We may think that Red Sox fans are a different breed, cut from better cloth than the average baseball fan. More loyal, more knowledgeable. But then something happens that shows beyond all doubt that Red Sox fans can be as stupid, petty, ungrateful, and ignorant as any other team's fans.
In the first inning of Sunday's game, after Jason Bay threw Mark Ellis out at second base (trying to stretch a single into a double), NESN showed some of the Fenway crowd. Several people were holding up signs (distributed by WEEI) that read: "Manny Who?"
Amy, a frequent commenter here, was in Box 91 (in right field) for Saturday night's game. She commented that "when Bay hit his [three-run] HR, the crowd started chanting, 'Manny Who?' over and over."
Ian Browne (redsox.com beatwriter) mentioned the chant in his game story, saying it was only "a smattering of Fenway fans". Amy's take: "It sounded like far more than a smattering ... It only lasted for a few minutes, but it was pretty loud."
She added that a bunch of boorish, beer-guzzling young men were chanting nearby and "perhaps that's what made it so loud for me". Perhaps. Browne is pretty straight-forward in his reporting, so I'm tempted to say that what was loud in right field sounded more faint to someone up in the press box.
If WEEI felt compelled to print up signs, why not "Thank You Manny!" or "Goodbye Manny!" on one side and "Welcome Jason!" on the other side? ... I know -- if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle.
Shame on everyone who not only took one of the signs, but was enough of an idiot to actually hold it up during the game. As I have said before (after Keith Foulke was booed in 2005, if I recall), I would love to have the power to erase the memories of these "fans" of everything Red Sox-related after Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, because they do not deserve to remember and forever savour what came afterwards.
I had a different Manny post ready to go this morning, but then I saw the WEEI signs during Sunday's game and I got totally pissed off and wrote the above. Here is the other post:
The Last Word On Manny Ramirez
Manuel Aristides Ramirez was an essential part of the first Boston Red Sox team to win a World Series championship in 86 years.
During that historic drought, millions of Red Sox fans were born, devoted themselves to the team, and died without seeing the Boston team celebrating on the field after the final game of the season.
Manny Ramirez was one of the men who brought us something many of us thought we might never see -- a World Series title. ... (How many of us said "All I want is one"?) ... And then he helped win another championship three years later!
He deserves our heartfelt thanks, and he deserves to be as happy as humanly possible for the rest of his life.