Tagged: Red Sox fans

The Meter Tells the Tale

parking meter.jpgSometimes when I’m walking by parking meters in the city, I like to look at the time remaining and wonder about the people parked there. What are they doing as the time ticks away, what kind of people are they?

I think that a parking meter ticking away can sometimes be a good metaphor for a baseball team struggling to stay in the race in late summer. Every opportunity a team gets, they must take, whether it is the chance to to move a 1/2 game up the standings or to sign a veteran that just might have that one little skill a team needs to keep the push going. As the time ticks away on the season, fewer and fewer opportunities like these will arise, and it will become more and more important for a team to capitalize on them.

Today, I believe, the Red Sox had an opportunity. We were one game from sweeping the Tigers, which would have been huge heading into a must-win series against our current wild card rivals, the Rangers. There was also, of course an opportunity involving our own division. The Yankees, with baseball’s best record and going strong, are beginning a road series against the Mariners today.

The Yankees, like most teams (including the Red Sox), are stronger at home than away, probably even enforced by how hitter-friendly the new Yankee Stadium is. This is one of the only two series between our next meeting with the Yankees at Fenway, and it is important for us to gain ground on them before we face them. If the Yankees win today, we are back to where we started after their sweep of us, and we have missed out on what could prove to be an important opportunity. If they lose, we are fortunate and things remain the same as they were this morning.

It is a missed opportunity because of the grim afternoon game we suffered through today. Hope was abuzz in the air before the game, the prospects of a sweep alive in many of our players’ faces. Dustin Pedroia looked happy to be enjoying a day off, and he too seemed excited for the possibilities of this game.

Dustin Pedroia enjoyed a rare day off in the dugout.

The Tigers went up 1-0 fairly early on an infield single. They scored once more on a Ryan Raburn homer in the 7th. Clay Buchholz, our starter, pitched a decent game, going 7 innings and allowing 2 runs, only 1 earned. He has definitely showed talent this year, and has definitely been unlucky enough to be given some unfavorable matchups, as well as a fair share of close game losses. His 1-3 record doesn’t really tell the whole story, in my opinion.

Tonight there is reason for excitement for Red Sox fans, as well as baseball fans. I am sure many people in Boston will be tuning in to the Yankees-Mariners game to see how it’s going for us. I am not always one to wish a loss upon another team, but tonight would be the night to do so. Sorry, Jane and others!

There is also excitement in Houston tonight, as Kazuo Matsui needs just one hit to get his 2,000th pro hit. Only 566 have come in the MLB (the others in Japanese pro baseball), but it is a monumental achievement nonetheless. Good luck to him in reaching this goal!

I hope that the missed opportunity for the Red Sox today will turn into a lesson for the team in the future, so that we can turn any upcoming opportunities like it into sucess!

Thanks for reading. 




A Helping Hand from Pujols

After arriving home from camp and settling in, I got on the computer to see what I had missed, and yes, I’ve missed a lot. All this confusion and crazy news rushing over me and into my jumbled head which just hours ago was worrying about saying goodbye to all of my friends at camp was a little much for me at first. Now that I have adjusted a little more I can sit down and write on my blog. I must say, it feels pretty good.

While I was away at camp I thought of a lot of cool things to write about when I got back, but now I find it kind of hard to begin. I think I should write sort of a coming back entry that gets me back in the flow of things on the MLBlogosphere. So here goes…

From the day I left camp I had an idea related to my blog that stayed with me the entire time. Now I can carry it out. I thought some people might be interested in camp and how it was. Writing about stuff sometimes does help my summarize them in my mind and make them a little less confusing as well, so my hope was that I could make this entry informative for anyone who is curious about the latest month in my life, as well as therapeutic for me. As I said before, my mind is full to the top of stuff right now, so this should help.

The idea I had was to think about away to connect my experience at camp to baseball. I kind of got this idea from Matt Peaslee in his blog, The Pittsburgh Peas. One of the last blog entries I read was his entry about his trip to the amusement park Kennywood. He connected this relatively unrelated day to baseball and sports in a pretty cool way (check it out to find out how).

So I racked my memory of the last month for anything I could connect to baseball and I found a nice baseball story of my own I thought connected pretty well. While at camp baseball news is pretty distorted (as I said). I missed a good deal of trades, huge moments, up and down movement in the standings, etc. Often I found out about these things in strange and abnormal ways. For example, I first found out about Mark Buehrle’s perfect game around 4 or 5 days ago (almost 2 weeks after he threw it) and only then did I find out about it from a friend’s Sports Illustrated he had just received in the mail.

Mark Buehrle Cover - Sports Illustrated August 03, 2009
This is mostly due to the lack of internet for campers (even staff only go on a few times per week) and the scarce-ness of radios to listen to games or even time to listen to them. From the minute I arrived I was busy all day everyday, and I barely had time to worry about baseball. Yeah, it’s maybe the one thing I follow the most in daily life, but yet I survived free of it for a month with literally no trouble at all.
I didn’t even miss it too much until I heard the shattering news about David Ortiz becoming the latest on the list of convicted juicers. It was one of the only times at camp I truly wanted to be at home. I needed Red Sox Nation to comfort me as I knew they were to eachother at home. I needed the support on MLBlogs to help me keep my head up. I was at camp, where, even in Vermont, the number of serious Yankee fans outnumbers that of Red Sox fans. And even though I’ll call them serious for sake of explaining my dilemma, I do think that many of them were sort of boneheads when the Ortiz news came to us. They gave us few Sox fans hell for a few days, popping up all over the place and insulting Ortiz, laughing at us in what I thought was only relief over the fact that: “Haha, now the Red Sox have a juicer too, they can’t make fun of us anymore!”) Okay, this might be true, but let’s be honest, a lot of you Yankee fans didn’t like A-Rod that much anyway.
The Ortiz news was extremely devastating to me. I sat at dinner for 10 minutes without saying a word. Even the one guy that we kept denying could have ever taken steroids had been on them. It was the final blow for me. I now fully understood that no fan could be safe from the crushing facts that any player these days could be on steroids. Sure, Big Papi went from no one to the best clutch player in Sox history in ’04, kept playing better than ever. And then this season there was the huge slump, and words of steroids once again rose to the surface of the baseball world. Papi must have suddenly gone off the juice and that was why he was struggling so much this season. But no, we said, many of us still had faith even when that doubt was still in the back of our minds. We believed that the loveable face of our team wasn’t in the same class as big league jerks like A-Rod, Bonds, etc. He was better than that. But in the end, was he really?
I was having trouble figuring that out while at camp. I needed to find solace somewhere to clear my mind while I wondered if I could even respect one of my favorite players anymore, if I could call my power hitter best friend Big Papi whenever he batted for our Little League team anymore. 
As I was flipping through a Sports Illustrated that I had brought to camp, I found an article on Albert Pujols. Earlier this year he had been featured on the cover of SI in an article about how he assures you he isn’t on any PEDs and that touted him as one of the few clean superstars left. I suddenly realized that I had an idol to turn to, someone that could even rid me of a little bit of the troubling news about David Ortiz. Pujols was my man. That day I put up a page from that magazine on the wall above my bed. I didn’t look at it all that much, but in some little way, it helped me get over the Ortiz news and realize that there are some good guys still out there. I don’t think Pujols will ever replace Ortiz in my mind in the way Papi did and I hope still can in the future, but for the time being, rooting for him is helping.
I only wish I could have heard the news in the comfort of my home with friends to help me through some news that really saddened me. 
I don’t have much more to say on the story, but I hope you can take something away from my heartwarming little story from camp. I hope I did an OK job connecting baseball to camp so that you could learn a little about my experiences there. It was a great time, but I’m glad to be back.
Thanks as usual for reading.