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    I’m still not buying the $5 beers

    Thank you. Oh, thank you, Mr. Lucchino and Mr. Werner and Dr. Creepy for reducing the price of a 12-ounce cup of light beer to a mere $5, and for generously offering to give my kids free hot dogs—if it is during the first three innings, that is.

    Of course, I’ll still have to sell said kids into servitude so I can afford to buy the tickets to watch the AL East’s worst team last year. And they’ll probably get me for another $35 to park my car somewhere in the greater-Boston area, but still, thank you. You’re too kind.

    I think I speak on behalf of many fans, especially those of us coming from out-of-state, when I say, “Kiss my ass.”

    Admittedly, so far the 2013 Red Sox are a much more affable team and much more enjoyable to watch. Then again, there are STD’s more likeable than Josh Beckett, and I’d rather watch bamboo being impaled through my fingernails than watch Dice-K pitch. Still, I admit, the team is better this year.

    But this really isn’t about the team, per se. It is about the Red Sox, as a business and an organization, continuing to try and sell these hokey gimmicks and haphazard products to a specific type of fan, aka The Pink Hat. The Pink Hat fan, however, will buy tickets at exorbitant prices to sing “Sweet Caroline” in the eighth inning then leave. They even sold these people freakin’ bricks! Meanwhile, the fan-base—translation: the fans who were around before 2004—have only wanted to see good baseball. That is all.

    However, this jig is up.

    The Pink Hats are jumping ship en masse, and the apocryphal sell-out streak has finally been exposed for what it really is: a sham. Finally, the Red Sox organization will have to face a fan-base that has been fed-up and frustrated and tired of the cutesy clichés that they’ve tacked onto the tail of this team. The theater and gimmicks surrounding “The Fenway Experience” has made it unaffordable for many of us to go to games at Fenway, essentially alienating us from the ballpark.

    When I was a kid growing up in Rhode Island, my father would take me to Fenway each summer, and this experience was instrumental in fostering my love of the Red Sox and baseball, in general. There is, indeed, something visceral about live baseball that can’t be replicated from a couch.

    At the risk of sounding maudlin and pitiful, I can’t afford to give my own son the same opportunity, and I don’t know a ton of people who can. So here is hoping that the tone-deaf ownership will finally get the message.

    The fan-base doesn’t need $5 Bud Lights or bricks from the walls of FenwayPark. The fan-base doesn’t care if Neil Diamond comes out to sing that stupid song in the eighth inning. The fan-base doesn’t want the dog-and-pony shows they’re selling as part of “The Fenway Experience.”

    “The Fenway Experience,” for us, includes affordable ticket prices and a team that gives a crap about winning ballgames. That’s it. There is theater in that alone.

    Nathan Grazianohttp://www.nathangraziano.com
    Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. His books include Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press, 2007), After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press, 2009), Hangover Breakfasts (Bottle of Smoke Press, 2012), Sort Some Sort of Ugly (Marginalia Publishing, 2013), and My Next Bad Decision (Artistically Declined Press, 2014). Almost Christmas, a collection of short prose pieces, was recently published by Redneck Press in 2017. Graziano writes a baseball column for Dirty Water Media. For more information, please visit his website: www.nathangraziano.com.

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