There are those who pointed to David Wells’ refusal to run the “line o’ high fives” with his teammates during Tuesday’s introduction ceremonies as a brazen display of his contempt for this team and his desire to go play somewhere else. I had a different theory. See, with his start against them a mere 24 hours away, I figgered Wells didn’t want to give the Toronto hitters any insight as to just how healthy and nimble he was following his off-season surgery. Seriously, I chalked it up as part of the Boomer Strategy.
After last night’s besting at the hands of the Jays, I now realize it mighta just been that the guy was really tired. Or silently protesting our government’s Rwanda policy. Or preoccupied with Subway’s new line of staggeringly pretty meat sandwiches.
Whatever the case, it was just an ugly display from start to finish. And while I sat there and watched it unfold, a part of me thought, “Well, seven runs is steep… but we can pull it out.” Then I realized that we’ve got a different set of sticks up there on offense. Over the past few years it seemed that no game was ever truly out of sight. A 7-4 deficit in the seventh inning? Feh. A pittance, I would say. But this year? I’ll admit; I was worried.
And, in the end, the fears were somewhat justified. We plated nothing through the last three innings, and an awful lot of folks were left swatting at air. At the top of the order, Youk and Loretta went 0-for-10. Tek and Manny went 0-for-7. A-Gon continues to shine defensively while checking in at .148.
But so early in, we embrace the positive. Nobody got shot. Also, Pena, apparently tired with knocking balls out of the park with his glove, delivered his first Red Sox home run. Papi and Mohr went yard as well. And Mike “I hit doubles like you mortals can only dream about” Lowell collected another two-bagger.
Eh, what can you do but move on. And so we do. See you tonight for Lilly vs. The Emancipator.
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Bonus Batter: Some worthless observations and opinions after watching Tuesday’s home opener.
— Understand: I ::heart:: tradition. And the Boston Red Sox are a team steeped in tradition. So tradition is and always will be part of the opening day ceremonies. But, that said, how many times are we going to cart out the likes of Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky and Yaz and Slim Jim Phantom and Wally “Billy” Yates? Listen: All you need to get everyone in a silly-ass mood is cue up the last fifteen minutes of Faith Rewarded. Play that on yer jumbotron and the good times will most definitely roll. That’s all the ceremony I need. And if you feel the need to bring in some personalities, just have Dave Roberts come out to the mound, wave, then head back inside. Instant five minute ovation. Then play ball.
— That knocked-down-by-Loretta, picked-up-by-A-Gon, thrown-to-Youk double play was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen that didn’t involve Jessica Alba.
— Speaking of Youk, I have to give the guy the love for his opening day performance. Not only two hits, but that fine over-the-shoulders catch.
— Two appearances in and I’m ready to enlist as Presdient of the Josh Beckett Appreciation Society. But the guy who’s got me totally revved for the 2006 season is Schilling. I mean, we expected Beckett to be nails; Schill was more of a question mark. It’s only been a week, but the fact that these two guys are a combined 4-0 with a 1.61 ERA is bloody magical.
— Congrats to my Uncle Mario who wins the annual family “when’s Trot goin’ down?” sweepstakes. For the record, I had next Tuesday.
— Adam Stern still looks to me like he should be a character in a John Hughes film. Not a main character, mind you, but perhaps the main character’s best bud who’s prone to mischief and once got a smoothie from a nun.
— Lowell’s 4-for-4 showing helped ease a lot of my concerns, but it also conjures memories of Tony Clark’s home run during Fenway Opening Day 2002. Dude went on to hit 2 more over the course of the season.
— Ortiz got the loudest applause during the introductions, but unless my ears decieve me, Kapler seemed to get the second loudest. And I’m fine with that.
— I’d like to be the 3,482nd person to officially point out that more than a week into the season, Bronson Arroyo has two more home runs than Manny Ramirez. Sorry, I just think that’s the friggin’ funniest thing ever.