BOSTON (CBS) – Every once in a while a columnist decides to go fishing and leave the writing to someone else. I haven’t bought bait or headed to Lake Winnipesaukee. I’m still here but couldn’t resist asking my Dad to guest write a piece on the new baseball season and his “beloved” Red Sox. Is he a typical New England curmudgeon or just playing around with the emotions of Red Sox Nation? I’ve known him all my life and when it comes to this topic, I’m still not sure. Do enjoy reading and remember, the apple doesn’t fall far in this family. JR
Well we made it through another New England winter, snow and freezing temperatures, typical for us, but now it’s time to turn our thoughts to more temperate things and what could be more heart-warming to our shivering environs than the return of major league baseball.
As most of you avid followers of the Jordan Rich talk show will recall I recently had the privilege of being part of his twice a year Sunday night baseball show. Since moving it to the other weekend night, namely Friday or Saturday, I couldn’t continue my participation. I tried to do it from my home but, frankly folks, my pillow and mattress looked more inviting than an argument with a fan who might disagree with my feelings about the moneyed Red Sox and their star player acquisitions.
But given the opportunity to “vent my spleen” if not live on the radio then by use of this media, I would like to write a few words about our great national pastime and particularly our local nine and eagerly await any criticism that may be forthcoming as a result.
As I am into my eighth decade of existence on this planet and a lifelong resident of the Boston area and a baseball fan to “boot” (pardon the football reference) I would like to express my feelings about the presently constituted nine representing our fair city in the American League.
No, I don’t profess to have any skills, past or present, which would qualify me to criticize those splendidly conditioned athletes who play or the coaches and managers who control the great national pastime. But as a longtime fan I feel free to express some of my innermost and at times overly passionate opinions about things in general.
In my opening remarks I referred to the “moneyed” Red Sox and, while in no way do I begrudge their ownership from having the wherewithal to buy the best players money can buy, there remains some doubt in my mind that the fans, to relish their victories (and I do predict several over the next months of the season) by acting like idiots, carrying on over each win as if it were an unexpected gift from heaven, leaves me cold.
Let me say this however, that in the era of Yankee domination of the American League I would assume their fans carried on in the same unfathomable way. I guess it’s just the “nature of the beast”. I have always supported the underdog. Given the presently constituted teams in the league this includes just about every other team, including the Yankees, except our vaunted Red Sox. I know I am going out on a limb on this one but for once I have to agree with the experts and choose the Bosox to win all the marbles this season. Now this doesn’t mean I will not welcome an occasional defeat at the hands of those aforementioned underdogs just to add some interest to the race.
On paper it would seem that the acquisitions of Adrian Gonzales and Carl Crawford look like a good investment. But letting Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre escape their grasp does not seem to me to be a quid-pro-quo stabilizing option. Only time will tell.
Perhaps it is only conjecture to assume that the offense hasn’t suffered by these changes, and, to bolster that opinion you can throw in the return of a healthy Jacoby Ellsbury as well. I believe their pitching, both starting and relieving, barring injuries and playing up to their potential (I hate that word) should pull them through any batting slumps that every team good or bad experiences during such a long season of 162 games.
Ironic, but it would seem that the loss of Adrian Beltre at third base might have assured Ellsbury of a season of healthy ribs to play with yet they go and move the guy to centerfield, several feet away from a possible collision with his former teammate at third base but next to a leftfielder with matching speed. Do I get the feeling that another collision is just waiting in the wings to happen with two speedsters chasing the same ball hit into the gap?
I would like to close this blog on a positive note by wishing the home town team all the success that money can buy in the upcoming season and translating that windfall of profits into lower seat prices for fans like myself on fixed incomes. Now there’s a misnomer if I ever heard one–“fixed” incomes– but I’m always “broke”.
Pardon my grammar–GO SOX.