This is a painful subject, and I can barely discuss it yet without this feeling of disbelief and …. BETRAYAL … coming over me. I know that my loyalty to the 2004 lineup is … emotional. Sentimental. I am attached. Plain and simple. I’m not alone in this, and I know it’s not rational, but there you have it. I am attached. But then I remember how attached I was to the 1975 Red Sox. Like – those guys were just IT, for me. I don’t care where Fred Lynn played after that. He’s always a Red Sock to me. Fisk? Red Sock. Dewey? Red Sock. To me, at the time, there was no other team possible than that 1975 team. MERELY BECAUSE OF HOW MUCH I LOVED THEM. Okay? Do you see the psychosis here? My own feelings of attachment are somehow projected out ONTO A BASEBALL TEAM. I feel the same way about the 2004 team, and I’ve already had a hard time letting some of them go. Don’t even TALK to me about Mueller. I just love that man. That was a real tough one. (Here’s a great little montage. Sniff!)
But the bearded one?
He is dead to me now.
He is dead to me now.
Nothing can take away my affection for the 2004 Red Sox. Nothing. Johnny Damon will always be a part of that accomplishment. I am not going to erase him from my pictures of the team – like Stalin used to do every couple of years with pictures of his inner circle. “Oops – we hate him now – we have to erase him from the picture – HE NEVER EXISTED.” No. Johnny Damon will always be a part of what was done that year.
My mother is a wonderful painter. She doesn’t ONLY paint Red Sox players – but her paintings of “those guys” – the 2004 guys – have become staples in the O’Malley family as birthday presents, Christmas presents, what have you. She has already told us what we’re all getting for Christmas this year – she has been working hard on a series of paintings – one for each of us. My painting, I believe, will be of Jason Varitek. So I’m safe. But my brother’s was going to be the bearded one. And the betrayal is too deep, the sense of hatred is too deep – my mom immediately began scrambling to finish another painting of another player for Bren in time for Christmas. If it were anyone else – Derek Lowe, Mueller, Dave feckin’ Roberts!! – the painting could probably still be given out. But not the bearded one. You’d want to rip it off your wall every time you looked at it.
So. I feel a sense of kinship with other Red Sox fans right now (uhm – right now? How ’bout always?) I felt a certain comfort in reading this.
And so it goes, and so it goes. Life will move on. Being emotionally attached to the 2004 team – the team who did THAT, who gave me THAT, is not, perhaps rational – but nobody ever said Red Sox fans were rational. I remember that 1975 team. I remember being a kid and not wanting the season to end. I remember not feeling ready to let ANY of them go. But I did. I let them go. I was only 10 years old. Now I am older. But it’s still the SAME OLD SHITE. This is what it means, to me, to be a baseball fan. There’s glory and there’s heartbreak. I can’t do it if I’m not all emotionally involved.
Therefore my statement stands:
He is DEAD to me now.
NEXT. MOVING ON.
Johnny Damon who?
Here’s a great post by the great Beth. With all of the feelings of betrayal I have – I found her persective quite illuminating. Thanks, Beth. Great post. Any post about Johnny Damon that references Schrodinger’s Cat is okay by me!