FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 22: Bobby Valentine #25 of the Boston Red Sox removes Clay Buchholz #11 from the game as Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox looks away in the sixth inning at Fenway Park on August 22, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The 2012 version of the Red Sox can be labeled many things, but enjoyable isn't one of them. With that in mind, Jen Royle presents her top ten ways to take your mind off them.
I hate to say I told you so, but I kind of told you so. From the get-go, this 2012 Red Sox team had a strange feel to it, which is why I took the under (89 wins) on CSN's "Sports Tonight" back in February. I didn't think the pitching would hold up, the staff's reputation wasn't rectified over the offseason, no major acquisitions/trades were made during the winter to improve the overall state of the club, and I had a hunch the Bobby Valentine era would be an absolute disaster. Call it female intuition, something just didn't feel right.
It's no secret, I'm a fan of the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers, but not in a "rah rah" holding my pom-poms kind of way. I'm a fan of the professionalism in both clubhouses - I've been in both numerous times over the past decade. I'm a fan of both managers, Joe Maddon of Tampa and Ron Washington of Texas, two of the best skippers in the business, in my opinion, and I'm a fan of the way both organizations are run, especially Tampa Bay where Executive Vice President of Baseball Ops Andrew Freidman and President Matt Silverman have been poster children for the anti-Larry Lucchino campaign.
Baseball aside - 13.5 games out of first place in the AL East -- this year's Red Sox team takes the cake for the drama award, not only in baseball but in Red Sox history. And you thought the time Dan Duquette tracked Mo Vaughn all the way to The Foxy Lady in Providence, which eventually led to Vaughn's departure, was ridiculous? That event seems normal compared to this team's recent shenanigans.
It's been a tough season for everyone involved, including the media, who have been forced to talk about everything but baseball on more than one occasion, but it's been mostly hard on the fans who deserved a lot more after last September's collapse. So instead of writing yet another miserable article that throws somebody under the bus for backstabbing or one that exposes another flaw within this current team, let's look at some things, fun activities if you will, to potentially take our minds off this train wreck we call Boston Red Sox baseball circa 2012.
#10. Seriously, take a drive to "Kelly's" in Medford and eat your heart out. If you're lazy like me, there's even a drive-thru so you don't even have to get out of your car. Indulge. Order a cup of clam chowder and a clam roll (with the bellies) and remind yourself that you live in a city with some of the best food this country has to offer. If you want to take it a step further, pretend you're Casey Affleck in "Good Will Hunting," jump in the back seat and say aloud, "Chuck, I wish I had a double burger."
If that scenario doesn't make you smile, you're on your own.
#9. Like most fans that call into Boston sports talk radio, start calling Bobby Valentine, Bobby "Valentin," in honor of John Valentin who was one of the most loveable third basemen to come through Boston. I have always said Boston fans were some of the smartest in all of sports, but for some reason, there's a handful that seem to forget the "E" at the end of Bobby V's name. So, since it's safe to say we all loved John Valentin more than Bobby Valentine, let's just lose the "E" all together and pay tribute to good ole' No. 13.
Bobby Valentin it is.
#8. Since I live in the North End - and it's been Italian festival time here all summer - put on your favorite wife beater and gold chain, show off your guns and tats, head down to Hanover Street this weekend for the infamous St. Anthony's Festival, and stuff your face with cannoli, arancini rice balls, and biscotti like it's your last meal on death row. Trust me, you won't think about the Red Sox because you'll be too busy eating and singing "That's amore" while parading behind a statue of The Virgin Mary.
It's "Eat, love and pray" Boston-style, bro.
#7. Blindfold + poster of Larry Lucchino = Pin the tail on the donkey.
#6. I always wished I was fluent in a second language but unfortunately I failed miserably at Spanish in both high school and college. No hablo espanol. Period. Since Bobby V. said he has great communication skills with Daisuke Matsuzaka but can't seem to communicate well with the English-speaking athletes, John Henry should team up with Rosseta Stone and have Bobby teach Japanese on offdays, since that appears to be the only language he seems to excel at. All proceeds can go to The Jimmy Fund. I can see it now, こんにちは私の名前はボブで、これは最も悪い年に私の生命〔生活〕でありました。 直ちに私を日本に送ってください。 ありがとう。
FYI - www.freetranslation.com will help you with that one.
#5. There's this website called cafepress where I've purchased many silly t-shirts, including bulldog pajamas for Ma Royle. If you loved and miss Terry Francona in the dugout, you can have a photo of him scanned onto a pillow. This is a great addition to any bedroom or living room décor as it not only shows your admiration and support for Tito and the job he did in Boston (and his bogus departure), but it will also make you forget that Bobby Valentine (or Valentin) is actually the current manager. Now you can watch every game with Tito in your living room since he can't be in the dugout. Who's fault was that again?
#4. As most of you know, Bobby Valentine claims to have invented the wrap sandwich. Fact. I can't even make this stuff up. So to help forget about the dreadful 2012 Red Sox... FIGHT BACK! BOYCOTT THE WRAP! Some suggestions: Order your favorite lunch meat, tuna or chicken salad on whole wheat bread, sourdough or even a nice Kaiser roll, preferably with poppy seeds. Yum. That way, not only can fans yell, "You stink, Bobby!" but they can yell, "Nice invention, ya bum! Nobody even eats wraps anymore!"
#3. Make a sign, paint your face, dress warm, and take a ride on the Duck Boat. Just pretend it's October of 2004 or 2007. The mind is our most powerful tool.
#2. Try to remember the old days. Let's be honest, if Dave Roberts didn't steal second, the Curse of the Bambino could very well be at 95 years... and counting. That thought alone makes you feel a lot better doesn't it? Thought so.
#1. GO PATRIOTS!!
Jen Royle is a Columnist for SB Nation Boston. You can follow her @Jen_Royle on Twitter.