David sent me the link to this slideshow of the Tavarez Incident (TM), the closest thing to seeing video footage we're apparently going to get for now (since apparently there is an OMG CONSPIRECY!!!1! to "suppress" the video). Maybe it's the slow-motion of the slideshow, but I found it incredibly disturbing to watch. The part where he's standing on the guy's arm is especially creep-a-riffic; I personally find that more offensive than the punch.
Also, Tony Graffanino says the Sox screwed him by offering him arb. I can see his point, and it also reminded me I wanted to put forth a few general questions to the floor:
Do we have a responsibility, as fans of the Red Sox, to defend the team's actions in Graffanino's case? Do we have a responsibility, on the other side, to object to it?
Also, what are our responsibilities in the case of Tavarez? Do we have any?
I am not, for the record, trying to single anyone out about this, but I feel lately like Red Sox fans can't win--this is just a vibe I'm getting from my various travels around the Web. If we decline to defend Julian Tavarez's actions, for example, it's alleged that it's only because he hasn't been a Red Sox for very long. Otherwise, apparently, we'd have found a way to rationalize his behavior in the Tampa Bay game. Apparently the evidence of our tendency to do this is because there are those of us who feel Jason Varitek was not the villain in the fight of July 24, 2004. About that comparison in particular, I have already gone several rounds with several people, and I'm sorry, I still don't see the similarities.
And in my opinion, even if they ARE similar incidents, past reputation and relationship with the team DO play a role in how fans will view such behavior, and I don't know what's especially wrong with that. This is Tavarez's fourth suspension. Jason Varitek doesn't go around punching phones and umpires or throwing fastballs at fans, or, for that matter, shoving his glove in people's faces on a regular basis. Call me crazy, but that DOES count for something in my world.
Of course, that's to say nothing of those who seem to feel, somehow, that Red Sox player behavior has been outright caused by, as I have heard it put, "their rabid gallery of fans." Which...I mean...huh? Anyone able to explain that particular leap of logic to me? Cause I sure don't get it.
Also, apparently, if we continue to support the Sox after they've behaved so inhumanely to Arroyo and Graffanino, we're apologists for an inhuman, evil franchise that fucks over players. Oh, wait, no, if we sympathize with Arroyo and Graffanino it's hypocritical, because we're known for our "short attention spans" and the fact that we apparently don't give a fuck about our hometown guys like Nomar. Yay!
Which is why I raise the question of what our responsibilities are. What is the appropriate way to act? Is there an appropriate way to act, or will any response or action on the part of Red Sox fans result in backlash, because that's just the way things are at the moment?
I wonder about this because I do have to admit that I am afeard of what is going to happen this season with Tavarez and Beckett, both of whom have already gone varying degrees of postal this season, playing for the Sox, and the Farns, who has also shown a tendency to go apeshit, playing for the Yankees--all in addition to many of the usual suspects returning for grudge matches. And what about bitterness involving Johnny Damon? Will Trot Nixon feel the need to "give him some information?" At this point, I really am genuinely afraid somebody will get seriously hurt if the Sox / Yankees bullshit continues along those lines.
Also, let me just say, dudes, I am so ready for baseball to start already. A lot of this ridiculous rhetoric of late may just stem from plain old fashioned boredom.