I just watched a little batting practice, streaming on the bookfayce.
Yesterday I posted a little blurb about Major League Baseball coming back. All players were tested for COVID-19 on the report day. We got the results of those tests yesterday. 31 players and 7 staff members are already positive. That’s 1.2% of the reporting players and it’s only day one.
What will the percentage of infections be after a week? After two weeks?
Like I said yesterday, I am really glad to have baseball back. Unfortunately, I know it’s not going to be back for long.
Baseball is back, sort of. Players who agreed to make themselves available for a 60 game season reported to their team’s facilities on July 1st. They were all tested for the coronavirus. They then got yesterday off for some reason which I assume had to do with getting all the testing results. Now today is the first day of the second attempt at Spring Training only it happens during the Summer so it’s not exactly Spring Training anymore, is it.
I’m wearing a Red Sox t-shirt to celebrate.
I think it’s probably a safe bet that 2-3 weeks from now the whole righteous endeavor will come crashing to a halt as about 70% of the players on every team are out sick with COVID-19. I applaud baseball for making something happen and taking their shot, but let’s be real. Once the players start dropping like flies this is all going to come to an inglorious, yet fitting end.
I hope you prove me wrong, MLB, but I don’t think you will.
Fred Lynn just liked one of my tweets. Eight year old me just pissed his pants with glee.
Lynn posted a picture of himself along with Jim Rice and Dwight Evans back in their Red Sox days. The caption was something about them being one of the greatest outfields in baseball history.
My reply was something along the lines of, had Rice and Evans stayed in the clubhouse it still would have been the best outfield ever. Mr Fred Lynn threw me a like for that. Color me honored.
To this day, Fred Lynn is the best centerfielder I have ever had the pleasure of watching. Jackie Bradley is close defensively, but Lynn also hit a ton. Bradley can’t match him at the plate. Lynn was the best. He still is.
I’ll give you Ken Griffey, JR. I’ll take Fred Lynn.
Given that last season the Boston Red Sox were a painful disappointment, and that this past off season has seen them lose their President, their manager (in one of the biggest cheating scandals in league history) and their best player (to the friggin’ Dodgers in what is effectively an embarrassingly awful preemptive salary dump), you can probably forgive me for not being fully up to date on the day to day goings on in Red Sox Nation.
It turns out that today is the day that pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training, with the first practice scheduled for tomorrow. We don’t have a manager, and we don’t have a Mookie, but it’s still nice to know that the official kick off to the 2020 season is here.
As I was reading a headline that mentioned the big news (as opposed to yesterday’s big news about the finalizing of the trade with the friggin’ Dodgers) I was struck by a revelation. Light dawned on Marblehead, as the saying goes…..
I am going to be in Florida during Spring Training.
Oh. My. God. After 40+ years of die hard Red Sox fandom, I will, for the first time ever, be in Florida during Spring Training. Now we’re staying at a Disney resort so we won’t be renting a car, but maybe it’s worth researching a way to see if we could day trip down to Jet Blue park and catch a game.
Then reality set in. I live in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is a little tiny state. You can pretty much drive from one end to the other in a couple of hours or so. Florida isn’t a huge state, but it’s bigger than MA. How much bigger though? I went to Google Maps and looked up driving directions from Disney World to Jet Blue Park. It’s about three hours. It’s almost, but not quite, the same distance as driving from Fenway Park to Yankees Stadium.
The dream died then and there, but not before a question drifted through my tiny brain:
How much would an Uber from Orlando to Fort Meyers cost me?
Nope. Nope. Nope. Spring Training Baseball Dreams Shattered. I’ll just have to settle for hanging out with The Mouse.
This week has seen the end of American democracy, and now tonight we’re learning that the Red Sox have agreed to trade Mookie Betts to the Dodgers.
Well isn’t that special? Maybe the universe can just come over here and kick me in the balls while it’s at it?
I turned on the Red Sox game and the Sox were leading the Orioles 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Chris Sale had pitched four innings retiring 12 of 12 Oriole hitters, striking out eight.
Now that I was watching though… in the top of the fifth he walked a batter, gave up a hit, and gave up a run. Why? Because I am a jinx, plain and simple.
Sorry about that, Chris Sale. Next time you’re half way through a perfect game I’ll put on the radio instead.
I’m sitting at my desk at work, eating lunch. Patiently I wait for 2:05 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time for that is the scheduled start time of the Boston Red Sox 2017 season opener.
My bologna sandwich is good, but the first win on the road to another world series championship for the Sox would be better.
We start the season at home this year which, given the fact we had a nor’easter two days ago, seems risky. It’s supposed to be a nice day though so we have that going for us. The reining Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello is our opening day starting pitcher. Last year I jokingly referred to him as Cy Young Porcello when he won his first game. Much to my surprise he just kept winning which kinda made me feel like I called it… even though I was trying to make fun of him after his crappy 2015 season. Sorry about that, Rick.
Opening day is an interleague game. I find that a little annoying. I never liked interleague play. It was a gimmick before and now it’s making me feel like a grumpy old man. Hey Pittsburgh Pirates! Get off my Fenway lawn! I’m hoping that the work stars will align to let me listen to the game on the radio. I don’t know. It’s been busy today. Lunch time has been a lull. That sometimes means that everyone is saving up the hurt for just after lunch. Does that happen at other companies too? Probably.
Anyway, good luck to my home town team, the Boston Red Sox. They surprised us all last season by winning their division and making it to the playoffs. Here’s hoping they can top that this year.
Go Red Sox!
This post will cross post onto twitter and my step son is now following me on twitter… so I need to cut down on the swearing. I need to try to stop saying shit, you know? Oh…. whoops.
So twice in less than a week we have been given the wintry gift* of a snow fall that piled up over a foot deep. I shoveled the first storm on Thursday night in about an hour. It was deep but very light. It was also super cold and superer windy.
Tonight, after work, I went outside to shovel storm #2 which finished early this morning. The second time… well, there was more of it… it is significantly heavier… it’s not as cold, but it’s almost as windy and the wind chill is downright oppressive.
I had to stop part way through to give my back a rest. I just took 1231246 extra strength Tylenols** so hopefully I will have some degree of movement when I go back out in a couple of minutes.
I think I read today that it’s 48 days until Major League Baseball’s opening day. It can’t get here fast enough.
*When I say “gift” what I really mean is “kick in the balls”.
**When I say 1231246 I really mean three. I’m 6’5″ tall and way (REDACTED) pounds. I once had a doctor tell me that it was safe for me to go a tad above the average over the counter medication’s recommended dose. I usually don’t, but when my back hurts like this I will hold that doctor’s statement in front of me like a shield, and I will also wield it like a sword.
I was 1–1 in the wild card round.
I was 2–2 in the division round.
I was 1–1 in the league championship round.
Do you all know that I once played in a band called Break Even? Fitting, huh?
Whether or not I finish the post season with a winning prediction record all came down to the World Series. I really wanted Cleveland to win, but I didn’t really think they would. So I picked Chicago to win, using my head instead of my heart. I was right. I’m happy that I picked the winner, but I’m sad that I picked the winner.
I think there might be a screw loose in this brain of mine.
So I finish with a win-loss record of 5–4, for a 55.6 percentage. I usually do much better than that with my post season predictions, but the Red Sox got swept in the division round, so who really gives a rats ass?
Now we’re all in wait-till-next year mode while the damn Cubs drink themselves into a months long stupor to celebrate their ending of their futility streak.
I have some bad news for Cubs fans, from the perspective of a Red Sox fan.
The Red Sox won the World Series in 1918, beating the Cubs in fact. They went down the tubes in the years that followed before getting back in 1946. They lost in seven games. Again, they went down the tubes for a while before returning in 1967 where they lost in seven games again. They were competitive more often than not after that, but they lost in seven games again in 1975 and 1986. There were also crushing non-World Series defeats in 1978 and 2003, as well as a bunch of post season appearances where they were good but not really good enough.
So many times they were so close. We called ourselves the Fellowship of the Miserable. Some frizzy haired sports columnist said we were cursed and the whole rest of the country jumped on that stupid wagon. We were always good but never good enough. It defined us. Pain and suffering bonded us together as a community of loser fans. It was awful, but it was our thing.
Then in 2004 the Red Sox finally broke through and won the World Series. It was magical. It was so exciting. I had about 300 heart attacks that October but it was worth every second. Our team won it all, after 86 years they had finally won it all. It was the greatest feeling ever. And then…
We all went to work the next day and it was business as usual. Wait a tick, that’s not how it was supposed to be. The world was supposed to change, wasn’t it? We were supposed to be able to bathe in the glory of victory. There was supposed to be a fundamental difference to who we were as a community.
But there wasn’t. Until a few months later when there was.
The celebration carried through the Winter, all the way to the next Spring. At the home opener we raised the banner and got to feel all the feels again. It was wonderful and then it was over.
Our baseball team’s futility was what held us together as a people. It was the glue that bonded our little loser community together. Once they were no longer losers, then we no longer had a community. The bond went away and it has never come back. There are still people who live and die with the Red Sox like there were before, but the massively overwhelming number of die hard fans has morphed into a new community of casual fans who follow the team but really don’t care one way or the other. The Red Sox are no longer THE thing in Boston, they are just A thing. The Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics have all won championships recently too and similar, though smaller scale, changes have happened to their die hards too.
So what I want you to know, Cubs fans, is that this is going to happen to you too. It won’t be the same, but it will be similar. I don’t think the Cubs fanatics were ever as bad as Red Sox fanatics like me. The Cubs stretch of futility was longer than ours, but the sources of pain and suffering — the snatching defeat from the jaws of victory — weren’t really there the way they were for Boston fans so maybe there isn’t as strong a community to break up, but what you have is going to be marginalized.
Enjoy your parade, Cubs fans. You’re the champs and you deserve to celebrate. Go out there and party like it’s 1999. Next April, raise that banner and celebrate all over again. Then be ready. Losing made our teams special in a weird, ridiculous way. Now you, like us before you, are no longer special. It’s awesome… but it also kinda sucks.