I watched NESN’s live Spring Training coverage last night. Basically it consisted of a tour of the new park, interviews with Bobby Valentine and Daniel Bard and a segment where we got to watch Bard shoot baskets. Some fun stuff, actually, and I’m looking forward to more.
But that was only on for an hour so I had to find something else to watch…where do I turn? The Celtics. So I’m watching the Celtics and they keep throwing it back to the studio every so often so we can see Tommy Heinsohn having an anxiety attack over the C’s losing. But when they aren’t letting Tommy go on they throw it to Mike Giardi with teases for that evening’s Sports Sunday show. Basically, Giardi began every update by mentioning that the Red Sox players aren’t apologizing for the 2011 collapse. “Waiting for the Red Sox to apologize?” was pretty much how he began each time. Now I ask you all this:
Were any of us really “waiting” for any of them to “apologize”? Because, I have to say, I wasn’t. Like many folks, I think I’m looking for answers to everything that went on that last month that I’m never going to get but to say I’m looking for an apology is off base.
It annoyed me for two reasons, one is because he did it every time they went to him and his spots didn’t seem pre-recorded (so they weren’t showing you the same piece every time) the other reason is because it just reinforces to me that the media doesn’t seem to care about what the reality of any situation is, they only want to create their own.
After speaking with both Josh Beckett and Jon Lester yesterday, much of the Boston sports media has decided JON GOOD, JOSH BAD, right out of the gate. The Boston Herald alone has at least three articles about how unconvincing Beckett was in sounding contrite yesterday but how terrible Lester feels, basically telling the fans to be mad at Beckett but not to hold anything against Jon Lester.
At least the Boston Globe comes off a little less prejudicial. They still crown Lester the King of Apologytown but give Beckett credit for taking more responsibility than he has in past interviews (most notably with Kevin Millar on the MLB Network where he did seem to blow off the importance of how horribly last season ended).
I won’t lie…Beckett annoys the hell out of me. He has for some time. But I suck it up because more often than not he pitches well and that’s what I want him to do. But, and here’s where people love to give me crap, I feel the same way about Jon Lester.
The same things I see in Beckett, arrogance and moodiness, I see in Jon Lester. He isn’t the same fresh-faced kid who was tragically diagnosed with cancer in 2006. He’s grown and seemingly matured but to me he’s a Pacific Northwest version of Beckett. So he doesn’t get any extra points for saying he’s sorry about anything that happened last year just like Beckett doesn’t get any demerits from me for not throwing himself to the ground and begging the fans to “forgive” him. And it’s annoying as hell that the narrative now is not only do the fans (and the media?) DESERVE apologies but we’re going to beat into the ground the selfishness of the players who don’t capitulate.
Bobby Valentine got some grief from fans online for saying this, but I kind of agree with him. The players showing up early for spring training and in shape is what I consider to be our “apology”. Do the damn work, play the damn game and make us forget that 2011 happened. Early on in February, in that interview on Kevin Millar’s “Intentional Talk” show, Beckett made a remark about how Millar would understand about the “mistakes” made in the clubhouse because the 2004 team drank Jack Daniels and that “it’s just what goes on in the clubhouse”. I took offense to Beckett comparing the 2011 team to the 2004 team because nothing about those teams is comparable. But I’ll be happy to compare the 2003 team to the 2011 team if only in that it was a team that broke our hearts only to be redeemed the next year with a World Series win.
Of course the main difference between those two teams will always be how the 2003 team lost in extra innings of game 7 of the ALCS and played their hearts out to get there and the 2011 team is being remembered for having little heart, but these are things time can erase from your memory if the team shows up this year and does what they’re supposed to be doing.
And, for me, none of what they’re supposed to be doing includes each of them looking into a video camera and saying “I’m sorry”.