After an afternoon full of rain and a start delayed by five minutes, the Boston Red Sox failed to solve the enigma that is Ricky Nolasco and his 7+ ERA last night. Five innings of baseball ended up being played; a Kevin Youkilis home run, and a David Ortiz crawl to first base on the ever-typical Marlins' error later, the rain came back with a vengeance and sent the game into and two hour and twenty minute delay before being called in favor of the visiting Florida Marlins.
Red Sox fans are known for their passion—well, the ones that are not there for social status—and they are ever more present since "the curse" was broken back in 2004. Their players, most of whom make more than the average Marlin, are known for their talent.
Following last evenings game, the other side of each came out. To say the atypical Boston summer weather was not present along with the dominating ball club is an understatement.
BostonDirtDogs.com, a faction of Boston.com and the Boston Globe, has a headline reading "SHAME ON THE RED $OX FOR CASHING IN ON SELLOUT No. 501," a reference to the longest running hoax in baseball (but that is a topic for another day).
Below it you will find a link to an article on the game, where Mike Lowell, a fan favorite in South Florida, complains that the game should never have been played, while the Sox skipper pleads uselessness, and Jason Bay states the truth: weather, rain outs, and cancellations are a fact of life.
Perusing the comments section of the Lowell article will have you believing the world is ending for most Red Sox fans.
Posters accuse the Boston Front Office of greed, though a rescheduled game would have brought them more money if nine innings were played. They also accuse the team of a lack of communication to players and fans as to what was happening with the day, because it is so unethical to try to squeeze a full game in.
Posters also cry poverty, which I am more apt to agree with, after living in Boston for four years and not being able to afford a single game, only to see prices rising again the next.
When a fan goes to a stadium located in the heart of a city, they not only pay astronomical prices for tickets and ballpark concessions, but parking and entertainment outside of the park does not necessarily come on the cheap if you want to enjoy the atmosphere instead of the Subway or McDonald's around the corner.
There is one thing that Lowell, Terry Francona, and the fans forget—neither Major League Baseball, Jerry Crawford (the crew chief), the Florida Marlins, nor the Boston Red Sox control the weather; the Red Sox do control the game start though, and Crawford does control it ending.
The Florida Marlins were scheduled to depart Boston right after the game to take the Yankees on at 7:10pm tonight, while the Sox remain at home. A rescheduled game for them costs an airplane charter, a night at a hotel, and a well-earned off day later in the season. They did not ask for your pity though, while sitting in their clubhouse wondering what time they may arrive at home tonight.
Truth be told, Red Sox fans and their players have become spoiled.
They expect a win every night, and expect every call to go their own way. They have come to expect championships (BDD reads "How about the Stanley Cup award Bruins? Sheesh"), and they'd prefer it over the Yankees. If it comes on a silver platter, that would be great, but they'd prefer platinum.
While I was in Boston I witnessed this transformation first-hand, from August 2004, willing the Sox onward in the playoffs, to the empty seats in the Boston Garden that same season cheering for the Bruins and Celtics. Three years later it was pink hats everywhere, Celtics sellouts, and lifelong fans that could not tell you who Yaz was or what sport Larry Bird played.
If mother nature interferes with their will, it is greed, disrespect, and a lack of consideration. If they don't win, there is someone or something out of their control to lash out on.
If they only knew what the team on the other side of the field went through every night.
They are lucky to break 15,000 "fans" at a game, and every day in South Florida is risking "greed" to get a ballgame in, as it rains daily in Miami-Dade-Broward. Their payroll could afford maybe one or two Red Sox players, and they are most likely to be traded a year later.
Parking at LandShark Stadium, the Marlins home, costs more than a ticket for some sections.
Games have had to be played in other states because of hurricanes.
Red Sox fans, I understand the terrible tragedy that you experienced last night. Not getting to see a victory because Mother Nature decided it was not your night is not fair, never mind Ricky Nolasco not getting a chance to lower his ERA and continue spinning a gem on your turf.
Tickets, concessions, and parking is expensive, but there are worse things in the world. If you have to endure it two or three times a summer, armageddon may be coming.
Or maybe, just maybe, as Jason Bay said, "It's the worst thing in the [baseball] world, but it is what it is."
You take a chance buying tickets to a game any day of the week, against any team, in any state. The chances of last night's events transpiring the way they did are unlikely, but that is life.
But would you be complaining if you won? While you may be unhappy you were shorted 4 innings, I bet not.