Really back… I guess? (5 Red Sox Thoughts)
Hello again, everyone out there in the MLBlogosphere.
I’m guessing that anyone who’s ever read my blog has noticed I tend to go AWOL for long periods of time, and then return with a post from the bottom of my heart about how things have been busy in my life (aren’t they always?), and how I’ll never leave again. Last time I did this, I had something like 2 posts before I was out the door again. I’ve now done this kind of thing two or three times, and now I’m not going to apologize and promise it won’t happen again. We all have busy lives, with tons of things going on, and there’s really no use complaining about them or using them as excuses for laziness. I’ve noticed that the most successful bloggers on MLBlogs are those who update their blogs every few days; those that are consistent. I have been hardly that, and I may continue to be hardly that. I don’t know. But I’m now well into summer break, and I have a good amount of free time, so I know that I will try to blog as frequently and consistently as possible. So I guess I managed to add a promise for blogging faithfulness after all! But enough with the apologies and promises. Fenway Bleacher Creature is officially back in business!
I have missed almost an entire half of the season to write about on MLBlogs, and it would take a very long time to do a complete review post about the Red Sox and baseball this year. It has been a busy and eventful year in the MLB, and nonetheless so for my beloved Boston franchise. As an attempt to review this season (so far) as best I can, I give you my 5 First Half Red Sox thoughts for the 2010 season. I hope you enjoy these, and if you have trouble staying focused on something for a long time (like me), you can just read the bold thoughts rather than my opinions and elaborations on them. Either way, I appreciate it.
#1 – For some reason, the Red Sox are always a bandwagon team.
-When one only likes or agrees with someone/something due to success. Even if said individual liked/agreed with something before they were successful, they “hopped on the bandwagon.”-
Somehow, the Boston Red Sox seem to always be a bandwagon waiting to happen. In ’04 there were “the Idiots,” a time that, while sometimes annoying, was pretty hard to hate most of the time. We struggled in the early summer months, fighting the Yankees for first place in the AL East and struggling past injuries and slumps. When we reached the playoffs we defeated the Angels without much trouble, then rolled into NYC for what promised to be a series for the ages. And, oh what a series it was. But any baseball fan knows the story of that series. I’m not one to gloat or brag, so I won’t dwell on that great victory for Boston and try to get my shots in at the Yanks and their fans. However, our remarkable comeback in that series sparked a Red Sox bandwagon. Friends in California and Florida told me that they were rooting for the Sox against the Cardinals and that a lot of their friends were as well. While this was nothing like those times when the whole nation rallies around a team, but it was the start of my experience with Red Sox bandwagons and bandwagon fans.
Now, in 2010, as the Red Sox, after an absolutely dismal first month or so, have finally climbed back into contention, sitting as of now a game and a half behind New York in the AL East, have turned into a bandwagon as well. Tons of people I know are suddenly claiming that they supported the Sox all along, and that they were there through the worst of it, always knowing that things would get better. I hate to break it to everyone, but… you weren’t. I like to think that I’m a pretty big Sox fan, and there were many times I gave up on my team this year. Everyone gave up on them.
However, now that things are all better in Red Sox Nation, these bandwagon fans are popping up everywhere, each one’s claim of undying Red Sox belief and loyalty more ridiculous than the last. And while I am slightly irritated by the most outrageous bandwagon fans, I guess it’s true that because so many of us Sox fans gave up on our team early this season, we’re all technically bandwagon fans. And I’m not gonna deny that. I also can’t deny that the Sox are somehow a bandwagon team every other year, so that long rant about our struggles and our bandwagon fans is all part of my first Red Sox thought, something that I have always found interesting and one that sums up the biggest struggle of our first half of 2010.
#2 – We know how to get injured like no one else.
I’ll keep this one short and sweet (well, not so sweet). Red Sox players have been dropping like flies, from Varitek all the way to Clay Buccholz, the most recent Sox player to hit the DL. We currently have 4 regular starters injured, as well as a ******** 7 other players on the DL. No other team is even that close to us in terms of injuries. We still can’t compare ourselves to the ’09 Mets, but this is getting pretty bad.
And while this is nothing to be proud of, it actually makes me feel kind of good. See, while most every other team has 3-6 players injured, we have 11 PLAYERS ON THE DL! And yet, we are in a battle for first place in the AL East, lead the AL Wild Card race, and by most people’s standards, are one of the top 5 teams in baseball. Our ability to keep winning despite these misfortunes is admirable and gives me hope as to what we’ll be able to accomplish when healthy. But really, let’s stop getting injured (please)!
#3 – In my opinion, Dustin Pedroia’s “laser show” is the best baseball quote of the year so far.
Unfortunately, he’s currently injured, but this season has just reinforced my love of Dustin Pedroia. He performs in games, entertains off the field, and overall seems like a pretty good guy. This is all why I was so entertained by this quote from him earlier in the season, in response to a question about David Ortiz’s early season struggles.
I gotta say, I freaking love this guy. One of my favorite moments of our year so far for sure, and a fun moment that really shows for me why I love the Red Sox.
“Laser show. Relax.”
(I have to give credit to the website barstoolsports.com for finding this great quote. It’s a pretty funny website most of the time, check it out if you want to, just be prepared for some pretty over the top and controversial material)
#4 – Big Papi has got to be the best 2nd month player in baseball.
In the past few years, David Ortiz has consistently had a lot of trouble in the first month of the season (which the question Pedroia was answering above is based on). However, in the past 2 years especially, he has managed to turn his game around so dramatically in the second month, that it has to get your attention. Now, I’m not a huge stats guy, but I’ve got to put some out here just to show you how crazy a turnaround Papi made this year and last in the second month of the season.
Batting Average- .143
Slugging Pctg.- .286
On-base Pctg.- .238
Batting Average- .363
Slugging Pctg.- .788
On-base Pctg.- .424
That is absolutely ridiculous! However, in June he bounced back to a .238 average and slightly lower stats for those other categories. So, he’s basically a second month superstar, and after that an average ballplayer. And in 2009, the same thing happened towards the end of May and into June. You can check out the stats here if you like.
I can’t really think of anyone else who is that good in May as opposed to April, except for maybe CC Sabathia in past years. If you know of anyone, I’d be interested in seeing who, so post a comment about it. But for now, move aside Mr. October, we’ve got a Mr. May.
#5 – The 6 Red Sox All-Stars are probably my favorite 6 Sox players, and they really deserve this recognition.
I am very happy for Clay Buccholz, Victor Martinez, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Big Papi, and first year Red Sox player Adrian Beltre. These guys are fantastic, as well as Kevin Youkilis, who is on the Final Vote ballot. He also deserves an All-Star spot, and I encourage everyone to vote for him at mlb.com, I know I will.
Tomorrow, I’ll probably write about the All-Star teams, as this is a very popular topic right now. There is both outrage and joy about these teams, so it is a very interesting thing to write about. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow!
Welcome back to the blogosphere! The injury thing is insane this year. Somehow the Sox keep rolling in spite of guys being on the DL. Scary to think how good they’ll be when they’re healthy.
Hey! Welcome back! Been a while. So our teams are locked into a playoff-type of battle this week. Sweet. Tonight’s game was epic–right down to the wire, for sure.
I remember Pedroia’s quote. It was really funny. I’m not his biggest fan, but I loved the guy’s sense of humor that night. Hilarious!
Glad to have you back!
That quote from Pedroia was funny! I had not heard it. Is hard to believe that Choco-Belly (I used to call Beltre that or Belly when he played with the Dodgers) did not go to the All-Star after that breakout year he had with the Dodgers and then he went to the Mariners (broke my heart).
Good luck with the DL. Hopefully the guys come back healthy. Hopefully the Red Sox Mickey will be back in the healthy list.
Jane- Thank you very much! I know, I really hope these guys can get healthy during the All Star break and we can play even better with them all healthy.
Raysfanboy- Thanks man, it sure has been a while. I am really looking forward to how this race ends up, it should be an exciting finish. Pedroia can be a pretty cocky guy and he’s a little annoying sometimes but he is really an entertainer, and he’s having a great season.
Emma- Thanks, I love that quote too. Permission to use the Belly nickname? I love it! lol
Michael- No problem, and I’ll check out your new post soon.
Dear Fenway Bleacher Creature,
Thank you so much for the comments this morning. Means a lot coming from you.You got me just as I putting up another post. I am heading off to work, where I will catch up on you catching up.
Great to see you back! I was wondering where you were 😉
To me, hearing Don Orsillo shout “LASER SHOW!” when Pedroia got that hit a few weeks back was truly priceless. A truly memorable quote 🙂
You really got the first half of the season in the best summary possible. The photo of the young fan is cracking me up, as is Pedroia’s interview. Bravo
Welcome Back, FBC! Thanks for returning back to Da ‘Sphere! We miss ya!
I agree with the first one – that’s a huge pet peeve of mine! That cap has become as big a fashion statement as a Yankees cap worldwide. It shows some dude that he’s cooler than Santa Claus (for lack of a better cool factor – then, there’s the women who wear the Sox caps, too!). Ah, but ask them anything about the Sox – *crickets*
Then again, there’s so many Twins’ poseurs around here that a visit to Target Field ranks up there to their first visit to First Avenue or the Xcel Energy Center…
Anyway…welcome back! Keep on giving us the news!
I thought my Yankees had it bad with injuries. But the Red Sox definitely have it worse now. Not to sound sadistic, but I’m somewhat glad Buccholz is hurt, because it let Andy Pettitte have an All-Star Spot!
Nice to have you back to blogging 🙂
Sun-Ui- Yeah, I’m also glad you guys decided to stick around MLBlogs. I remember that, and I loved when ESPN said it during a top 10 plays as well.
Michael- Thank you very much. I thought that picture was pretty funny.
Randy- Thanks for the welcome! Yes, as it is for me, just something in baseball that seems to get on everyone’s nerves. And I know exactly what you’re talking about, the “pink hat” ladies, who become fans at the most convenient times, yet don’t know a single player on the team. I never knew that it was so bad at Target, that’s a shame…
Virginia- Now even Youk has a minor injury (hopefully minor)! When will it end?? Hey, Pettitte is having a great year, he deserves that spot as much as anyone. Thanks!
-Fenway Bleacher Creature