It’s tough to accurately assess a baseball team after the first month of the regular season let alone one measly spring training game. I think I actually called Brad Penny a legit Cy Young contender after a decent grapefruit start back in 2009. Now I’m older and somewhat wiser, so rather than focus on an absolutely meaningless loss, I’ll celebrate the good things we saw.
1. Pedroia seems like a man possessed. He’s always been quick with a one-liner, but when he starts to back his words up with action, watch the fuck out. Last night The Elf had three hits, including a grand slam, and accounted for fifty-percent of the team’s run production. Science has proven that when Pedroia does good, the whole team does good. At least I think that science proved that, I’m not sure. I’ve been drinking since midnight.
2. Xander went yard. I like Xander Bogaerts and I still believe that he’s heading for big things. Last year, we saw two different Bogies: the guy who scuffled throughout the summer and the guy who came alive like Frampton in September. I’m still not sure who we’ll be getting in 2015, but his two-run blast to straightaway center makes me eager for the regular season to start.
3. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a couple hits. I think some healthy competition is good for professional ballplayers. Despite their million dollar contracts and 18 year old girlfriends, seeing them fight to keep their jobs is one of the few components of their lives that I can actually relate to (except, of course, being envious of Eck’s mustache). I’ve had the pleasure of meeting JBJ a couple times, and he’s a pretty nice guy. The kind of guy you want to root for. If he can complement his exceptional glove work with a hot bat, sign me up.
4. Quintin Berry got a hit. This may be the last time I write this all year. I just wanted to get it out there. Also, welcome back, Quintin.
5. It’s only spring training. Red Sox fans are, by our very nature, prone to over-reaction. Call it passion or alcoholism or the effects of being buried for a solid month under seven feet of snow, but we live and die on everything this team does. Still, it’s important to remember that these games are just a warm-up to what we hope will be a successful season. I just wish I remembered that last night when Kelly gave up his fourth run and I put my balls in the toaster.