Why I don’t care anymore. . .

Used to be a time when sports really mattered.

What my team did really mattered.

What you said really mattered.

Then, I woke up.

All the NFL rapists and murderers who get off with the right lawyer started me down that slope. Then, losing the love of my life to an absurd and disappointing conflict she couldn’t get the upper hand on, no matter what she says. And, the win-at-all-costs and get-paid culture in which we survive. We support other people’s lives as ‘fans’ when we could and maybe ought to be fanatics about our own selves. Just sayin’.

Now. It’s all so much money, theater and more money that it just does not matter. The commercials alone stop me from having any interest in the game – any game.

And the replays. All 8 of them.
And the announcers. Like the NFL Network guy, color commentator ‘Mike’ who got every version of wrong possible during the Jets-Patriots game. He had to switch gears at least five times on things he definitely saw. How about “I don’t agree with that.” Or “I saw it differently.”

Yawn. Boring.

But, mostly it’s all the money. Robinson Cano whaddya know ? Nothing but greed baby.
I thought the Red Sox were the Idiots. Turns out, regardless of the final paycheck Cano garners or how far this year’s Sox go, I am the Biggest Loser, The Fattest Idiot.

RIP Boston Red Sox™

Today brings to a merciful end the 2012 experiment of the hapless, useless organization known as the Boston Red Sox.

Darth Vader Steinbrenner-owned Yankees can say of Obi-One Henry Group, “Now their failure is complete.”

The Red Sox are an organization that has shown zero fundamental change from the glorious days of Yawkee Ownership. Red Sox culture: front office allows the clubhouse to run the show; the clubhouse, manager allows the players to run the show. The fans do not hold the correct people accountable at the correct time and they are too easily influenced by the media. The media is largely focused on the wrong priorities. The only journalists I’ve really heard focus on the correct issues at the correct time in the right way – articulate, intelligent, at the right volume and tone – are on Sports Hub 98.5, particularly Felger and Mazz. Add to that the writing of Tony Mazz in the Globe and anything that Peter Gammons writes, although without recalling exactly all this season’s content I feel Gammons can tend towards more sympathy and subjective p.o.v. instead of what I personally prefer – impartial, emotionally detached analysis. But, hey, that’s just me.

We are the fan base. We deserve better. The fans do not know how to revere the players when they are our heroes and hold them accountable instead of letting them off the hook as a whole. We pick at certain personalities and relentlessly witch hunt in the truest New England puritanical tradition. The media does not know how to allow players to be human and make mistakes ( like growing old or not be perfect with their replies to questions). I’m not talking about incidents like Pedroia saying “that’s not how we do things in Boston,” because that was exactly what the fans and the media needed to wake the F up and actually understand how poorly the organization flows from the top down. Equally, the vilifying of Beckett, while a tad excessive, was necessary like the way the media jumped on a soured Garciaparra c. 2004. I’m talking about the “what have you done for me lately?” mentality that turns on heroes in Boston instead of valuing them especially at the end of their time in Boston. Larry Bird was, at the end, sort of mistreated for being injured and growing old. I wonder when Tom Brady is out of gas if the media will recall just how important Tom Brady has been to New England folklore before they trash him and then attempt to kiss and make up.

These are, of course, not Red Sox relevant or Yawkee Way examples. I do wonder why no one has really along the way taken Theo Epstein to task more rigorously and more precisely on his “We aim to be competitive year-in-year-out to vie for World Series.” That is a rough quote but it is close enough. Because, until Theo started to head for the door, no one said “Hey, wait. What the hell is going on?” Yes, we picked apart certain transactions like the über-weakness perennially at shortstop. But, what about the fact that the team never truly dug in for the division and missed the playoffs a few times and did not actually compete year-in-year-out. With the exception of last year’s grand collapse, the prior missed playoff years were given passes as “tough, injury-riddled years.” Meanwhile, the Yankees make the playoffs year after year. 12 out of 15 years Division Champs if they win tonight!

This year, the team has no intrinsic self-respect or self-worth to stand up and make a stand, at least in spirit, to ruin the Yankees post-season bid. Instead, like the entire 2012 baseball campaign, the Red Sox have rolled over and played dead. Embarrassing. I can never imagine the current Patriots, Celtics or Bruins cultures doing the same.

Nothing has changed in my lifetime except for a couple of rings. Big deal. Even in all these years since 2003, the organization has NEVER EVER valued winning the AL EAST. I hold the ownership accountable and this group has been possessed by the Yawkee way instead of aspiring to the Yankee way.

The ownership has zero accountability to anyone and zero loyalty. The one manager who clearly was responsible for something to help win two World Series in three years was stabbed in the back on the way out.

And, further, the MLBPA or whatever the Players’ Union is has way too much power. The Red Sox in the last several years have become an overpriced rehab center, enabled by the contracts at the Major League level. Baseball players have no business as a whole making obscene amounts of guaranteed dollars. This union is an embarrassment to professional labor unions and resembles public unions that, say, expect 100% publicly funded benefits and pension and dare to strike in the midst of a winter freeze (See NYC MTA Local c. 2005, December)

The Boston Red Sox of 2012 exemplify across the board all that is wrong in American professional sports.

I, for one, am thrilled that the Baltimore Orioles stepped up to make the dream of what true team competition is all about, what true dignity and honor in the game should be.

I hope the Orioles win this year’s World Series! If not, I’m rooting for Texas, a tradition in excellence now for several years under management and coaches. The Nationals, The A’s, the Giants and yes, even the Evil Empire, all exemplify what baseball and sports ought be. The Red Sox never truly have and may never in my lifetime. If we ever have a top-down approach with media and fans who come together in a way that both honors, roots for and holds accountable our professional baseball team, I’d be stunned. But, it starts with the ownership. The Patriots and Celtics have shown us that in recent years. The Bruins got the memo. Maybe it was lost on the Red Sox brass somewhere between Hollywood and Liverpool.

(this material is copyrighted under US ™ © laws)

-The Bloozah™ on Twitter is coming. Stay tooned!

Voice123.com Censors honest and fair rebuttals

An interesting blog:

http://voicethedream.com/2012/08/28/is-it-time-for-a-new-union-of-voice-artists/

Below is my three-times attempt to reply to comments (insults really) levied at me that have been blocked by Steven Lowell of Voice123. I had a read from a sympathetic colleague with whom I discussed this offline. She decided to attempt a comment posting for me.

I guess we don’t possess the proper V123 credentials.

Or, is it that we remain anonymous WHILE adding to the discussion key, critical components of thought, fact?

Either way, the reality is my facts weren’t disputed. Heck. They weren’t even addressed. Instead, some clever fishing around to provoke me along with attempting to discern my geographical whereabouts seems the only point of value to the folks at Voice123.com

More supporting evidence to The Bloozah that perhaps what I was saying in opposition to “New Union for Voice Actors?” was of threat, repeatedly cut at in an attempt to discredit and deflect the conversation from what I believe to be reasonable opinions and are most definitely supported by FACT, dismissed as “[my] own reality,” “threats” and “[rumor mill ‘gristing’ ]”

ENJOY!! (Warning – lengthy:) -Bloozah

From John

The Bloozah’s most recent reply attempt censored by Voice123.com

Why are you censoring this blog? Why not post the reply to your most recent comments directed at someone and not give them the chance to reply ? Is it because they prefer anonymity and you want to out them? Is it their rebuttal to your points or the fact that this person called you out on your not replying to these facts while attempting to insult and discredit. Is something being said threatening to your business? 

From ‘The Bloozah,’ three times attempting to post a reply to respond to Steve Lowell.

-John

I honestly do not understand why anyone would want to deal with you, Steve, or V123 after this thread.

“You believe your own reality”
“[Northeastern-style overly-intelligent rhetorict. . .filled with threats]”
“trolling Internet.”
“[Reading rumors on Google.]”

SERIOUSLY???

I have been careful to outline FACT – my direct experiences via the V123 site. I tried to state a bit clumsily I’m not trashing your companies and obviously successful business models but in my opinion you are only furthering your brands.

I am only replying to what I believe is a faulty idea presented by a corporation with too many conflicts-of-interest to have that say, let alone orchestrate this venture.

Your rebuttle twice now is to not actually address my points but to attempt to discredit me to this audience with clever asides, conjecture and insults to anyone from the northeast, anyone intelligent, anyone who uses good vocabulary, anyone who has factual experience and opinions in our Industry contrary to yours and anyone who uses Google and the Internet. And, you seem to take my points personally. Then, you sort of qualify my passion if different opinion.

You are a corporation. I assume you are incorporated, yes? A. You have a board, a CEO, a CFO and shareholders, correct?? You are a for-profit model needing to show shareholders value, no?? Actually given multiple platforms one could deem you a conglomerate. The very entities SAG-AFTRA merged to more strongly negotiate with. In my opinion.

The fact that your CEO is in Silicon Valley leads me to believe VC money is/was involved in creating V123, adds support you are a corporate entity AND that V123 is THE EXACT ENTITY all talent ought be concerned about.

Like Google and other “Hi-tech” biz models, you are involved in a blurring line of consolidating interests and intersecting industries, between production and labor. Why would and should talent not make you accountable if you are the employer/producer? And why would talent sign on under you as our new union?

What is in it for professional skilled labor to work under a new union headed/steered/influenced by V123?? Why not just dial back to the days of contract players in the studio system??

The original discussion to which I replied was regarding “forming a new union,” with which I don’t agree. We just merged two unions in the face of competing unions racing to the bottom for low-bid contracts and territories that will serving to only benefit employers

Essentially, you charge talent to audition which I do not agree with. I do not know how your talent-seeking companies pay-in if at all. You propose to be the creators of and management for a new union while also serving as agent and studio even as you’ve removing casting directors from the business model unless the employers are hiring displaced casting directors. I do not know.

All I know is you will likely utilize your position as a rep of your company’s brand to spin out another reply that will poke holes in my facts and opinions. You know my opinion regarding a new union. I don’t believe using a real name does anything to burnish (for those who Steve assumes use this site who are poorly educated sorry, I meant “support” or “further”) my points.
I’m done with this discussion. Thanks.

Regards,
A concerned pro-labor union talent “

[John’s attempt to post Bloozah’s comment] is awaiting moderation.

The Good Ship Lollypop

On April 12, 1912 Fenway Park opened its gates. On April 15, 1912. The Titanic sank.

Apparently, this week Terry Francona is not invited to the great celebrations taking place at Fenway 100. Hmmm. Really???

In 2012, a sort of ironic reversal of fortune has taken place. The Costa Concordia sank on January 14, 2012. While we cannot locate any data to support a major event three days later for the Boston Red Sox, truth be told their ship has been slowly sinking ever since Captain Francona was run aground or run out of town as it were by that invisible iceberg off the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Boston “Hahbah,” an iceberg purportedly named Lucchino. 

 A man of great character, sensitivity and deft political instincts on how to navigate the perilous waters of Boston sports, Francona was callously iced off by an “unnamed source,” a leak on his alleged and unsubstantiated *drug problems* as a “thank you, F U and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out,” even after Francona had graciously sought higher ground to partake in his own departure from Port Fenway. Iceberg Lucchino is allegedly to blame, which in turn has now inalterably damaged the HMS Henry for good. A once proud, seemingly impenetrable luxury liner that aims to be a winner is, in all truth, no different than the Yawkee Group ownership of yore save for two World Series pennants. Fact.

The Boston media – mostly from what I’ve listened to via the incomparable Big Show, et al at WEEI Sports Network and read on The Globe and Herald columns – have been chumming the waters worse than Chief Brody and Quint ever did off the Amity shores. With a piranha-like frenzy, on-air and on-paper personalities excoriate, pillory and focus all their “Francover” grumpiness on new Skipper Bobby Valentine.

But, don’t blame our media. Their instinct to teem our waters for blood is really not their fault. They can’t help it. None of us can. See, we are all bred out of the puritanical madness that came to our shores in 1612. 1612?  Whatever. The point is, like the days of Hawthorne, Lizzy Borden and Salem, MA before, witch-hunts are part of Boston culture, and by extension its media. I ought to know as I love to witch hunt almost by my marrow’s instinct – at everything I deem morally, politically and socially incorrect.  Maybe the birthplace of blogging is Beantown?

In typical exhaustive Bostonian, the media is like a nosy neighbor more than a reporter. These days they microscopically sift, examine, dissect, debate and flay Bobby V’s every move. CSI Boston. They’re already gunning for him, beginning in earnest the campaign to chase him out of town in a daily grind, a biased manner unbecoming a world-class city but every bit Bostonian. You don’t want to play the game our way by our rules? You are dead to us. Well, Francona more than learned. He beat them at the game. He savvily sped up his Boston sports media learning curve from day one and played the game in a genuine manner. He was neither smarmy nor manipulative. He parried in a way that genuinely respected and protected his players on the one side and respected and created great relationships with the media on the other hand.

In all fairness to the scrutiny of Bobby Valentine, the media is merely our voice, a populist bullhorn howling in the wind at the loss of our great leader and comrade-in-arms, Tito. Tito is a nickname befitting a larger than life person whose image should color banners on every light post down Landsdown St. while legions of adoring fans soldier forth in goose-stepping-time with salutes to our Great Brother Tito, adorned in mirror-shades and full-regalia uniform waving munificently from the grand stands to us, the unwashed rabble, the hungry masses thirsty for more victories. With his departure, we were and are still the Lost Children, suddenly out in a high plains drift of tumbleweed and longing for the Idiotic good ‘ol days.

What the hell just happened we asked at the end of 2011? To this day, many of us may still try to fathom just what the hell happened as we attempt to turn the page to present day. Clearly, we do so with a slight hindsight strain in our face, a tinge of false bravado, hope and cheer even as we were ‘swift boated’ by the 2011 season unraveling so fast and the loss of Francona, if not fresh, still painful. Still. I believe. I mean, I see him on ESPN BBTN and wish he were still in a Red Sox uniform no matter how much I like Bobby V. and root for him. But, see, I don’t root for Bobby V. or for the Red Sox. I find myself actively rooting against them. I am the turncoat. It’s not personal. It’s business. It’s the manner in which the organization has conducted business for some time.

In 2012 we ride in the wake of an absurd Beergate and Lost Season #2, 2011. Lost Season #1, 2010, had been chalked up as a loss for reasons that this writer personally still doesn’t apprehend – oh, yeah. It was all about strength and conditioning, stupid. The prior two seasons have both been sunk the way that old school Red Sox seasons used to go – waning, swooning in the dog days of summer with a quilt of patchwork reasons none of which every sink in to a level of acceptance and letting go. I believe those glaring errors and miscues linger bitterly for all of us, borne out of frustration built on the back of those generations of losing. Maybe it’s just The Bloozah content in glass-half-empty mentality. But, I think when we all see highly paid athletes underachieve, under-perform and under value the weight of the agreed upon contract, we see a fleecing. They took the money. Where’s our return?

I’m personally tired of the reasons and the excuses. We pay high-priced tickets, we have a high-priced payroll and we pay high-end concessions beyond the pizza, pretzels, beer in the stand and chicken in the bowels of that grand ol’ ballpark, Fenway. We lose collectively when our team doesn’t live up to our expectations as we head into a long dark winter wondering about what might have been. Our team should help us distract from our own shortcomings not mirror or highlight them. It’s one thing if they lose valiantly but when they lose in the way this organization has been falling short for a long time, enough is enough.

Red Sox v.2010 was all about athletes who appeared to collectively be unable to remain physically conditioned and, perhaps, mentally tough down the stretch. From a fan’s point of view, it is hard to say. I could, admittedly, never live the life of a professional athlete. Yet, this is partly my point and partly my gripe with MLBPA. The MLB Players Association is truly a powerful union that undermines what working class, average union workers in the United States of America strive for: worker protections. You have a union that has the power to gain huge sums of guaranteed monies for its workers on the public dole – merchandise, tickets, TV and Internet subscriptions. When politicians try to gut public unions and collective bargaining, perhaps they ought first look at their own entitlements of taxpayer-funded pensions and health care. Next, they ought look at ‘private’ unions such as what the MLBPA represents: Gross excess and ultimate untouchable unaccountable power. But, alas I digress. I really digress. Sorry.

Fine. Ok. The Red Sox v.2010 did suffer a string of freak injuries in almost domino-like fashion. Still, with a bench 25 deep they fought valiantly to the bitter and highly worthy end. Didn’t they win something like 90 games to make it to third place? V.2011, touted as and by all accounts a clearly superior team, fared worse. They finished third by trending downward rather than clawing to the top in the manner that v.2010 attempted. Red Sox v.2011 no matter how it is spun and served up to us was entitled, lazy and a team bent on self-destruction. No. Annihilation.

At the end of the 2011 season, in the midst of the beer and chicken washout, you had a now-former General Manager overripe for departure jump ship for the Lakes country of Chicago. The Red Sox, trying to sift through the rubble by focusing on the ‘rebuilding’ a.k.a. v.2012, cleaned house. They let Theo off-the-hook for some of the mess he created. He fled to the Cubs. We received a pathetic excuse of a “deal” in return: a third-tier player who is now injured. Current Red Sox ownership is hands-off and more interested in new ventures like Liverpool s with the smoke and mirrors of trivial stuff like  why Bobby V. should appears on a weekly radio show in New York and whether or not he should. Suggestion: focus that energy on holding our team accountable.

In 2012 you have a team that is apparently determined to underachieve for the third year in a row. You have one piece of the unholy triumvirate in Larry Lucchino perhaps undermining his new General Manager, Ben Cherington. You have a hall-of-famer closer allowed to depart and the replacement injured the day before the season opened. (With Werner a film guy are we inking The Curse 2?) You have pitchers with bloated, yes bloated, contracts whose monies are guaranteed even as their faulty strength and conditioning, their lack of mental toughness and their commitment to what they signed up for – being larger than life and playing to the level of the contract they demanded – completely lack-ey-ing.

Who, in all of this…who is the real loser? Who is the BLOOZAH? I am. You are. We, the better-deserving fans are made fools of as more gritty, determined and respectable organizations evolve. The Red Sox are a ship that is sinking fast, going Back to the Future looking for ways to self-destruct as only The Yawkees knew how to a few generations ago.

Yankee. Yawkee. The difference of one consonant is the margin between winning and losing, between rejecting loss and accepting defeat, between classiness and…

Well, I think it’s well beyond time the good denizens of Boston Red Sox Nation, in the manner only Peter Finch’s Howard Beale could urge, should go to our windows, open them up and scream down Boylston, Beacon and all points around the six-state region “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

That’s it. I want you to write John Henry. I want you to write Tom Werner. I want you to go to your windows, open them up and….eh. Get some fresh air. You’ve had enough hot air here for one day.

Then, again, the ship is either sinking fast or setting sail. Warning. Icebergs ahead.

Obamacare and FOX NEWS Pinheads

We’re a country of angry white men. Sadly. Law will be

image

partially, maybe completely shut down. It’s OK to create an endless War Industry and ballooning profits for hindsight repair care but let’s forbid true social welfare, consciousness and a Nation founded on justice for all. No, let’s let Rush Limbaugh and the self-righteous puppet Bill O’Reilly and the just plain smug a-hole Sean Hannity control the national agenda with their ratings books more important than cervical exams and forced fetal imaging instead of basic human dignity and rights. Now, I’m pissed.