34,824 fans that made up Red Sox Nation has spread across America like wildfire since 2004. And as the fans keep spending that $14.95 to join Red Sox Nation, the very green fabric of the franchise has relinquished the cloudy curse to reveal the dollar signs that have been hidden by 86 years of faith and heavy drinking. It won’t be long till John Henry and his army of Red Sox Nation replaces the once well-oiled machine known as the Evil Empire. It is capitalism in all its glory and though the idiots may be gone, the new well-oiled machine that is the Boston Red Sox is primed and ready for a future of free spending to keep that army in tact.
As Alex Rodriguez fights his way out of New York, many wonder if he will be the final piece to complete Boston’s own Death Star. A healthy relationship between agent Scott “Dracula” Boras and Larry Lucchino may help but will it be enough to wake the true fans from their Championship hangovers? Or is it too late for a team that has spent its time and money becoming their rivals rather than hating them. After the dust settles on yet another championship parade many fans will realize what is on the horizon but for the majority, there will always be another band wagon to jump on. So enjoy it while it lasts Boston, because those lovable idiots that captured America’s heart are long gone from the days of breaking an 86 year silence. The band wagon is filling up faster than Red Sox Nation can shovel their soylent green into the masses, but in the end, a bought championship is a bought championship, don’t deny it, just enjoy it while it lasts.