The Red Sox are winning. The Red Sox are hugging.
I mean, I can’t recall a Red Sox team that hugged as much as these guys.
After every home run or stellar play, and there’ve been a lot lately, the NESN cameras instantly zoom to the Sox dugout, where we observe a smorgasbord of bizarre celebratory dance moves (which, upon further study, seem to have numerous variations depending on the participants) and huggy-hug.
As no less than the great Tim McCarver, an insightful baseball mind if ever one existed, commented during last Saturday’s nationally-televised game, “These guys do a lot of ‘man-hugging’.”
My opinion is, so long as they keep winning games, they can do whatever the hell they want — dress up as the Legion of Super-Heroes, re-enact MacBeth with marionettes, or open up a muffin shoppe in the bullpen. But it is refreshing to see a team that gets along as well as this one. In the past, such joie de vivre never woulda happened. And, imagining some potential dance partners, I’m almost glad it didn’t. Can you picture Jose Offerman hugging Damon Buford? A kickline of Terry Shumpert, Jose Canseco and Luis Alicea? Dave Stapleton gettin’ jiggy with Rich Gedman?
My research indicates that the tide turned when Carlos Baerga arrived. Picked up as a utility guy but mainly to serve as Manny’s designated buddy, Baerga was a big hugger. And, for his short tenure in Boston, it seemed to catch on. But nothing like we’ve got today.
These guys are loose. These guys have fun. These guys hug. A lot.
And if it helps us win the World Series, there’ll be 35,000 plus fans storming the field to join ‘em.