I don’t expect a consecutive World Series win. I know baseball can be unpredictable. I don’t expect the best-of-the-best performance.
But I do expect good performance. Especially when the reigning WS team has maintained a significant portion of their core team the year. Is that too much to ask?
Instead, I get headlines on a single day like this:
– Sox demote Buchholz
– Francona optimistic about Beckett
– Lugo suffers setback
– Beckett has start delayed
– Battered Beckett accepts all the blame
– A defensive reaction from first baseman
– ‘Dog Days’ can separate contenders
We can all speculate our theories from what the team lost or didn’t do.
Mine is complacency. They did fantastic last year.. and assume they had enough to carry over.
It reminds me of an exchange I had with another rower a couple years ago. We met for dinner and I asked how she was holding up with her off-season training regime. She confessed “I’m not following it religiously. I’m young enough that I can get away with it.” Since she wasn’t on my crew, I didn’t comment. But if she had paid attention, she would have realised the pursed lips were some sort of facial exercise.
Well, sorta. This time difference is not conducive to following baseball. But, ironically, we get more baseball coverage than Olympic games coverage. Ironic but irritating. As an athlete and as a coach, I care about the Games. I understand the issue of broadcast rights, but if the designated station isn’t going to cover all, it should turn over the rest of the coverage to a cooperative and not-immediate-competition station, like ESPN or BBC Sports. ARGH.
We haven’t yet gotten SlingBox set up. Which adds to my frustration further. Especially since the only technically inclined person in the family…. is me. And I’m halfway across the globe from where the SlingBox is sitting right. now.
Anyway, when I found myself glancing up at a game recap on ESPN above the treadmill to catch a 10-12 score then after a few huffs and puffs, look up to see 16-16, I knew it was time to set up my baseball routine.
When I realised I didn’t even recognise the pitcher’s name, I knew I lost my touch.
When I realised I had a colleague whose 11 year old son loves the Red Sox even though neither parent is baseball-inclined, I knew I suddenly had a responsibility to not only impress but also educate the kid.
So, I’m back. Will be blogging within a few days once I read up and catch up on the Red Sox changes from the past two months. Yes, I know Manny is gone. Yes, I know who Bay is. I’m not that out of touch.
Youkilis ends his errorless run as a first baseman today, setting the big league record at 238 games. The record is now a fixed number, not one that goes up on each passing game. It will take him over another year to be able to challenge his own record.
LESTER THROWS NO-HITTER AT FENWAY
There was never a question about Jon Lester’s poise or his promising arsenal of pitches. It’s just that he never put it all together quite like Monday night, when he thrilled the Fenway Park faithful — not to mention his teammates — by throwing a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals.
The Boston lefty was magnificent, walking just two batters while leading the Red Sox to a 7-0 victory over the Royals.
Instead of tiring, Lester only got stronger as the night wore on. Over the final five innings, it seemed the Royals were struggling just to make solid contact.
Not only was this Lester’s first no-hitter, but it was also his first complete game.
And it was the second no-hitter in as many seasons for the Sox. Clay Buchholz, a product of the Red Sox’s farm system just like Lester, did the honors last Sept. 1 against the Orioles.
The Red Sox have had four no-hitters in the 21st century. Hideo Nomo threw one at Baltimore in 2001 and Derek Lowe no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays in ’02. Of those four no-hitters, only Nomo’s took place away from Fenway Park.
Also, been selling my furniture off craigslist and got a buyer tonight. He saw my Red Sox hat thrown aside on a chair and inquired about the game. I responded with a casual “yes, we won, 7-0” then realised he still held his head in a slant as if waiting for more. I added “and it was a no-hitter” and was rewarded a nod and my $30 for the purchase.
Time for RedSox.com and Boston.com to update their sites from those features of the Sept 1 no-hitter to include today’s amazing feat. Lester. What a kid.
May 19, 2008. Another date to remember.
After last year’s game, Buchholz turned into Red Sox Nation’s sweetheart, having many fans root hard for his being brought onto the starting line-up.
But, Lester had always held a soft spot in my heart. As a cancer survivor, he demonstrated poise, perseverence, and amazing strength to defeat the disease and come back to professional baseball. His clinching the final World Series game last year was so fitting. What is so goose-bump inducing is that he will only continue maturing and getting better.
The front office is definitely seeing payoff in their investments in the younger players.
Probably the biggest star by the long run would be Varitek. The team owes him much for leading two young pitchers into exciting milestones. This brings his record of caught no-nos to an impressive 4.
What amused me is the rather neutral and bland post-game email Red Sox sent out:
For those of you who missed it, CBS 60 Minutes tonight featured a segment on Bill James.
A bit amateurish, but it did bring out a chuckle from me.