Like a distant tide, you can almost smell baseball season. And no, not in the haven’t-washed-my-jock-since-last-spring kind of smell. It’s like an invisible energy that fills the city every early April. The texts start going out and coming in: “meet up b4 game?”… “bball tavern @ 5” … “I’ll perform any favor you can think of for your ticket” … buddies start making plans to come home, and beer sales go through the effing roof. Whatever the signs are for you, because it is unique and personal to each of us, one thing is as certain as taxes: Father Fenway comes out of his winter hibernation this Sunday.
As I have always maintained, Boston is a better place when the Sox are playing, and better even still when they’re winning. The cold, white, sissy-repellent that litter the streets during the cold months has melted away, and for those brave enough to bear it (or for those simply forced to) we have earned ourselves the right to another season of Red Sox baseball.
With so many new faces this year, there is an unfamiliar air of uncertainty… kind of like the beginning of in 2004 and 2007 seasons. Like everything else in New England, there is no gray area, you either can’t wait to see the boys of summer hit the diamond, or you are already calling for Theo’s head on a blunt spit.
Let me settle all for everyone: We have the best 1,2,3 in all of baseball, the best number 4 pitcher in the game (Dice K) and our fifth starter is either a member of last year’s all-star team or a young stud with top-of-the-rotation stuff.
Our lineup is a mixture of solid doubles hitters with power and speed sprinkled in for garnish.
Our fielding consist of about a zillion combined gold gloves, a new left side of the infield that seems to be meshing with the right side, our new catcher behind the plate looks great and we’ve tacked on three (what will prove to be) terrific new starters in Cam, Scutaro and Beltre.
The Red Sox will win 98 games this year (like they always do) and narrowly lose the division to the Yankees, which is OK because the Yanks are a team built like winning the regular season is their goal. It’s an exciting season we’re on the doorstep of… And all I want for October is a World Series.
Go Red Sox.