Ron Borges in the Herald – The Fellowship of the Miserable, Fenway Park Chapter, is in fine fettle today. The Red Sox are in first place after seven weeks of the season, which of course means disaster looms around the corner. …
Now the Sox are beating up everybody, so the Fellowship argues they’re 27-17 because they haven’t played anybody yet. To the Miserable those first seven weeks have proven nothing because all they did was beat up on bad teams. …
So it goes in these parts, where if you’re the best hitting team in the American League the discussion becomes, “What about the pitchin?!! They can’t hit like this fa-evah!”
Suggest that struggling Clay Buchholz has a history of pitching as he has lately and just as suddenly morphing into one of baseball’s most consistent starters, and they look at you as if you remind them of Mary Poppins.
“Whatz a madda with you? They gotta get rid of him.”
God love him, nobody does the strawman argument like Ron Borges does.
For the better part of four decades, old Ctrl+C Borges has been indiscriminately spraying bullets of negativity in all directions. Ripping ownership, coaches and players of all four teams in town and deriding any fan who dared challenge his assertions that everyone in his crosshairs is an incompetent, negligent and sometimes even corrupt drooling moron. It’s how the sports media business stayed relevant, right up until Adam Vinatieri’s kick against the Rams in February of 2002 ushered in an era of unthinkable success. Ron is not the only guilty party, but he’s one of the last.
So what’s a career troll supposed to do when the Red Sox are a pleasant surprise and everyone is starting to feel good about their prospects for 2016? Pretend otherwise. Make up an argument. Paint the fans as cartoons, blindly negative, delusional and completely uninformed.
In other words, Borges is pulling the Dan Shaughnessy. And like the Curly Haired Boyfriend, he does what every old school sports media type in town does, print, radio and TV. And that is, they put words in a fictitious fan’s mouth. And when they do, it’s always something exceptionally stupid. There needs to be a name for it. “The Boston Strawfan Voice.” Thick-accented. Exaggerated. Stupid. And always, always dead wrong.
Seriously, does this sound like you to you? Or your friends? Family? Co-workers? People sitting next to you at Fenway? I confess to still having serious doubts about Clay Buchholz – with good reason – but have you heard more than some lunatic fringe still saying “What about the pitchin?!! They can’t hit like this fa-evah”? I know I haven’t.
But that’s the playbook these olde timey writers operate from. When times are bad, bitch. When times are good, find something to bitch about. And always, always remember to show contempt for your audience. And they wonder why blogs like this exist and these dinosaurs are going extinct.
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