This article was published in the New York Post newspaper at the end of May and it irritated me when I read it and now after reading about those fans who ridiculed Jorge Junior it made me think about this article again.
I used to have more respect for Orlando Cabrera than I do now.
I do not consider myself a Red Sox fan, as most Yankees fans do not, but through the years that I’ve watched this rivalry between the Yanks and the ‘Sox there have been many Boston players that I’ve had an enormous amount of respect and admiration for.
Nomar Garciaparra was one of those people.
Now I won’t go into some long diatribe about how and why he ended up being traded to the Cubs in a three way deal that ended up sending Orlando Cabrera to Boston to become their new shortstop back in the mid summer of 2004 and I won’t say who was wrong or who was right.
Because quite frankly it’s a complicated issue with blame that can go around to everybody involved if one wants to look for somebody to blame.
There is a book out in bookstores right now entitled "Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top" by Seth Mnookin that I recommend reading if you feel the need to examine that situation in more detail.
But I digress, the only reason I bring all that up is that — at the time — it seemed as if the Red Sox had started down a path of diminishing returns in the shortstop department.
What I mean by that is that I thought Nomar was superior to Cabrera.
Then I thought that Cabrera was superior to Renteria (at least the AL East version of Renteria).
Then I thought that Renteria was better than Lugo is now.
Sort of like they took one step down the ladder with each yearly shortstop replacement that they’ve been doing since mid 2004.
Now that the chips have fallen and the dust has settled, I’ve often looked back and thought that Cabrera was much better than I gave him credit for and as Nomar has sort of leveled off over the past 2 and a half years Boston might have actually came out of that whole situation for the better at that infield position had they been able to keep Cabrera and never even bothered with Renteria back in 2005.
Cabrera went on to Anaheim and has been fantastic there for them.
Now I know that once Cabrera was not retained that Renteria was probably the best on the market and I can’t fault them for giving that a try.
Then when he left town Lugo may have been the best on the market at that time and so there again, they did what they could to get the best available guy for the money in that slot.
But I have always thought that letting Cabrera go was a mistake.
Maybe a mistake that wasn’t seen as one at the time, but I would imagine if the Angels wanted to trade Orlando to Boston for Lugo that the Red Sox would take that deal.
Anyway, the point of all of this rambling is that I have a lot of respect for Cabrera’s talents on the field and for the most part have had a lot of respect for him off of the field as well.
But this article just made me lose a little of the respect that I had for him.
When I started writing this blog I was all ready to point out all of the times that I’ve watched Red Sox fans chant nasty things about Jeter or A-Rod or all the signs and T-Shirt’s that I’ve seen them hold up and wear saying all kinds of foul and derogatory things.
I started to refernce the time in Fenway when a few particularly salty Red Sox fans made fun of Jorge Posada’s young son with Craniosynostosis.
I started to talk about the time when my friend paid scalpers 200 or 300 a ticket to take herself and her 11 year old son to a game in Fenway and had fans call her son all kinds of names and make fun of him so badly that he ended up in tears.
But really, what does that prove?
It proves that there are rude fans at Fenway on some nights.
Is that really a revelation?
At least not to me.
But you know what?
There are rude fans at Yankee stadium too.
I know it’s a lot easier for us to say that Boston fans are rude and obnoxious and the fans at 161st and River Avenue are polite little angels who never say an unkind word.
But you know that’s not true.
The fact of the matter is that there are rude fans everywhere because there are rude people everywhere.
Don’t be so quick to paint us all with the same brush Orlando.
You should know better.
You played in Boston when the Yankees came to Fenway.
You’re trying to sell me on the fact that the Red Sox fans were not "mean to the other team"?
Give me a break.
The Red Sox fans are always hard on the Yankees players and I’ve never seen them fail to distinguish themselves in that regard.
What about this last trip to Fenway that the Yankees made as visiting players?
Are you really wanting me to believe that the Red Sox fans wearing those masks (of a blonde white woman) and chanting all the things that they chanted at Alex Rodriguez was not "mean" spirited at all?
If Alex did have an extra-marital affair then that’s sad and wrong.
But we don’t know if he did it or not and to me making fun of his marital situation is below the belt.
If you want to make fun of him for slapping the ball from Arroyo of calling "Mine!" or "Ha!" or whatever the case me be — I think that’s fair game.
It happened on the ball field.
But what happens in his personal life shouldn’t be ridiculed by the fans on national television with his wife and daughter watching on.
If that’s not "mean", then I don’t know what is.
If you are a Red Sox fan and are reading this right now — there is a distinct possibility that you have a half dozen examples of Yankees fans being "mean" to Red Sox players or their fans at the ready.
And you know what?
I know you’re right and I believe you.
There’s a segment of both fan bases (Red Sox and Yankee) that are loud, rude, belligerent, mean, and ill tempered.
And for the most part they embarrass the other fans who don’t do that sort of thing and for the most part the embarrass their favorite players.
Think Jeter and Oritiz like that sort of behavior from people that are supposed to be their biggest fans?
Anyway, my point is that Cabrera should be smarter than that and I expected better.
And at this point in my life, I’m actually finding myself disliking the Angels FAR MORE than I dislike the Red Sox…
Just my thoughts….
What do you guys and gals think ?
By BRIAN LEWIS
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May 28, 2007 — Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera ripped Yankees fans in
–yesterday’s editions of the Los Angeles Times, calling them
–mean-spirited poor losers who don’t appreciate good baseball. Their
–response – censoring out the profanity of course – was "Who is Orlando
–Even before the Bombers had suffered through the indignity of
–yesterday’s 4-3 loss that capped an Anaheim sweep, their fans suffered
–through being insulted by Cabrera, who told the newspaper "They don’t
–appreciate good baseball: They just appreciate the Yankees beating up
They haven’t seen that too often lately,
–watching the Yankees lose 11 of their last 16 games with the Angels at
"In Boston, they admire baseball. In Anaheim,
–those fans are some of the best in baseball. They know you care there.
–They know you can’t do it every day. I appreciate that," said Cabrera,
–who saw Yankees fans at their most vociferous when he played for Boston
–in 2004. "These people here, they’re mean. And they’re really mean to
–the other team.
"When we came here last year, they were in
–first place, so it was OK. Now they’re just looking for an excuse. When
–people say [stuff], they only motivate me. They’re bad losers."
–Cabrera actually seemed friendly enough with the fans, chatting while
–leaning against the wall during a seventh-inning pitching change. When
–asked by The Post whether he was surprised the crowd of 53,508 hadn’t
–been tougher on him, he turned his back and walked away, replying over
–his shoulder "That’s your answer right there."
–again, he was in a snit, reproaching The Post with "Don’t try and play
a . . . game with a chess player, Papi."
None of the fans The
–Post interviewed had any idea of Cabrera’s indictments. When asked his
–opinion, West Haven, Conn., native Chris DelVecchi just sniffed and
–said "I don’t give a [bleep] about Orlando Cabrera."
Jen Prisco of Orange, Conn., said: "He’s not a Yankee, so I don’t care what he thinks."
Prisco’s sister, Lisa, responded to the question with a query of her own.
"When’s the last time the Angels drew four million?" she asked.
–For the record, the answer is never. Their club record is 3,406,790 –
–which the Yankees have bettered the last five years. This season, the
–Yankees are on pace to lead the majors in attendance for a fifth