Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Beating the Rays: A Prequel

Time to get ready for what will surely be an epic battle for the ALCS, and you know what that means: both sides have to get their trash talk ready. Oh wait, we're good: the Rays fans are already good to go.
That said, I was deeply, deeply disappointed in what I heard from the Fenway faithful during the top of the 9th inning of Monday’s Game Four. With the game tied, it sure sounded like they were chanting “Beat LA.”

Maybe they did that earlier and the night before too, but I’ve been either muting Chip Caray or relegating y’all to the picture-in-picture. But for the life of me, there is no reasonable explanation for why the Sox fans would be chanting that.

I can’t imagine they’re stupid enough to be looking past the Angels and our Devil Rays to a World Series date with the Dodgers.

But that leaves the equally stupid rationale that the LA they were referring to were the Angels.

Seriously Sox fans, were you really comparing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to the Lakers?

Let me clear a few things up for ya, David:
  1. Nope, that was the first time in the series. Glad to see you're keeping tabs on us, though.
  2. You didn't mention the context for the chant: the bullpen was either about to surrender the lead or had just done so and was struggling for the last out (I don't remember exactly and I can't seem to get MLB.tv's feed to work properly. If I've got the context wrong, please feel free to let me know in the comments). Either way, fans in the stands were looking at the possibility of another late night, extra-inning loss and a trip back to LA for a tough game five. Reminding the boys in the field about that possibility (not to mention summing up that responsibility in an easily-repeatable chant) definitely falls under the responsibilities of a fan.
  3. Celtics fans may have come up with "Beat LA" during the NBA playoffs, but that doesn't make the chant the province of basketball fans any more than it made "Yankees Suck" the province of baseball fans. Chanting "Beat LA" at a Sox/Angels game might have been contextually appropriate, but saying that a fan base was comparing their overhyped (if angry) foes to a basketball arch-rival completely misses the point: these are the fans that chanted "Beat LA" at a Mariners game in early June, the fans that for six or seven years pulled out a rousing chorus of "Yankees Suck" at sporting events as varied as Patriots games and UMass hockey games. It's a rallying cry. If your team had more than five fans, you might get that.