The Red Sox won the World Series convincingly this year over the Rockies, and outcome that Jesus could have predicted. The game was won by cancer survivor Jon Lester, and cancer survivor Mike Lowell hit a home run. Lowell was later awarded the World Series MVP for his stellar hitting during the four-game sweep of Colorado.
It was ironic that the two players spearheaded the clinching effort, since some would argue that rooting for the Red Sox is like rooting for cancer. Red Sox fandom, like cancer, is insidious. It's also hereditary: if you have one or more parents that are Sox fans, the odds are overwhelming that you too will develop Sox fandom, often growing malignant even before adulthood. You'll find cancer and obnoxious Sox fans in any part of the country, with "clusters" especially likely in high-income areas like New England and Marin County. If left unchecked, Sox fandom will run wild, consuming resources like beer and premium tickets.
Until Boston's 2004 World Series triumph, Red Sox fandom was often linked with death: the funeral atmosphere in Southie after Bill Buckner's miscue in 1986, the Curse of the Bambino representing Babe Ruth haunting the franchise from beyond the grave. Superfan Bill Simmons even titled his Red Sox book, Now I Can Die In Peace, a sentiment most often espoused inside hospices.
Is it a coincidence that pink caps are worn primarily at Breast Cancer Awareness events and the stands at Fenway Park? I don't think so.
I might be biased because I don't like Red Sox Nation. Really, I don't especially like any Nations. I don't like Raider Nation. I don't like the Nation of Islam. I don't like Birth of a Nation. I prefer The Smokehouse to Nation's Giant Hamburgers, and I greatly prefer salvation to damnation.
Rhythm Nation 1814 is OK by me.
Lester and Lowell show that investing in cancer survivors can pay off. Next year, Boston plans to acquire a shortstop with Lyme disease, two left-handed relievers with rickets, and a bullpen catcher with extremely high cholesterol.
The World Series MVP receives a new Chevy Malibu, which I mistakenly thought was the worst Finals MVP prize in any sport. You get your choice of Cadillac models for winning the Super Bowl MVP (everyone seems to pick the Escalade), but I couldn't tell if players get anything besides a trophy for the NBA. Probably a a DVD of the second season of Martin and a big sack of weed. Hockey players just get the Conn Smythe Trophy, along with a twelve-pack of Molson's and a large hunk of raw Canadian bacon.
The Malibu has a retail value of $20-27 grand, or roughly what Mike Lowell earns every four innings. He had to be excited when Jeanne Zelasko described the features of the car, an automobile that Lowell will likely give to a clubhouse attendant or ne'er-do-well brother-in-law.
Zelasko was surprisingly tough in her interview with Lowell, generally a time for softball questions interrupted by sprays of champagne from whooping teammates. Instead, Zelasko congratulated him on his clutch hitting, then brought up his expiring contract. The gist of the interview was, "Nice job with the award. How does it feel to be unemployed?"
If she's going to be a jerk, why stop there?
"Mike, you had a great World Series, earning your second World Series ring. Would you trade those rings to have two intact testicles again?"