The Cleveland Indians visit Fenway Park for the first time this season on Thursday night, Game 1 of what will likely be a hotly contested four-game set.
The Indians’ 25-man roster features a laundry list of former Red Sox, including some recent Boston employees such as relievers Matt Albers and Rich Hill as well as utility infielder Mike Aviles. And lest anyone forget Justin Masterson was drafted by Boston and came up in the Red Sox system, serving as a spot starter and middle reliever before going to Cleveland in 2009 as part of the trade that netted the team Victor Martinez.
Already, there has been a hue and a cry over how, exactly, the slew of former Red Sox will be received in Boston now that they’re wearing enemy colors.
Local fans, some say, are notorious for holding grudges.
“Hey, look,” said Rick Davies of Ipswich. “If all those guys wanna be Indians, then we’re Cowboys…We’re cowboys from Boston and we hate Indians. We’re old school, dude. It’s just an old school rivalry.”
It is, of course, a fair question to ask how much of a coincidence it could be that the Red Sox are seemingly so much better in 2013 than they were in 2012, when the roster included the likes of guys like Albers, Hill and Aviles.
“Character, kid. Character,” explained Richie Harwell from Norwood. “They were totally dragging the ballclub down. Bunch of bums.”
“Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but those guys were all on the 2011 Titanic disaster, weren’t they?” said Rita Jones of Haverhill.
Asked to comment on this story, Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino responded, “I don’t have anything to say about those guys. You’re the reporter. I suggest you go out and find some anonymous sources to say a bunch of inflammatory things about guys who have left town. They’re not playing for the Boston Red Sox anymore, so I wouldn’t know anything about whether or not they’re nice guys.”
Lucchino proceeded to lean his face in close, place his hand over one side of his mouth and say, “Or, you know, whether they’re low-character, drug-addicted, pill-popping, adulterous dirtbags who fans should boo mercilessly. I wouldn’t know a thing about anything like that.”