Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 2007 and 2009 World Champion reunions will be awkward

During the course of the 2012 season, the Boston Red Sox trotted out every living former player who didn't hate the team to try and drum up some good will with the fans.

Every year, the Yankees invite their beloved living stars in the best old timers day in baseball. And inevitably there are reunions for great teams of the past.

Somewhere down the line, the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox and the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees will have a reunion on the field.

And frankly it is hard to figure out which one will be embraced by their fans LESS.

The Red Sox showed that the 2004 title was no fluke by picking up a second one for good measure.

2007 seems like a long time ago and frankly many of the players have left and not exactly on good terms.

The most enduring image of the 2007 postseason was Manny Ramirez standing at home plate, arms in the air, after launching his walk off shot in Game 2 of the Division Series against the Angels.

Ramirez left the Red Sox on what is safe to say not exactly beloved terms.

As the years went by, more and more players from that team left the Red Sox in a huff. Starting shortstop Julio Lugo was never loved by the fans, even though he made some great plays in the World Series against Colorado.

Jonathan Papelbon left for the Phillies last year with nasty things to say about the organization. Kevin Youkilis' days ended badly, but not as much with the fans as with the front office.

J. D. Drew hit the grand slam that broke open Game 6 of the ALCS early and provided later heroics in the World Series. Boston fans could not wait to see him go.

Same can be said for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who won the clinching Game 7 of the ALCS and drove in 2 runs in Game 3 of the World Series.

The biggest hero of 2007 was Josh Beckett, who shut down the Angels, Indians and Rockies and did with a cool dominant style. By the time he was sent off to the Dodgers, he was as vilified a Red Sox player had been in recent memory.

Will Boston fans politely applaud this team or will they straight out boo them.

Speaking of booing, no World Champion since 1997 Florida Marlins had a World Series title mean so little to a fan base as the 2009 title had for the Yankees.

Their lone title since Bill Clinton was in office, the 2009 championship seemed to have bought no good will to many of the participants.

A. J. Burnett pitches a critical Game 2 victory in the World Series. He was hated by the fans.

Fans are now fed up with Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher for their subpar post seasons and inability to deliver again like Jeter and company did.

And of course public enemy number one, Alex Rodriguez has been treated like he is a bum. This is despite being the single best performer while delivering as many titles to New York as Tom Seaver, Willie Mays, Joe Namath and Michael Strahan.

The fact that he has delivered "only one" is almost a stigma instead of a credit.

Maybe time and nostalgia will make fan bases realize how magical those seasons were.
Time and nostalgia seems to smooth over lots of wounds.

But for now, the number of villains the fan bases perceive from the 2007 and 2009 squads would make a reunion quite awkward.

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  1. Time has a way of erasing bad memories, Sully. Your line about "Time and nostalgia seems to smooth over lots of wounds" couldn't be more true, and I bet both reunions will be happy occasions for the fans and players involved.

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