You may be surprised to find me writing about sports but . . .
The news media around here lean toward New York, and yeah, I grew up with the Mets, but I lived in Boston for more than 20 years and was compelled to become a Sox fan. (Resistance is futile.) If there are any life lessons to be drawn from professional sports, well, this Red Sox season offers some. Last year was a disaster, with a self-adoring fool and mindless motormouth as manager, and a bunch of underachieving egomaniacal whiners conspiring to drive the team straight into the cellar.
So, management somehow hypnotized the Dodgers into taking the egomaniacal whiners and even paying their salaries; replaced them with some hardworking, underappreciated journeymen who were grateful for the chance (even as the sportswriters were skeptical of the signings); hired a grownup to be the manager; and kept all the good guys.
At least as far as anyone could tell from the public view, they all put the team first and worried only about winning. Nobody got busted for DUI, or domestic violence, or discharging a firearm in a nightclub, or performance enhancing drugs, or any of the typical sins of professional athletes. Away from the game, they just visited sick kids in the hospital and organized charity golf tournaments.
When the marathon bombing struck at the very heart of the city, they took it as their responsibility to rally the community, starting with David Ortiz's famous speech in which he used the famous expletive that the FCC allowed this time. And they played beautifully. Two gold gloves; a silver slugger for el Papi Enorme, el Papi Tremendo, el Papi de Máximo Tamaño, el Papi Largo y Anchoso, el Papi que Ocupe Mucho Espacio, el Papi Grande, Big Papi David Ortiz; Jacoby Ellsbury stole bases at will, they got key hits when they needed them up and down the lineup; they had the best starting rotation and the best bullpen in baseball. And of course they won the championship.
At the conclusion of the victory parade, they put the World Series trophy on the finish line of the marathon. It really meant a lot to the city and I think they accepted the responsibility with sincerity. So it probably does inspire kids and help produce civic unity and strengthen community and all that good stuff that sports are supposed to do but usually don't really. Oh yeah. They paid for their own stadium. 100 years ago.