No love for the Red Sox this season

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grazianoThe Red Sox pitchers and catchers reported to spring training on Valentine’s Day, but there is not a lot of love for The Olde Towne Team as they head into the 2024 season. 

Every now and then, I like to reprise my role as a Red Sox columnist—I wrote a column for Dirty Water News for nearly a decade before I started scribbling at the Ink Link. And it will come as little surprise to anyone who reads this column, that the pieces I wrote about the Red Sox were often smart-assed and sardonic. 

But, in many ways, I attribute these personality traits—that voice, per se—to growing up a devoted fan of a team that went 86 brutal seasons without a World Series title. 

My allegiance to the Red Sox vastly contributed to my developing a Chicken Little Syndrome—“The sky is falling”—while creating a seemingly endless well of negativity.  

But then the franchise won a World Series title in 2004, then again 2007, and then again 2013, and yet again in 2018. They won four rings in 14 seasons, and suddenly, my well of negativity started to deplete, and I started to run out of things to bitch about. I began to see the world through the lenses of hope and love. 

I started feeling like a spouse who received flowers for no particular reason, although my past experiences with the team still made me weary. 

Then things started to drop off. 

The Red Sox have finished in the basement of the AL East three of the last four seasons, yet the ownership—the Fenway Sports Group, who recently added former GM/golden boy Theo Epstein to their line-up—still has no qualms with charging some of the highest ticket prices and concessions in baseball.

And I remember when they used to send me flowers.

But after last season’s debacle, Red Sox Nation collectively demanded that ownership put a better product on the field for the next 162 games. 

And ownership seemed to agree. In December, Chairman Tom Werner promised the fans that the Red Sox were all in this season, going “full-throttle” toward producing a competitive team for the 2024 season.

It turns out that they lied.

Now, as Red Sox fans, we’ve become New England sports’s neglected spouses instead, scorned and ignored. And all we really want from the organization is for them to be honest with us. If they’re planning to rebuild the team, tell us it is going to be a few years until there’s something worthy of our love (and money) again.

And guess what? Kutter Crawford isn’t going to cut it. Brayan Bello, while certainly sparks of brilliance, is not going to put asses in the seats at Fenway Park. And no one in their right mind is going to drop $200 on tickets to watch Vaughan Grissom play second base. 

If you want our love back, you’re going to have to woo us with something better than a glorified version of the Woo Sox. 

At the end of this messy marriage metaphor lies an inevitable divorce. And President John “Doctor Creepy” Henry is perilously close to being served papers by the Fenway Faithful. 


About this Author

Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester with his wife and kids. He's the author of nine collections of fiction and poetry. His most recent book, Born on Good Friday was published by Roadside Press in 2023. He's a high school teacher and freelance writer, and in his free time, he writes bios about himself in the third person. For more information, visit his website: