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Red Sox don't have to be loved, but they should be admired


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Smart moves off the field and sharp play on it have allowed Boston to surpass the Yankees in supremacy.

http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/18850454.html

It should be easy to hate the Red Sox. They've got it all -- baseball's most ambient ballpark, rich and aggressive owners, a savvy front office, a storied fan base that includes an appreciative old guard and the entitled new guard, and two World Series sweeps in four years.

Hank Steinbrenner had it wrong -- there is a Red Sox Nation, and it is a super power. The Sox have surpassed the Yankees as the dominant franchise in baseball, having replaced the Evil Empire with an Erudite Empire that looks to be gaining strength as the pinstripes age and blur.

It should be easy to hate a franchise that has it all, but when you watch the Sox up close, you can't help but like the way they play. Sunday night, they lost to the Twins 9-8 when knuckleballer Tim Wakefield temporarily ended the Twins' power outage, but Boston, down 7-1 in the third, made it a grind.

After the game, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he and pitching coach Rick Anderson debated after every inning "which three pitchers to get up, even though we only have two mounds" in the bullpen.

This is already the Twins' most impressive series of the season -- taking two of the first three of a four-game series from what might be the best team in baseball. The Sox have stayed on top by avoiding the mistakes and excesses of the new millennium Yankees, blending the fruits of a productive farm system with the key members of their championship teams, retaining pop while adding youth, speed and fielding excellence.

They have separated themselves from their rivals by becoming more like the Jeter-Rivera-Pettitte Yankees of 1996 and less like the Giambi-Mussina-Damon Yankees of 2007. While the Yankees made a grave mistake by failing to trade for Johan Santana -- old $200 million teams have no choice but to go for it -- the Red Sox look smart for deciding they didn't need baseball's best lefthander.

What makes this Sox team unique is its speed and youth. Jacoby Ellsbury is a fine player with excellent range who can play anywhere in the outfield, as he showed with a remarkable diving catch to rob Joe Mauer of a double Sunday.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia reminds old Twins heads of Chuck Knoblauch at his best, a compact and multi-talented second baseman whose savvy equals his skills.

Kevin Youkilis has evolved into a complete hitter who batted in Ramirez's customary cleanup spot on Sunday night against the Twins, as Manny Ramirez rested a sore hamstring. Two Twins veterans told me that Youkilis is Boston's toughest out.

Jed Lowrie, the infield prospect rumored to be part of a prospective Santana trade package, would be a regular for the Twins; the Sox sent him back to Pawtucket on Sunday.

What makes the Sox a pleasure to watch is a unique blend of disciplined hitting, gamesmanship in the field and excellent baserunning. The Sox set a franchise record with 22 consecutive successful steals before Mauer threw out J.D. Drew this weekend. The Sox not only have hit twice as many homers (40) as the small-ball Twins (20), they have only two fewer steals and a higher success rate on attempts.

What grabbed Gardenhire's attention this weekend was the play of Pedroia and Youkilis, the first baseman. In the seventh inning Friday night, Twins speedster Carlos Gomez pushed a pretty good bunt toward first, a bunt he has beaten out a few times this year.

Gardenhire noticed that, before the bunt, Youkilis and Pedroia signaled each other that Youkilis would charge and Pedroia would cover first. That sounds routine, but it's not.

"Youkilis is like a shortstop playing first base," Gardenhire said. "He's unbelievable. That reminded me of Knoblauch and Kent Hrbek -- they'd talk during the game like that. You like to see the game played that way.

"They're very professional, a lot of gamers. I think that right side of the infield is as good as any two guys who play together. That's fun to watch."

Gardenhire smiled and said what baseball fans everywhere should be saying about The Nation. "I mean, I hate watching them," he said. "But that's pretty good baseball."

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How is going to be the first person to post that the Yankees have won 26 World Series?

I believe that you are the winner. Congratulations! Now go kill yourself.

J/k

No, but seriously... do it.

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You know what I love?

Knowing no other team in baseball will ever be as proud as the Yankees.

that could be the dumbest comment I have ever read... no, it is the dumbest comment I've ever read.

You sleep well at night over a marketing gimmick? :rl:

You know why I sleep well at night? Because I know how deluded most yankee fans are...

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I believe that you are the winner. Congratulations! Now go kill yourself.

J/k

No, but seriously... do it.

and why do you want him to kill himself? Because he's a sox/pats fan? Thats pretty bad that you cant accept people for who they are.

And can I ask, Yankee fan?

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that could be the dumbest comment I have ever read... no, it is the dumbest comment I've ever read.

You sleep well at night over a marketing gimmick? :rl:

You know why I sleep well at night? Because I know how deluded most yankee fans are...

Well when you are so used to winning......nevermind (nothing you'd understand).

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says the mets fan

btw, I love f##king with you. Its so easy.

how are you effing with me?? I just call you out for stupid things you post. unlike you, my panties dont get all bunched up.

and yep, im a mets fan. but i wasnt the one who made the dumb comment that my team has pride because they win and yet they last won 8 years ago...

I've never denied the yankees are a successful organization. Im one of the few who dont hate the yankees. I just hate deluded fans like you.

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I sense some hostility here. Are Yankees fans on edge?

no they really believe they are winning the world series this year. they will be c0cky until mid august when they are 10 games back. then they will just throw everyone under the bus.

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how are you effing with me?? I just call you out for stupid things you post. unlike you, my panties dont get all bunched up.

and yep, im a mets fan. but i wasnt the one who made the dumb comment that my team has pride because they win and yet they last won 8 years ago...

I've never denied the yankees are a successful organization. Im one of the few who dont hate the yankees. I just hate deluded fans like you.

Relax.

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no they really believe they are winning the world series this year. they will be c0cky until mid august when they are 10 games back. then they will just throw everyone under the bus.

Yeah, cuz thats been the case recently.

Mets fans. :rl:

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Yeah, cuz thats been the case recently.

Mets fans. :rl:

we wait for september to throw everyone under the bus.... well, I didnt. i didnt believe in the mets at all last year, and I certainly dont believe in them this year. Both NY teams will miss the playoffs this year.

but what will you do if the yanks are 10 games back in mid august? i know... you havent been there since you were a twinkle in daddy's eye, but its a real possibility this year. I know how yankee fans are going to handle it, and it wont be pretty.

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we wait for september to throw everyone under the bus.... well, I didnt. i didnt believe in the mets at all last year, and I certainly dont believe in them this year. Both NY teams will miss the playoffs this year.

but what will you do if the yanks are 10 games back in mid august? i know... you havent been there since you were a twinkle in daddy's eye, but its a real possibility this year. I know how yankee fans are going to handle it, and it wont be pretty.

I'm gonna cry about it and then kill myself. Cuz sportz iz that importantz!!!

Cmon, you think I really give a **** how the Yankees do? At the end of the day, it doesnt mean much.

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I'm gonna cry about it and then kill myself. Cuz sportz iz that importantz!!!

Cmon, you think I really give a **** how the Yankees do? At the end of the day, it doesnt mean much.

i hope you dont give a sh!t. Those are rare moments of joy in life. You cant just give up sh!ts for teams who dont care about us, but care about our money. you must protect your sh!ts as much as possible.

Im just wondering what yankee fans are going to act like when they miss the playoffs..

i have a feeling its going to be mighty quiet in yankee land.

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i hope you dont give a sh!t. Those are rare moments of joy in life. You cant just give up sh!ts for teams who dont care about us, but care about our money. you must protect your sh!ts as much as possible.

Im just wondering what yankee fans are going to act like when they miss the playoffs..

i have a feeling its going to be mighty quiet in yankee land.

I'm sure they'll be able to consult the Met fans around here, who will be coping with their second straight year of that experience.

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I'm sure they'll be able to consult the Met fans around here, who will be coping with their second straight year of that experience.

at least this year it wont be a monumental collapse like last year. and we should be in the race until mid sept... so yankee fans will have a month to wallow in their crapulence.

plus, wouldnt yankee fans need some help in knowing how to act when their team has a lousy season? or do they know what its like since they are jets/rangers/knicks fans....

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I'm sure they'll be able to consult the Met fans around here, who will be coping with their second straight year of that experience.

You aren't doing the perception of Yankees fans any favours.

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Honestly, people have to stop insulting people because of their ****ing age. This may not apply in this situation, but there are people who are 16 who have six times the baseball intelligence of someone who's 50. It's the weakest insult you can give and it just makes you look like you can't come up with anything worthwhile.

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Honestly, people have to stop insulting people because of their ****ing age. This may not apply in this situation, but there are people who are 16 who have six times the baseball intelligence of someone who's 50. It's the weakest insult you can give and it just makes you look like you can't come up with anything worthwhile.

I disagree. Anyone who is sixteen knows sh*t about life....they may know pitch count and when to pull a squeeze play, but in the context of everyday life. They know sh*t. Sorry. It's true.

Anyway, I found reason #257 why to hate Larry Lucchino: He's giving the commencement speech at Boston University this w/e. As if the graduates there aren't slarmy enough. Only thing worse would be if it were Boston College. Filthy animals that they are. :)

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I disagree. Anyone who is sixteen knows sh*t about life....they may know pitch count and when to pull a squeeze play, but in the context of everyday life. They know sh*t. Sorry. It's true.

Anyway, I found reason #257 why to hate Larry Lucchino: He's giving the commencement speech at Boston University this w/e. As if the graduates there aren't slarmy enough. Only thing worse would be if it were Boston College. Filthy animals that they are. :)

f**k BU.

and yes... kiddies no nothing about life. if they are yankee fans, they also no nothing about baseball.

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f**k BU.

and yes... kiddies no nothing about life. if they are yankee fans, they also no nothing about baseball.

BU sux. BC sux. The only school in the area with genuinely good people is Northeastern.....just sayin'. ;) ..... Well, except for all the NY'ers that go there. They sux too. :P

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and why do you want him to kill himself? Because he's a sox/pats fan? Thats pretty bad that you cant accept people for who they are.

And can I ask, Yankee fan?

Jesus calm down there Donny Defensive.

:baby:

Gainzo knows I'd only want him to kill himself in the most painless of ways. ;)

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In the past two seasons the Yankees have passed on Daisuke Matsuzaka and Johan Santana in favor of Kei Igawa, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.

Brian Cashman is a sh*thead.

Next season the Yankees better buy CC Sabathia and Joba needs to be in the starting rotation. Wang, Sabathia, Joba, Rasner and maybe Pettite is an excellent rotation. We'll see how these M@ssholes gloat when their lineup can't touch our starting rotation.

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In the past two seasons the Yankees have passed on Daisuke Matsuzaka and Johan Santana in favor of Kei Igawa, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.

Brian Cashman is a sh*thead.

Terrible hindsight logic. Let's rewind a little bit.

There was a massive bidding war over Dice-k and the Yanks chose not to hand over 70 mil just for the rights to "talk" to Matsuzaka. Can't blame them there.

Phil Hughes and Kennedy, is still WAY to early. Just because they both had a rough beginning doesn't mean we should discount them. Now when the deal was Kennedy and Melky it would have been a little more reasonable but honestly I love Melky and we would of been in a tight spot for CF as Damon's arm is pathetic. So once again I don't have any problems there.

2 other notes:

1) It's not like Johan has blown the doors off. He has looked beatable on a few occasions and he would not have been the last piece

2) Hughes is only 21 and had the best outing of any of the Yanks starters last postseason.

I'm glad this team has elected to choose the farm over some other avenues. It makes the team younger and I don't know how else to say it, but easier to root for.

Another future note: Can't wait for Alberto Gonzalez to start seeing regular at bats. Next year, when Giambi is sent packing, they should send A-Rod to first and have Gonzalez play 3rd or atleast have Shelly at 1st.

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