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Birthday party takes focus off real problems

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  April 19, 2012 07:03 AM

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Where do we even begin with what has happened to the franchise once known as the Boston Red Sox?

The team on the field is an increasing farce, the manager was brought in for TV ratings, not wins, the owners have their hands in sporting cookie jars across the world, and ... wait, never mind, forget all that.

There's a birthday party on Friday.

It's neat and all that Fenway Park is turning 100 this week, which makes me wonder if we had this sort of ridiculous fanfare when Paul Revere's home hit the century mark, but no matter - the buildup to this affair, as many had feared, has truly overshadowed the fact that this 2012 team is better equipped for the International League than the American League. Ask Mark Melancon.

The Sox suffered their third loss in a row last night, 6-3, to the Texas Rangers, but it might as well have been another 18-3 drubbing, as was the case an evening earlier, based on the "So Good" crowd at Fenway, where everything has been marketed hunky-dory even in the wake of disaster.

Here is a necessary plea from Sox fans everywhere to Doc Charles, Larry Lucchino, and anyone else who will listen: "Sweet Caroline" needs to go. Ideally, forever, but we understand. When it blares through the Fenway loudspeakers with the Sox losing, however, it's not just bad judgment, it's embarrassing.

Then again, what does Sox ownership care about what's embarrassing to Sox fans? It's all about them, after all. Heck, Tom Werner produced "Twenty Good Years." He can spare a little humiliation now and then.

That's kind of what Friday is going to be like too, now that Terry Francona has decided to - for whatever reason - attend the birthday party Friday afternoon at Fenway. Clearly, one man - aside from Kevin Romine, of course - is going to get the largest, longest ovation of the day, and it's going to fly in the face of every blunder this Red Sox organization has done over the past year. John Henry, Lucchino, and Werner will put on their Max Factor smiles in the midst of the ceremony, but understand that the cheers for Francona will be a message from the fans in the stands -  Enough.

It starts with the team, which stinks, of course, but it's more than that.

Enough bricks.

Enough Liverpool.

Enough racing cars.

Enough Bobby V down our tonsils.

Enough patting yourself on the back for putting perfume on a pig.

Enough promoting your farcical, stupid sellout "streak."

Enough ... LeBron. You really did that, huh?

Enough of the constant PR spin.

Enough of turning a venerable, regional cable network that used to care about sports outside of 495, into a branded shill for only your products.

Enough. It's all just enough.

The '12 Red Sox may eventually find a way to win, but heck if I know how the franchise can win over the thousands of fans they've lost with their selfish transgressions. Not that it matters. As NESN.com breathlessly reported in an actual news article yesterday, "LeBron James' new sneaker LeBron 9 Low 'Liverpool Edition' will hit stores soon."

So good.

So good.


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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.


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