Features

Bang the drum slowly

… with apologies to author Mark Harris

by Jerry Norton

Time once again for the weeping and wailing over the Red Sox latest slow slide into oblivion. No need to delve further into the futility of this year’s season, which was little more than a continuation of the infamous swoon of last September.

Today’s Red Sox fans have, unfortunately, been led to believe that their team was capable of high achievement, only to have their hopes dashed by twenty-five guys with a red “B” on their caps. This mindset was not always prevalent among fans of this writer’s generation. No, back in the old days of an eight-team American League alignment (in the 1930’s and early 40’s) we loyal fans contented ourselves with mediocrity. The Red Sox teams in those days were composed of journeymen ball players, managed by Joe Cronin, and who always seemed to finish the season around fourth place in the league. Not much was anticipated and no high hopes were dashed. With lowered expectations we could just sit back and enjoy the ball game for what it was.

Then along came the eras of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and a host of other big-name players. The seasons were always filled with high hopes – up until those one-game playoffs or the seventh and deciding game of a World Series. However readers are already quite familiar with this long list of athletic misadventures and it will not be dwelled on any further here. So … what to do?

It may be recalled that I wrote a little piece on this painful subject shortly after last season’s debacle. Needless to say my suggestion for fan satisfaction (revenge, if you will) was a little Draconian. Possibly a more pacifist approach would be in order. How about just packing up the whole sorry enterprise and moving it to another venue for people who would welcome it into their otherwise mundane lives --- maybe somewhere in North Dakota or Mississippi?

However, let’s not let guilt by association fall upon that venerable old landmark, Fenway Park. No, that one-hundred year old structure of happier memories from my younger days deserves a kinder fate. Better to tear down Faneuil Hall or the Old State House, rather than this ball park which is as well known throughout the civilized world as is the Colosseum in Rome or the Parthenon in Athens.

How then is it to be preserved? Possibly it could be bought and maintained by a church group, dedicated and introduced again to the world as the Shrine of St. Jude --- Patron Saint of hopeless causes.

October 5, 2012


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