Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Red Sox Show Up To Play

It was a beautiful day in Boston yesterday; bright, sunny and 68◦. The kind of day you dream about on those long winter nights, and the perfect day for a home opener.

After the way the season ended last year, and the inauspicious start they’d made on the road so far, I was more than ready to be disappointed. There was also the fact that it was Friday the 13th, and they had the added pressure of the whole “100th season” thing, which I assumed would lend a circus like atmosphere to the day. I was wrong; the Sox didn’t disappoint, neither the front office nor the team.

The team showed up to play and crushed the Jays 12 to 2, which was a pleasant surprise. Beckett looked good through 8 solid innings, and he had lots of support both offensively and defensively. While there are still 155 games to be played this season, there is reason to be hopeful after yesterday’s performance.

The only mar on an otherwise perfect outing was the loss of Ellsbury in the 4th to what appears to be a dislocated shoulder. If it is a dislocation, it will probably be 6 to 8 weeks before he’s back, and that’s gonna hurt. New skipper Bobby V said after the game that the team will call up an outfielder in time for Saturday’s game; I’m betting it will be Che-Hsuan Lin, as he’s already on the roster, and was a scratch from the lineup in last nights PawSox game. He’s no Ellsbury, but he’s not half bad.

The other surprise from yesterday was from the front office. After hearing that old Doc Charles had been hired back to “produce” the 100th anniversary festivities, I was nervous that we’d see all kinds of ridiculous hoopla for opening day. I’m not much for attending the home opener anymore, I liken it to New Years Eve; amateur hour for the poorly behaved, but I do love to watch it, and since my work schedule usually doesn’t allow me to be home early enough to see the opening ceremonies, I DVR it, and watch it later.

When I finally had time to sit down and replay it, I was not only impressed; I was moved by what I saw. No Super Bowl or Stanley Cup victors running around, no big flashy musical acts, just the Pops, the jets, the flag, and a few well chosen Red Sox legends.

After watching it, I couldn’t help but think that old Doc, and the front office et al, have learned a few things over the years, most importantly that the current owners are just the caretakers, as are all owners. The team belongs to Red Sox Nation, always has, always will.

Seeing Pesky in such a prominent role reminded me that it’s still my Dad’s team, seeing Rice and Dewey reminded me that it’s still my team, and seeing Tek and Wake reminded me that it’s still my sons’ team. We all hold and cherish our little piece of the team in our hearts and minds, and it was very smart of the current regime to make past legends the centerpiece of the day. It gently nudged recent happenings into the back regions of my mind, making way for some pleasant memories, while still leaving room for new ones to come. Nice.

I have no idea what the next game will bring, maybe heartache, maybe joy, but what I do know is that whatever comes our way is only a small piece of the larger picture for this storied franchise, and for us too, and I’m going to savor every moment of it.

That is all.

Oh wait, almost forgot the most important part;

Play Ball!

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