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Dear Red Sox Nation,
We know weekends are busy this time of year in New England, with all those leaves to rake and hair shirts to pick up at the dry cleaner, so in case you missed it we direct your attention to page C5 of Sunday's Boston Globe. Before leaving town for Chicago, where he will take over as president of baseball operations for the Cubs, Theo Epstein took out a full-page ad, thanking you for the "amazing experience" he had in "10 incredible years" in the Red Sox front office. It was a classy gesture; after the beating he and the Sox have taken from you guys lately, no one would have blamed him for saying goodbye to Fenway the way Ben Affleck did in The Town—with guns blazing.
Think of that ad as one more gift from Epstein to his hometown, as if two championships weren't enough. It's a map, not to the North End or Beacon Hill, but to the high road, a byway you all have found harder to locate this fall than a place in Harvard Square to pahk your cahs.
Here's the thing, Nation: The Red Sox lost, and while the rest of America admittedly indulged in a few days of schadenfreude—O.K., maybe a week—your behavior in the aftermath makes the rest of us sick. The media-driven witch hunts, trying to ferret out exactly who drank beer where and with whom. (The key to every great investigative story: Follow the fried chicken!) The bashing of Epstein and manager Terry Francona. The comical talk-radio attempts at explaining how a Boston pitcher downing a rally beer in the clubhouse could, at that very moment, magically cause a Boston batter to strike out with a runner at third.
It all makes the way you guys treated Bill Buckner look sane. Let's throttle back, Boston. Do yourselves—and us—a favor and let go of 2011. You'll never figure out exactly who's to blame for the collapse. There's chicken grease on everyone's hands here. Plus, look at all the other angst-filled opportunities you're missing. The Bruins are 3-5-0. Isn't it about time their Stanley Cup honeymoon ended? The Patriots are off to a great start, just like last year. Sounds like they're a great regular-season team that can't win in the playoffs. We can't wait to hear who has the best fried chicken in Foxborough.
The Rest of Us