October 30, 2007

Are the Red Sox the new Holy Roman Empire!!!?

With Boston's second World Series title in four years now in the book--at least until Colorado forces a game five--it's time to turn our attention to the more pressing matter looming over the sporting landscape: the inane question of whether or not the Red Sox are the next Yankees.The deluge has already begun. Alec wrote earlier about this same topic, as have half the writers, and just about every non-Red Sox fan that I've talked to in the past six months. But I won't rest until every columnist in America has weighed in on this matter. What does Mike Lupica think? I'd like to know. Have we heard from George King yet? Jay Mariotti? Skip Blayless? Could someone please (PLEASE) ask Jim Rome what he thinks?The entire argument is ridiculous, when you think about it. After all, shouldn't the "new Yankees" be...the new Yankees? Have they really done anything over the last seven years to lose their mantle of "Evil Empire?" They continue to spend money at a much higher rate than any other team. They've gone from having one senile, tryannical, owner to two younger, tyrannical owners (who look exactly like the old one). They just fired one of the most respected managers in history and replaced him with a man who is by all accounts a Major League Asshole. And, the statistical oddity of 2007 aside, they win more games than just about everyone. In short, they've done nothing to relinquish their crown.The main arguments for coronating the Red Sox as "The New Yankees!!!!!" are generally a combination of "they spend tons of money" and "they're really good." Both of these points are true (although the 2006 Red Sox were, in fact, not very good at all), but is that simple formula really all it takes to be the Yankees? For nearly 90s years now, there has only been one "Yankees, " and there's a reason for that. There's a weight behind the "Yankees" brand that four great seasons in five years can't lift.The whole analogy brings to mind the old middle school saying about the Holy Roman Empire--it was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire. Other than that, the name fit like a glove.Are columnists really that lazy, that stubbornly linear in their thinking, that they can't entertain the fact that the Red Sox are just...the new Red Sox?