FENWAY PARK REVISITED- When it comes to opponents, we want the Boston Red Sox to play the Cleveland Indians.
Perhaps it is a cream pie in the face for Red Sox ownership and will not happen in a world where fixed games are the norm.
An Indians-Red Sox series would have a personal patina to it that would echo the recent history of the Red Sox. They would battle their own demons of the past because there is no chemistry or rivalry between Boston and Cleveland in any way, shape or form.
What then is the attraction? For openers, you could start with the manager of the Indians. He is Terry Francona, former winner of two World Series for the Red Sox. He is the man who banished the Curse of the Bambino-and King John Henry VIII sent this man into exile.
After wandering in the media desert for a year, Francona wrote a book with Dan Shaughnessy that excoriated the Sox and their arrogant ownership. He then took a perennial losing team and brought them to the playoffs.
They stand perched to offer the Red Sox a headache of migraine proportions.
The other elements of a systemic illness is the roster that Francona has put together, which includes several players from the appalling collapse teams of 2011 and 2012.
Catcher Kelly Shoppach was on the Bobby Valentine team and may or may not have had some complicity in the beer and chicken wings scandal on the starting pitching staff.
Mike Aviles, who played his heart out for the Sox, was unceremoniously traded for manager John Farrell no less. Thanks to Ben Cherington, the hard worker ended up with Francona. The man who replaced Aviles also has been sent packing to another potential rival: Jose Iglesias is now on the Detroit Tigers.
Pitching has a touch of Red Sox past with favorite Justin Masterson in the starting rotation, and Matt Albers in the bullpen.
We hope we can see the former Sox at Fenway Park in a playoff. It should give ownership a tinge of mal de mer.