“We’ll always have Paris.” So said Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) when they had to acknowledge the end of their doomed love affair in the classic movie Casablanca.
And with many in Red Sox Nation falling out of love with the last place BoSox it may be apropos to reminisce and say: “We’ll always have the Idiots.”
Yes, our beloved Idiots. That 2004 Red Sox crew that overcame a 3-0 Yankee ALCS lead to win an improbable pennant before going on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to win Boston’s first World Series in 86 years.
Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Jason Varitek, and the other idiots didn’t cut their hair or shave much but they looked just fine holding that year’s World Series trophy.
And principal owner John Henry was then the toast of the town. He was part of a consortium that purchased the team from the Thomas and Jean Yawkey Estate and then club president John Harrington in 2002. Tom Werner was the consortium’s executive chairman while Larry Lucchino served as president and CEO.
Red Sox Nation prospered and the team also won World Series in 2007, 2013, and 2018.
But a disappointing 2019 season followed by this year’s last-place finish has taken the bloom off the proverbial rose. And it’s more than the lousy records. To have the BoSox bring back the suspended cheat Alex Cora as manager just makes some of us feel dirty. It’s not just that Cora’s shenanigans earlier helped Houston to win a tainted World Series. He obviously was involved in chicanery in Boston as well, although the organization tried to cover it up.
And it’s more than Cora’s chicanery. He put himself above and apart from the team by refusing to accompany his teammates to a White House recognition event, bogusly claiming that President Trump didn’t do right by his native Puerto Rico.
But Henry’s disgusting virtue-signaling is even worse than Cora’s. Henry embraced the Marxist BLM Movement—an affront to law enforcement folks everywhere. And he dissed the beloved Yawkey family, renaming Yawkey Way as Jersey Street—a moniker better suited for the Bronx than for Fenway Park.
The beloved Yawkeys, you see, just didn’t live up to Henry’s high moral standards—although Cora apparently creates no ethical qualms.
So TV ratings for the BoSox went south this year and you can expect those ratings to continue to remain below the Mendoza Line, so to speak. Ditto for BoSox apparel. And don’t expect the team to sell 3 million tickets, assuming any fans are allowed into any ballparks in 2021.
When the owner and the manager of a team make so many former fans want to retch, then that team is going to be in trouble. Someday Cora will be again fired. But that may be a while. And how do we get rid of a crappy owner?
On May 7, 1940, with things looking bleak for the British against a truly Evil Empire, a member of Parliament, Leo Amery, went off on Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain during a House of Commons debate. Amery channeled his inner Cromwell and shouted at Chamberlain: “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”
Many lapsed BoSox fans would love to direct Amery’s words to John Henry. I’ll bet that even some of the “Idiots” now feel that way.
“Depart, we say, and let us have done with you.”