Monday, April 02, 2007

Hope Springs... Uh... Well...

It’s 41 degrees and raining in Boston. Know what that means, don’t you?

Baseball season is upon us!!!!!! Baseball (That's béisbol for all you Spanish speakers!!!!!!) Ring the bells and sound the alarms, my beloved Boston Red Sox (that's Calcetines Rojos for all you Spanish speakers) have returned from their thrilling third place finish in the A.L. East last year to try and reclaim their th… er… surpass last years mark.

They're off to a very poor start, are my Boston Nine, having lost the opener today to the lowly Royals of Kansas City (in Kansas City - oh, and that's Los Reales de Kansas City for all you Spanish speakers) and their brand new ace... Gil Meche? Yes, Gil Meche, he of the woefully undeserved $55 million dollar contract. Although, after today's performance perhaps it was money well spent. The Red Sox only managed one run, while their ace, Curt Schilling, gave up five of them - in what I can only hope was an off game.

Still - it's early, and I have every reason to be hopeful. The boys look mighty good this year with a revamped squad featuring some outstanding pitching (Konichiwa Matsuzaka-san!!!!) and decent bats. Most pundits and educated fans think they'll be right up there with their truly loathsome rivals, the New York Yankees (that's Arrogant Assholes for all you Spanish speakers) for top spot in the A.L. East, if they don't win the division outright (although I won't get my hopes up there - the Spankees have taken the division every year since '95, including 2004 when the Red Sox won the World Series. By the way, the Red Sox lost their opener that year too.)

But, putting aside my ridiculous biases for a second... fewer things are more enjoyable than baseball in summer - regardless of team. Lounging around at dusk on a lazy summer night with a cold beverage, the windows open, the sounds of the city in the background, and a baseball game on the TV - or, even better, the radio... *shiver* I'm giddy just thinking about it.

I'll be attending at least one game this year too. For Christmas, the Goof Monster got me what can only be described as an incredibly thoughtful, generous, and kick-ass Christmas gift - namely a ticket for a game against the Oakland A's in the pavilion boxes. Just tremendous. She's even getting caught up in it all herself, having recently watched "Still, We Believe" - the Red Sox movie released after the absolutely heartbreaking 2003 season, and which had no business being released (I'm afraid to watch it. That night in October '03 was just too painful, and I don't really want to relive it.) Although, I have a sneaking suspicion her interest in baseball is more to try and understand why I'm such an emotional train wreck during the season, as opposed to any real interest in the game - a suspicion that was even further reinforced this week. When I told her the Red Sox opened the season today she said, "Go Nomar!!!!!" When I then told her that he hasn't played for the Red Sox in two and half years she replied, "Forget you, Nomar!!!! Nobody wanted you anyway! Ooh, but I just found out that he's married to Mia Hamm!!!" Can't fault her for her passion.

Oh, and lest I forget (and since we're on the subject of movies), allow me to put a rather large plug in for Ken Burns' Baseball documentary. Originally aired on PBS in the early 90's (I think), it still holds up incredibly well. I can't stress enough how good a documentary series this is - even for those who aren't really fans of the game. It follows the sport from its inception in the 1800's until the 1990's and features some amazing footage and interviews with all sorts of characters. For God's sake, they even manage to include Walt Whitman & Garrison Keillor. You can't go wrong. It's expensive to buy, but from what I've seen lots of video stores have it, as do a good deal of libraries. Well worth the viewing.

*contended sigh*

Alright, I've said enough. Time to let the games do the talking, I suppose. I'm just (as if you couldn't tell) happy it's baseball season again. True, every year seems to start earlier than the previous, and it might as well still be winter in Boston (yeah, I know March 21st marked the beginning of spring... whatever - tell that to Mr. Snowmiser), but like so many other things it's a sign of warmer weather and pleasant days ahead. Here's to your and your favorite team (unless, of course, it's the Yankees.)

I'll leave you with this... Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS - Red Sox & Yankees. The Red Sox
are down 3 games to 1 in a best of 7 series (they were down 3 games to none the night before, and barely won that game in extra innings - starting the greatest comeback in the history of sports.) David Ortiz is batting in the bottom of the 14th. Some brilliant son of a bitch had the good sense to film it with his cell phone.

This still brings a tear to my eye, and this is why I love baseball. Every fan should be able to go through this at least once.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be right there with you this season, Eric. Not typically a baseball fan (as you know), but I just bought a great sofa at Jordan's Furniture that I would love to get it for free!

12:01 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Eleanor is referring to a promotion that Jordans Furniture - a local chain (and a damned good one, I might add) is having in which you buy a mattress, dining table, sofa or bed at one of their stores before the middle of April, and if the Red Sox win the World Series, you get it for free.

Apparently, they're able to get away with this by being very well insured, which is good, because they're going to have to issue lots of rebate checks!!!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I can understand Eleanor's excitement but Eric I'm a little worried about your red sox obsession and that video just scared me.
Oh lest i forget
"Go Red Sox"

7:59 PM  

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