The 2004 Lineup

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.


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!

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20 Responses to The 2004 Lineup

  1. beth says:

    i’ve been warned to stay away, but i want to thank you for linking to my post. glad you liked it. :-)

  2. red says:

    dude – I have no idea why I trackbacked you a gazillion times!!! So so sorry!

  3. Kerry O'Malley says:

    Thanks for the links and the words. I will now throw myself off the Prudential Center. Love Kerry

  4. red says:

    Oh and Beth – you’re one of the biggest Red Sox fans I know. You can say whatever you feel like saying. Because you’re on my side. hahaha

    I wanted to stop jagoff Yankee fans – as well as jagoff fans from other teams – from coming here to gloat. It happens every time I post about the Red Sox and I’m sick of it.

    But from within Red Sox Nation? No boundaries between us!

  5. Dave J says:


    Hard to articulate, but if it had been to go to any other team we all know it wouldn’t sting quite nearly as much. Goodbye, Johnny, you stupid schmuck.

    OTOH, and I know this likely makes me an oddball among Sox fans, but I felt more personally betrayed by Theo Epstein than by this, presumably because while I don’t actually know the guy that well, he was a senior at Brookline High when I was a freshman, and there is SO going to be a line out the door to kick his ass if he ever has the gall to show up at an alumni thing.

  6. beth says:

    i also noticed after leaving that comment that you also linked to my buelly montage. omg, am i NOT dealing well with his departure. actually i’m dealing with that LESS well than JD.

    meanwhile, yes there are jagoffs who are gloating (yankees fans have a strange disgusting need to twist the knife on red sox fans; there’s nothing they like better than rubbing salt in our wounds), but many of the yankees fans i’ve read recently have not been as overjoyed / gloaty as you might think. for example, jay jaffe:

    I’m pissed at the Damon signing, four years and $52 million, because it’s back to business as usual for the Yanks. Damon is a 32-year-old centerfielder, A-list celebrity and Scott Boras client who was seeking a ridiculous seven-year deal that nobody was going to give him. Obviously, the Yanks called his bluff, going far beyond the Red Sox most recent four-year, $40 million offer, one the Sox never got the opportunity to match. So much for loyalty or Damon’s words from last May…So now Damon will be handsomely overpaid to deteriorate right before our very eyes in Yankee Stadium. If you liked watching the decline and fall of Bernie Williams, get ready for more, because he’s already as bad a thrower as Williams about five years ahead of schedule. In fact, per BP’s numbers, he was at -5 runs last year, while the Yankee CFs, including Williams, were at -1. Yeesh.

    reading that cheered me up yesterday as well.

  7. David says:

    Oh God did I need this post! Two of my most ecstatic moment as a baseball fan were referenced in this post. Reading the Mueller’s homerun commentary brought tears to my eyes. I lost my freaking mind in that moment and immediately came upstairs and posted my prophetic words on this blog. I wish I could link it. This was only matched by Damon’s grandslam in game 7. I burst 16 blood vessels in my throat and head after he hit that. They were my two favorite players, ironically. I’ll always love Mueller, I despise Johnny Damon. Seriously. Despise him. He could have retired a God in Boston. The fact that the extra money (and I think he could’ve got more from the Sox if he asked but his pride, or his evil agent wouldn’t allow him too) was worth more than coming back to Boston and retiring here as a god makes me sick and shows me who he really is. I know, I know, it’s business etc. but what about loyalty to your teamates? How could you play with Ortiz and Varitek and go through what you went through with them and then join the enemy camp. It’s not like he went to the national league. He’s already claiming that they (the sox) can’t beat us (the yanks). Disgusting. Pride and ego. But what do I expect. They’re not frigging heros, they’re jocks. And ultimately, this move made the Yankees stronger and the Red Sox weaker. No way around that.

  8. Ken says:

    My sympathies. I know what Sox fans are feeling, having gone through it with Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Bartolo Colon (okay, we traded Bartolo before we lost him), and (ahem) Manny Ramirez.

    I am now waiting for the hot stovers here in Cleveland to propose trading Coco Crisp, Brandon Phillips, and a couple of minor league pitchers for Manny….

  9. red says:

    David –

    Tracked down your post from July 24, 2004 in about 2.3 seconds – I’m nuts.

    Here it is

  10. David says:

    Oh it felt so good to read that again. I especially loved Big Dan’s condescending comment knowing what came next.

  11. Lisa says:

    I feel the same way about Duke players who leave early to go to the NBA. They are DEAD. TO. ME. If they stay four years (or at least till they graduate, like Jay Williams) I will cheer for them in the NBA and wish them all the best. But early, no effin’ way.

    Before I get flamed, I KNOW THIS IS NOT RATIONAL. But it is the way it is.

    Shane Battier? Chris Duhon? Yay.
    Elton Brand? Luol Deng? Who?

  12. red says:

    Lisa – hahahahahahaha

  13. Iain says:

    Maybe we could re-sign Dave Roberts and then embarrass Damon in Yankee Stadium by having Roberts tag up and score from second on a sac fly… ;-)

  14. Ken says:

    Guest hosts on Mike & Mike (ESPN Radio) this morning were actually talking about Roberts as a possibility…also Crisp and a couple of others. ;)

  15. Nightfly says:

    I’m a Met fan :::ducking::: so I will join you: it is good to hate the Yankees. I’m still trying to figure out what Bill Simmons will say on The Unfrozen Caveman Outfielder may join Boggsie and the Rocket in the unholy trinity of backstabbers, true Black Sawx all.

    Speaking of which, Simmons has a theory (with which I agree) that Lucchino is the man to blame for shoving Theo overboard, meddling in day-to-day affairs like so much Steinbrenner. I’d link, it’s only from Nov. 1, but ESPN routinely archives stuff that only paying customers can load up. (I’ve taken to printing the good articles because of this – take that, corporate wankers.)

  16. red says:

    Nightfly –

    Yeah, I read that piece, I remember it well! Bill Simmons is a daily pitstop for me.

    There is a special bond between Mets and Red Sox fans. Also Cubs fans. :)

  17. red says:

    I wish I had printed out a ton of stuff from him, come to think of it – you’re smart. I should start doing that. Some of his Oct. 2004 columns are masterpieces of emotional frenzy!!

  18. Nightfly says:

    Simmons rules, I love the “33 quotes” series. I wish I’d remembered to print those! (He did Top Gun once, it kills me not to be able to make the Tom Cruise jokes at a moment’s notice.) I’d also like to offer this, to brighten your day: stinking cheaters.

  19. Ann Marie says:

    Oh man, I could NOT believe when I heard that Damon left. As a Cubs fan, I sympathize with that feeling of losing the good guys. I can only IMAGINE how that would feel, post-World Series. You know who I hate with the white hot passion of a thousand suns? Scott Boras. The agent. Seriously. I think he is *actually* evil.

  20. red says:

    “the white hot passion of a thousand suns”

    ann marie, girl, I miss you. :)