The forthcoming, nauseating Bobby V redemption
Bobby V, only baseball’s most recent enduring snake oil salesman, walked straight into the wave of jeers, because they were coming from behind the bench, because where else was he going to go? The Yankees were pulling their remarkable comeback against the Red Sox on Saturday, and the fans booed the cocky symbol of change, the cosmopolitan brash jerkoff in the townie capitol of America, running their team. If this wasn’t the bottom, what was? How long before everyone just dealt with it?
Change happens slowly, but tiny moments often bear the weight of long periods of change. Nomar was traded, and the 2004 Red Sox went on a tear and won the World Series. This was a big deal because reporters liked to ask if it was a big deal, making it a big deal. How big of a deal was it? I don’t know, but the Nomar trade was a jumping off point for baseball writers eager to try their hands at fiction, the same way the Sox’ September meltdown last year was great fodder for the giant Internet writing workshop that is the Internet. Premise: Stupid, puritanical shit that has nothing to do with baseball affects baseball. Word limit: None. Go to town.
It will inevitably be this way for the Bobby V Sox and the Yankees’ nearly bloodless coup of the Sox for four innings in April, 2012. The Red Sox are too good not to be good, and when they’re good, the premise of the writing assignment will shift toward making a sly, patient gamesman out of Bobby V instead of an ineffectual braggart. Soon, we’ll be told he’s playing the long game, and the Sox will suddenly be “surprisingly” competing with the Rays and Angels or Rangers for one of the two wild card spots. Soon, because of a blip of a rule change Bud “Milquetoast” Selig made during the offseason, we will see Bobby V’s widened room for error, and forget about it because it ruins the narrative. If the current wild card system was in effect last year, Francona would have made the playoffs again, and he might still be around. That would have been good, though painfully mature. In turning over the management of the team, the Sox showed that the inmates are running the asylum. The Cubs needed to clean house because no one was running the show. The Sox live and die by the players. Bobby V is the mermaid on the prow, and as much as some players obviously can’t stand him, a rising tide lifts all boats. This is the real Moneyball: Money wins out. The Sox spend too much to suck. When they don’t, remember that Bobby V probably has shit-all to do with it.