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April 1, 2009 at 6:27 am ET
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Your Team Ain’t S#!t 2009: #27 The Red Sox

Until February 2008, there was a vacuous void when it came to objective MLB team season previews and Devil Rays information on the internets. And then there wasn’t….

There was Your Team Ain’t S#!t Compared To The Devil Rays. The 2009 Edition of Your Team Ain’t S#!t continues our proud tradition of truth and awesomeness as over six weeks we prove concisely and conclusively why each of the other 29 teams remain vastly inferior to our beloved Devil Rays.

Working backwards through the final Bugs & Cranks Top 30 rankings, we continue with The Boston Red Sox….

Argument #1. Red Sox fans can sense their team’s doomed, so they cling to two desperate dreams, both of which are myths. Myth #1: The Devil Rays will fall back this year.

B&C’s Dan Tobin is very smart and very funny. And yet, he’s predicting the Devil Rays will “gain 20 pounds and go back to being a non-factor again this year.”

Why? Because he’s a smart Red Sox fan — and anyone can see that the Red Sox only chance is if the Devil Rays get fat and complacent. Last year, our beloved Devil Rays kicked the Red Sox ass wire-to-wire, and then massacred them in Fenway in the ALCS. And the Devil Rays are only getting better with their winter additions like Pat “The Bat” Burrell, and only getting more experienced since everybody good’s coming back and young. While the Red Sox added nothing but a collection of geriatric has-beens that would make Dan Snyder blush. It was clear as day at the end of the regular season and only got clearer in the ALCS, without Manny the Red Sox are a shell of their former selves — after all, they didn’t spend a single day alone in first place without him.

Argument #2. Myth #2: The Red Sox are somehow better off without Manny.

(Or, Jesus Christ, you delusional fucking ingrates.)

Look as much as I rip on Bill Pecota from time to time, it’s usually hard to argue with Baseball Prospectus. BP’s Joe Sheehan completely shreds the Manny The Quitter myth:

In July, when Ramirez was supposedly “refusing to play,” the Red Sox played 24 games. Ramirez played in 22 of them. ….

When he played, Ramirez killed the league. He hit .347/.473/.587 in July. His OBP led the team, and his SLG led all Red Sox with at least 25 AB. The Sox, somewhat famously, went 11-13 in July. Lots of people want you to believe that was because Manny Ramirez is a bad guy. I’ll throw out the wildly implausible idea that the Sox went 11-13 because Ortiz played in six games and because veterans Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek has sub-600 OPSs for the month.

Four days before he was traded, Manny Ramirez just about single-handedly saved the Red Sox from getting swept by the Yankees, with doubles in the first and third innings that helped the Sox get out to a 5-0 lead in a game they had to win to stay ahead of the Yankees in the wild-card race.

If all of the above is “refusing to play,” I would sincerely like to see what “trying” looks like. It would be entertaining to see a player post a .600 OBP or .800 SLG.

On second thought, they’d probably just blacklist him.

But keep lying to yourselves Red Sox Nationals, you’re better off with that emasculated Canadian who’d rather be watching his wife poop out their second daughter than play in September during a pennant race. Because he runs out ground balls or something.

And who needs Manny when you have that awesome little balding garden gnome and his ecksteiny scrappiness at second? Or the supposedly equally MVP-worthy Youkilis? (Wait, didn’t Manny have to slap Youkilis around in the dugout last year because Youkilis was way more concerned with his own at-bats than the team’s success?)

And don’t forget to keep telling yourselves that it was just Papi’s wrist and not lacking Manny. And maybe Manny broke Lowell’s hip. And who but Manny gave Joke-oby Ellsbury “a hip made of graham crackers.” Manny probably made Varitek hit .220 too.

Maybe Sox fans are buying that crap, but doesn’t seem like Boston’s front office is. Athlon makes a good point when they ask:

If the Sox are so good, why was their management so concerned about improving the offense? …. the lineup looked uncharacteristically soft at the end of last season, and no one should be surprised if the 2009 Sox have difficulty scoring runs. Tampa Bay is now a legitimate threat …. that could put an awful lot of pressure on the pitching staff.

Argument #3. 11 Years, Bitches.

The Devil Rays have never gone more than 11 seasons without a World Series appearance; the Red Sox have gone as many as 27 consecutive seasons without a World Series appearance.

Now and always, the Red Sox ain’t shit compared to our beloved Devil Rays.

We’ll prove it head-to-head at Fenway to open the season Monday April 6-Wednesday April 9, and then Friday May 8-Sunday May 10, and Friday September 11-Sunday September 13; and at historic Tropicana Field Thursday April 30-Sunday May 3, Tuesday August 4-Wednesday August 6, and Tuesday September 1-Thursday September 3. And since the Red Sox should be the favorites to “defend” their Wild Card, we’ll probably get to school y’all again in the ALCS.

Coming soon to Your Team Ain’t S#!t Compared To The Devil Rays….

On Deck: #28 The Los Angeles Angels

In The Hole: #29 The WFC* Philadelphia Phillies

Previously on Your Team Ain’t S#!t Compared To The Devil Rays….

#1 The San Diego Padres
#2 The Washington Nationals
#3 The Seattle Mariners
#4 The Colorado Rockies
#5 The San Francisco Giants
#6 The Pittsburgh Pirates (w/ Special Guest S#!tter Tampa Bay Sports Blog’s Scott Brannelly)
#7 The Atlanta Braves
BONUS Puerto Rico
#8 The Baltimore Orioles
#9 The Cincinnati Reds
#10 The Arizona Diamondbacks
#11 The Detroit Tigers
#12 The Kansas City Royals
#13 The Oakland Athletics
#14 The Texas Rangers
#15 The St. Louis Cardinals
#16 The Cleveland AL Franchise
#17 The Florida Marlins
#18 The Los Angeles Dodgers
#19 The Houston Astros
#20 The New York Mets
#21 The Milwaukee Brewers
#22 The Toronto Blue Jays
#23 The New York Yankees
#24 The Minnesota Twins
#25 The Chicago White Sox
#26 The Chicago Cubs

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