{“data”:[{“type”:”text”,”data”:{“text”:”_Welcome to The Bandwagoner, a weekly series in which we give a primer on recent sports stories for those unfamiliar with sports, or anything outside of Boston. Our goal is to make sure that you’re not studying your iPhone as much when that one person in your group says those fatal words, “So did you guys see that game?”_\n”}},{“type”:”html”,”data”:{“text”:”“}},{“type”:”text”,”data”:{“text”:”_This week, we look at the implications of a Red Sox free agency story that you’ve probably already read somewhere more reputable._\n\nSee, we can’t complain after three Series titles in a decade. We can’t. And even when we want to, we hold our tongues because the Sox frontoffice does things like this.\n\nIn case you go to this column for news \\(which you really, really shouldn’t\\), here’s what happened. The Sox [inked](\\-hanley\\-ramirez\\-pablo\\-sandoval\\-give\\-red\\-sox\\-new\\-look/XB79aDCLKby6a3fTbyesGL/story.html) **Hanley Ramirez\\*** and**Pablo Sandoval\\*\\*** to huge deals, and clearly indicated that the team is ready to spend the big bucks to get another chip. And even more may be [on the way](\\_nl\\_al/status/536973668598153216).\n\n \\*Hanley Ramirez was the centerpiece inthe trade that brought Josh Beckett \\(and World Series MVP/teen heartthrob MikeLowell\\) i[n 2005](\n\n \\*\\* Somehow acquired the nickname“Panda” despite an Ortiz\\-like [postseason resumé](\\-instant&ion=1&espv=2&es\\_th=1&ie=UTF\\-8#q=pablo%20sandoval%20playoffs) that will serve the Sox wellif they make it into October.\n\nThis is somewhat of a far cry from the last squad that won achampionship just a year ago. The 2013 championship team rode on the karma \\(and skill\\) of [13 homegrown players](\\_id=62090758&c\\_id=bos) en route to the second\\-most satisfying series win of the century.\n\nBut we aren’t here for legitimate analysis and/or implications about these two deals. That’s what [these](\\-sox\\-show\\-they\\-are\\-willing\\-take\\-risks/TZueHQzDMa3xawle1shBxJ/story.html) guys are for. The real question is: do these deals mean that the Sox are in Unabashed Yankee mode again, or will they retain the \\*\\*Pretend Moneyball\\*\\*\\* persona for an extra year?\n\n\\*The statistical movement/dawn of the stat nerds \\(depending on who you ask\\) that arose from Billy Beane’s Oakland Athletics squad of the early 2000s and Michael Lewis’ \”Moneyball\” \\(with an introduction by Brad Pitt\\).\n\nLet me explain. The Sox’s front office has somehow maintained its We’re Not The Yankees attitude throughout every one of these seasons despite, well, [almost being the Yankees.](\\-2014\\-mlb\\-team\\-valuations\\-released\\-by\\-forbes) Truth is, we’re rich as hell. And even though ownership knows, they’re still sugarcoating the language with phrases [like](\\-sox\\-preparing\\-for\\-major\\-free\\-agent\\-spending.html), “I wouldn’t say that we have _limitless_ money.”\n”}},{“type”:”image”,”data”:{“file”:{“url”:””,”full”:””},”text”:””}},{“type”:”text”,”data”:{“text”:”We’re a self\\-serving fan base in that we throw hissy fits when free agency [doesn’t work out](\\_the\\_a\\_rod\\_negotiations\\_ended\\_with\\_red\\_sox\\_shut\\_out/) \\(holy web design, Batman\\) and then throw ourselves on the sides of deities when it turns out that [that wasn’t such abad thing after all.](,d.cWc)\n\nBut it’s the seasons in which the decisions don’t work out that become the most interesting. We get disastrous failed experiments like **Bobby Valentine\\*** as a manager, and overconfident signings like Julio Lugo, whose best contribution as a shortstop was his errors that bordered on the comical.\n\n\\*[Yeesh](\\_/id/8461424/boston\\-red\\-sox\\-fire\\-manager\\-bobby\\-valentine\\-one\\-season)\n”}},{“type”:”image”,”data”:{“file”:{“url”:””,”full”:””},”text”:””}},{“type”:”text”,”data”:{“text”:”\nIt’s fun then, because we get to hide behind the actual New York Yankees when asked the question of “What team is the most Yankee of the MLB?” \n\nThe worst offense came when the Los Angeles Yankees/Dodgers agreed to [a trade](\\_/id/8302304/boston\\-red\\-sox\\-send\\-adrian\\-gonzalez\\-carl\\-crawford\\-los\\-angeles\\-dodgers\\-blockbuster\\-trade) with us that more resembled a pickpocketing, only the opposite. Just like that, our extremely expensive deals with Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett \\(hello again\\) were off the books, and we immediately rode to a series win the next year. \n\nThis rekindled the “just because we can buy almost anyone we want doesn’t mean we’re a rich, snobby baseball team!” attitude, and it was [everywhere](\\-sox\\-weren\\-comfortable\\-offering\\-jacoby\\-ellsbury\\-much\\-yankees\\-did/2J32adQ5foOOR8IgbvJ61M/story.html). Nobody minded of course, because we won, which is really all that matters. But when things don’t work out, we have to own up to the fact that the Red Sox are big\\-time players in free agency every year, and they’re loaded enough to just buy any player they want when things get down and dirty. \n\nBut that’s not a bad place to be at all. If you have tons of money _plus_ a killer farm system, then it doesn’t matter what your ownership says. And we’re here, which is fantastic. But fans should own up to it. Who knows, it might be fun playing the villain$. \n\n”}}]}