By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Congratulations, Red Sox

But should the dominant team of this decade be breaking out the champagne just for clinching the wild card? Seems a little cheesy.

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  1. Steve

    Better than breaking out the champagne before the game is in the bag, like 22 years ago.I know I’m celebrating – those guys should, too. I think they can handle LA. And maybe the Tampa Bay magic won’t last in the postseason. But this isn’t the dominant team right now – they’re not even close to a complete team. 3 starters are still injured, two who matter. If Lowell and Drew aren’t in the lineup, I foresee a lot of trouble scoring runs.

  2. O-FISH-L

    Perhaps these guys broke out the champagne partly because of the sudden realization that anyone of them, if they hang around the park long enough and get in the way, can have his number retired. If you want to talk about tacky, let’s talk about Pesky’s number being retired, in violation of all established protocol. This could be the moment later identified as precisely when this ownership group officially jumped the shark. Pesky should be retired all right, but not in this fashion.

  3. Gary Shaffer

    This is not a fun night for Yankee fans. Perhaps this will end the entitlement many Yankee fans feel they have for baseball in October. Should be a fun post season, yet I am torn. The Joe Torre connection is strong (go LA?), I love the whole Phillies feel, yet Tampa Bay could be the feel-good story of the year.Gary

  4. nosepail

    This wild champagne celebration at each stage of playoff advancement is really embarassing. You only spray champagne and dance around like a maniac if your team emerges as the champion. Right now, they are just 1 of 8. It really cheapens the entire baseball playoffs. I am not sure exactly what year this childish phenomonen started….it has to be relatively recently. I am surprised the management allows and even seems to encourage such a celebration for such a trivial accomplishment. Do you think Bill Belichick would allow this?

  5. Dot Lane

    “if they hang around the park long enough and get in the way, can have his number retired. “Funny, but it seems this is how the GOP ended up nominating John McCain.”If you want to talk about tacky, let’s talk about Pesky’s number being retired, in violation of all established protocol.”Violation of all established protocol? I can only imagine that the discussion at o-f-l’s house went something like this adpated scene from Ghostbusters:Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions if Johnny Pesky’s number is retired!Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

  6. Eric H.

    I find this early celebration a bit obnoxious. Now, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating, but there’s a time and a place — maybe if they overtake Tampa Bay for the division title and then go on to win the American League Championship title?

  7. Dan Kennedy

    Do you think Bill Belichick would allow this?Hadn’t thought of it that way. I would support doing the opposite of anything Belichick would do.

  8. Mark

    I think this is just the way it’s done these days. Asking them to act like they’ve done this before might be asking too much. It’s no big deal, and what if they lose in the ALDS? Then you’ll never get to celebrate!

  9. R. Scott Buchanan

    Fish, it may be a lot of things (unprecedented, a bad idea, etc), but it isn’t tacky.Pesky has given essentially his entire adult life (with brief interruptions in Detroit and Pittsburgh) to the Sox. Retiring his number is unprecedented, but so has his involvement in the club been.If you don’t like it, go be a Royals fan. They’re in no danger of retiring any new numbers in our lifetime.

  10. Doug Haslam

    No problem with a little celebration as long as they show up tomorrow– would still like to see them take the division. Better than champagne would have been the players streaking up Lansdowne Street. A logical advance from the Millar/Merloni ell romp a few years ago

  11. Dot Lane

    Using the anti-celebration logic, a walk off home run to win a game in April should be treated with yawns–after all, it only counts as one win. I look at it this way: they’re in the playoffs. Let them blow off steam for one night, then get right back to focusing on the task at hand, which is winning the first playoff series. Can you imagine the pressure they’re under with the expectations which come with playing in Boston? I think celebrations like these serve as a necessary release. The real season starts now, and last night’s celebration puts an end to the preliminaries.

  12. Dan Kennedy

    You can make the case that Pesky had an unprecedented career with the Red Sox — player, manager (in both the majors and, I’m pretty sure, the minors), broadcaster, coach. I think you can do it on that basis.

  13. O-FISH-L

    Dot – Pesky has been associated with the Sox for some 57 years. It’s only Joe Biden, who apparently watched FDR on TV during the Great Depression, who can top that, at least as far as candidates in this race are concerned.As far as the Sox violating established protocol, your take or should I say take off, complete with “dialogue” of a hypothetical conversation inside my house is pretty bizarre. Since your anger toward conservatives apparently is a cause for hallucination, even on a topic as mild as the Red Sox, allow me to let the media explain the situation to you.”The decision to retire Pesky’s number goes against the Red Sox policy on retiring uniform numbers: election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame (he is not a member); at least 10 years played with the Red Sox (he played eight); and finished career with the Red Sox (Pesky retired after playing in 1954 with Detroit, and then the Washington Senators).”“There has been a longstanding criteria for the retiring of Red Sox uniform numbers,” Lucchino added. “However, Johnny Pesky is clearly an exception to the rule. His long and exemplary contributions to this organization make him a very worthy addition to the exclusive list of Red Sox so honored.”–Beverly Citizen—To R. Scott, I’m reminded of Thomas Paine’s words, “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.” A mediocre career followed by hanging around the park for the rest of your life shouldn’t equate to being one of the team’s elite talents. If they want to give him a mantle clock for longevity, great. But retiring his number is all wrong.

  14. Dot Lane

    o-f-l:Your use of the phrase “violation of all established protocol” is what is puzzling to me. You don’t think that is a little, um, *extreme*? I hate to think how you characterized the introduction of the designated hitter.The Red Sox are fully within their rights to change their *internal* criteria in any way they seem fit and yes, even to make exceptions. We can debate Pesky’s worthiness, but arguing that retiring Pesky’s number violates some rule that never should be changed doesn’t support your argument at all. We’ve already seen the fakery surrounding the retirement of Carlton Fisk’s number. He didn’t finish his playing career with the Red Sox and had to be hired as a special assistant or some other fraud job to qualify him. After that farce, any claim about violating established protocol seems to me to be null and void. And o-f-l, contrary to your opinion, I’m not angry with conservatives like you. I’m highly amused by your wacky hi-jinks.

  15. The Arranger

    I have no problem with the Red Sox amending their rules to allow for the honoring of an all-star player with seven decades of service to the team. Pesky is truly a sui generis case.A good-fielding shortstop with a .307 lifetime average is “mediocre”? In 1942, when Pesky was a rookie, he was third in the AL MPVP voting. In 1946, after three years at war, he was fourth. DSo you think we ought to give him a little credit for what he might have done when he was helping keep the world from being taken over by lunatics?Bob in Peabody

  16. Rob

    I never understand why people care if these guys celebrate or not. They’ve been killing themselves since March and want to take a few hours to have some fun for a great achievement. Celebrating last night doesn’t mean they somehow will now just suddenly not care about the playoffs or championship. If you need evidence of that, look at last year! It’s the human condition to want to celebrate your achievements. Let’s have some fun and not sweat every detail. That’s so pre-2004. 😉

  17. Don, American

    Red Sox fans are never happy, are you?

  18. R. Scott Buchanan

    Don,Who’s not happy? My only beef right now is the really drunk guy I was sitting next to last night who ad libbed roughly 187 new verses to Dirty Water right into my ear. But he’s my boss, so what am I going to do? We’ll both gladly sacrifice hearing and brain cells for another pennant. 🙂

  19. liamstliam

    1. Dan, you usually know your history, but remember this about “the dominant team of this decade:””The sons of bitches killed my father, and now they are coming after me.”You would not have written about “the dominant team” four years ago.Yeah, it is unfortunate that the focus is on making the playoffs rather than winning the division, but I am afraid that’s what we have come to.As far as numbers go, the only thing that bothers me about Pesky is that they hadn’t done Tony Conigliaro’s yet.Fish: Are you under 50? The Sox fans who are 60+ are going crazy over this. To them, Pesky is as important as anyone else.

  20. liamstliam

    Dot: I have to agree with o-f-l on what he said, because the Sox have used those official policies to block Tony C in the past.Hey, Dan! Can we discuss retiring No. 21?;)

  21. Dan Kennedy

    I think we know why the Sox haven’t retired Tony C’s number. Don’t we?Oh, yeah, #21. Right away.

  22. Dan Kennedy

    Bob: I was responding to Liam’s two separate points: What about Tony C’s number? And what about Clemens’ number?

  23. Steve

    Dan – I harbor a shameful secret past. As a youth in NJ, I grew up a Yankee fan during Tony C’s heyday, and as such I am not privy to all of the nuances of the fellowship of the miserable. So why is it that the Sox haven’t retired Tony C’s number?

  24. liamstliam

    Dan: Three days ago I asked why you thought that everyone knew why they would not retire Tony C’s number.I would really love to know what the reason is.

  25. Dan Kennedy

    Liam: I’m not going there publicly.

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