Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Dodgers fans buy billboard outside Fenway to taunt... someone

OK? Sure. Great.
OK? Sure. Great.
Photo: Twitter: @pantone294

I wouldn’t sit here and try to argue that Red Sox Nation is undeserving of being kicked while they’re down. They’ve had it their way for a very long time, though they would say they didn’t have it their way for a much longer period of time. And obviously, there isn’t anyone they didn’t annoy even just two years ago. That’s right, it was only two years ago that the Red Sox won their fourth World Series in 14 years, even though it might seem like a decade or more. So to leap to their defense feels… well, I’ll be showering on the hour for the next day or two.

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Anyway, a Dodgers group called Pantone 294 (that’s the color for Dodger blue) parked this just outside Fenway

Hey, this is part of the reason we’re fans. So that when your team finally wins one, you can be obnoxious as fuck. If you’re a Dodgers fan, you’ve pretty much watched everyone else (yes, I know, not you Pirates fans) get to do this since you last did in 1988, if you were even around for that. And if you have the funds and inspiration, well, this is the kind of thing you do.

Still, it’s hard to figure out who this is aimed at, exactly. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Sox fan that didn’t have their heart ripped out when Mookie Betts was traded. I know, the natural instinct is to conclude that Boston fans and media chased an athlete out of town, especially a Black one. And usually that would be correct. But not here.

Sox fans adored Betts, which fans tend to do when a player is on a trajectory to be one of their greatest ever, before he’d even turned 27. Betts was the best player on perhaps the best team the Red Sox ever put together in 2018. Betts was just about the only player even in the same galaxy as Mike Trout. To go along with that, he seems just a genuinely good dude. Hell, he even took up candlepin bowling.

There wasn’t any logical justification for moving Betts along, other than Fenway Sports Group simply didn’t want to pay for him or that caliber of a team anymore. So is the billboard aimed at them? They assuredly don’t care. They got what they wanted. They’ve banked their rings and now are going to bank their NESN cash and all the other revenue streams the Red Sox have flowing into their accounts without even lifting a finger. I doubt John Henry is going to see that billboard on his drive in and punch the steering wheel.

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But it gives Dodgers fans a chuckle, and a lot of other people one as well. And sports are supposed to be about that, at least part of the time. And deep down, Red Sox fans probably don’t feel complete without a persecution complex. Guess everyone wins.

-Interesting nugget out of the U.K. and the WSL (Women’s Super League), the soccer league that imported a lot of U.S. talent before the Olympics this season, like Sam Mewlis, Rose Lavelle, Tobin Heath, and Christen Press. The league signed a new TV deal with the BBC and Sky Sports starting next season, by far the richest for women’s soccer in the world.

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It’ll be worth nearly $10 million a year to the league for the next three seasons. The WSL is already offering significantly higher salaries than the NWSL, so it’s worth keeping an eye on if more Americans, or the best players from other countries, flock to England. The U.S. National Team players have shown incredible loyalty in trying to build NWSL, and those stars playing in England now are only doing so because NWSL couldn’t offer them enough games before the Tokyo Olympic Games in July. But will that continue?

The NWSL has a good TV contract of its own and rising popularity, and all those American stars will return. But in the near future, it’s likely more players will think they should get what they can while they can. Which is what anyone should do.

We can't be too careful. Two guys in an airport...talking? It's a little fishy.