March 2, 2015

And Then We Came To (Almost, Sort Of) The End

My relationship with the Red Sox has changed dramatically over the course of writing this blog. Back in mid-2003, I was obsessed with the team. Now, after three championships over a ten-year period, my attachment has decreased significantly.

These days, I glance at stories online (mostly ESPNBoston, WEEI, Over The Monster, and, but I no longer feel the need to be in the know about everything every day. And because of that, I don't feel like I have anything worthwhile to say about the team.

This disengagement has been helped along by two last-place finishes in the past three seasons. (Of course, the Red Sox won the World Series in the middle year, but I was somewhat distracted during that time because of Don't Let Us Win Tonight.)

In 2012 and 2014, I lost interest in following the Red Sox in the second half of each season. The teams were horrible, and listening to Don and Jerry was like hearing nails on a blackboard. (I have my issues with the radio guys, as well.) I asked myself if I really wanted to devote three hours of every evening watching my favourite baseball team lose. The answer was a resounding No - a wise choice, I think, in the long run.

I don't know what will happen in this space once the season begins. Other things, such as researching a new book, feel more important to me. I've always said I'd keep writing The Joy of Sox until it felt like a job, and then I'd stop. But after all these years, it doesn't seem right to simply stop cold. So the blog will remain, but I truly don't know in what form. (Naturally, I reserve the right to completely change my mind and post 2-3 times a day.)


Maxwell Horse said...

A little sad, but not a total shock. (You've made various comments over the past year or so about how you're not exactly on the edge of your seat anymore regarding Sox news.)

Still, I'm glad you're not just shutting things down. And in the end it may ironically end up benefitting the blog. Maybe without the yoke-like obligation that you have to update regularly, no matter how inconsequential the news is (Red Sox 4, Mariners 3), you'll be inspired to only post when there's something truly substantial going on. Like during those times when the Sox games intersect with a greater social/political issue. Or if the Sox actually do well and end up playing some meaningful postseason games.

allan said...

I didn't think would come as a big surprise, as I totally tuned out last season. ... Plus, there should be a fair amount of Schadenfreude this year!

johngoldfine said...

"I don't feel like I have anything worthwhile to say about the team."

That's not the experience of this reader at all. I always want to know what you think.

tim said...

Welp, I did get the sense that you were dialling it back some, so kudos for making it (almost, sort of) official. I am in full agreement with you that the intensity we had during 04-07 has dwindled significantly, but thank you sir for being a great host (and thanks to the great cast of characters) for the camaraderie and company during the glorious spinach-steaming run of 2007. I wasn't around for the beginning but I hopped on board and had many a great night watching games and bantering/rooting the team on here on the comments.

I'll still keep checking for updates daily - and I damn right will keep in touch with you guys and hopefully continue to take in some games in Buffalo and/or Toronto with you, but for now - enjoy spring training and the beginning of what should be a good year!

hrstrat57 said...

Here is hoping you get fired up quickly and post daily (which will mean our olde towne team is enroute to another flag !)

Thanks for all you do Allan!

Go Sawx!

allan said...

the glorious spinach-steaming run of 2007

2007 was fucking awesome!

paul hickman said...

Allan , read your post & found myself nodding in agreement ...... things change , we get older & wiser & things that once mattered so badly it hurt ...... also think there's such a thing as too much of a good thing - the law of diminishing returns ? Last year ( because I live in Australia & the Timezone ! ) only saw the Sox a few times on TV & listened to maybe 40-50 games via the Computer. Sometimes I think in Baseball less is more - perhaps you could introduce a " drudgery rating " ? The other night I heard an English Football Commentator with a Classic " after a dreadful 1st Half , I didn't think this game could get any worse ...... I was WRONG ........ Horribly Wrong !!!

So perhaps you could take a more lighthearted approach ? Introduce Crazy Competitions for how bad things get ? But I certainly endlessly appreciate what you have done over more than a decade - may there be some more Spinach Steaming in Future !!! Who knows maybe you just have the pre-Pre Season Blues ???

Regards Paul

P.S. Maybe we need the Yankees / ARod / some other Dillpickles to annoy us a little more , put some Fire back in the belly. Does make you appreciate how Big Papi & others been going so well for so long. The Joy of Sox ain't always an even smooth journey ...........

paul hickman said...

Dear Alan ,

read your post & found myself nodding along , sometimes it is as simple as the law of diminishing returns , we get older , wiser & things that used to matter so much it hurts ....... You can have too much of a Good Thing & sometimes it's better to maintain that distance that allows for that special feeling ?

Last year I only saw the Sox a few times on TV ( living in Australia think they were only on Pay TV a few times - they only have a few games each week ! ) Listened to the radio via the Computer maybe 40-50 games & plenty of that is the Timezone !

Perhaps you can be a little bit more Light-Hearted & encourage Comments / Competitions about how bad things get ? Just the other night I heard an English Football Commentator describe a game as " after a dreadful 1st half , I didn't think this game could get any worse ....... Sadly I was Horribly Mistaken !!!

Regards Paul

P.S. maybe we need the Yankees / ARod / some other DillPickles to put a bit of Fire back in the Belly. Many Thanks for your contribution to MY Life over the last decade or so ........ Remember the Joy of Sox is never an even , smooth journey !!!!!!!!!

Michael said...

I always enjoy reading your takes on whatever you feel like sharing. Even if you end up posting twice a year, thanks for not shutting the blog down completely. It's still an integral part of my Red Sox fandom.

laura k said...

Maxwell Horse, you are a wise one.

One of the many great things about blogging is that when you feel the need to write about something, you have the space in which to do it. And at this point, you have a built-in audience of devoted readers.

And because of feeds and whatnot, no one even has to check to see if you've updated. They'll see Joy of Sox in their feed, and they'll click.

Good luck with the re-re-re-revised blogging plan.

laura k said...

thank you sir for being a great host (and thanks to the great cast of characters) for the camaraderie and company during the glorious spinach-steaming run of 2007.

Thank you from me, too, and to the whole 2007 crew. Although I was onboard (quietly) in 2004, 2007 was my first true home in a Sox community. I loved every minute of it. After all, it was inevitable!

laura k said...

things change , we get older & wiser

Well, two out of three ain't bad.

FenFan said...

My obsession, like yours, has also waned to where I know who is on the Red Sox roster and not much else. If I watch one game a month on television start-to-finish, that's an accomplishment.

Allan, the commitment you have shown to this blog for ten-plus years is to be applauded. Your posts are always entertaining, especially when they skewer the mainstream media or other AL East teams.

You deserve the praise you are receiving here in the comment section and more.

FenFan said...

One afterthought: do you think that you will continue with the game threading this season?

allan said...

I assumed we'd keep the threads going, though there aren't that many of us anymore.

Zenslinger said...

I have had varying levels of interest in baseball and the Sox my whole life. Being a big fan isn't a contest. The community created here is alive on the forums, and if things get exciting, it will heat up. Do what you like! Write more books! You'll always be well appreciated. I've learned a ton on here. I'm sure B.R. has, too.

Amy said...

Just seeing this, but we've emailed about this so it did not come as a surprise. What's surprising is how many of us feel the same waning interest. Is it that we won three championships? Or was it the bad seasons that soured us? All the nastiness around Francona? For me, I'd say all of the above.

Reading this made me feel the way I feel when a favorite TV series ends or I finish a favorite book. Or when camp ended each summer. Very bittersweet. Part of life, but not easy.

As others said, thank you so much, Allan and Laura, for hosting us. I will never forget stumbling on to the blog because of a misplaced apostrophe in the Herald and falling in love with the whole JOS gang. Those game threads from 2007 should be published somewhere for us all to re-read. What a summer it was.

Thanks, and I'll still be checking in whenever I can.