An Ode to Fenway's 10th Man - the Fans

Photo courtesy of NESN
Conor Frederick
Contributing Writer
Twitter - @ConorJF1016

A lot is made of getting home field advantage in the playoffs, especially in baseball. That's what makes baseball's All Star Game more interesting than any other game. And Fenway Park provides one of the best home field advantages in all of baseball, especially when the Red Sox take advantage. That was one of the problems last year - the Red Sox were 34-47 at home last year, and they didn't know how to take advantage of the electricity fans provided. Not to mention all the problems the 2012 Red Sox had with chemistry and a terrible manager who could not maintain a steady ship. The 2004 and 2007 teams knew full well how to tap the 10th man, and so does the 2013 team. For a lot of fans, they live and breath Red Sox and it comes across during games. The reason the 2013 Red Sox respond to the fans is because the fans respond to them - their work ethic, their chemistry, and their ability to win ballgames in multiple ways. The relationship works both ways, with each side responding to each other, and the results speak for themselves.

If the Red Sox make a deep run, the fans should be given their dues. All the "Thank you, fans!" stuff that teams do at the end of a season isn't an act. Without the fans' passion, teams would fade into obscurity, and I think Red Sox fans do more for fans than most teams in the majors. Sure, the sellout streak may have ended, but the Red Sox are one of the few teams who mostly fill their stadium. Whenever I watch another team, I see plenty of empty seats, but very few at Fenway. The fans deserve credit for continuing to support the team, even with the low expectations to begin this season. And the fans will give the Sox the boost they need to get over the top this season and make a deep October run.

Beware, MLB. If you have the misfortune to play at Fenway in the playoffs, you don't have much of a chance.