"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Opening Day: Redux

(Photo from Boston.com)

That's right, Jason Varitek remains the Captain of my heart. Because on this, Take Two of Opening Day, I arrived home from the gym (where none of the ten TVs were playing the game because I guess business school students think there are other, more important things in this world, which, as you know, is clearly nonsense), flipped on the TV, sat down, and our very own Captain Varitek, sole owner of the Thighs of Freedom, launched one out of the park. Clearly, I can't turn my TV off until October. If he needs me to pay attention to his every movement for the remainder of the season, well, who am I to say no? It's for the team, people.

Personally, I thought this baseball season would never start. A seemingly interminable wait since the Sox were eliminated last year - a wait not helped at all by Tom Brady's absense from our lives all winter - and flipping on the TV today to see real, live "this time it counts!" baseball was certainly a joy to behold. Though it'd been so long that honestly, I won't lie, I came home and did the same thing I've been doing for months now, flipping past channels to find something, anything, when my brain pulled focus and I said out loud (to no one), "Oh yeah, baseball!" Which is when I flipped to NESN. Which is when 'Tek decided to shoot a home run over the right field wall. Which is when life began to make sense again.

Perhaps I'm being hyperbolic as it is, as people have told me, only baseball. But the way I figure it, we've been living in a Beatles song for the past few months and are just now emerging. You know, "it's been a long, cold, lonely winter" and all that? Here comes the sun, indeed.

Of course, this baseball season won't be without it's challenges. 'Tek's power shot today is a nice way to start things off but let's not forget that he has the wee Papelbon to raise and the elder Papelbon to keep away from firearms during game time. And it's really only a matter of time before Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis fully morph into their characters from The Dugout and start messing with Rocco Baldelli for sport to kill time during rain delays. I've begun to think that Youkilis does these insane things to his facial hair solely so lost bets with Pedroia won't make him look more bizarre.

Then there's Ortiz and Lowell, both of whom are looking to return to form. While I've no doubt that Chrissy has an eye out for any hitches in Lowell's swing or minute changes in his demeanor - trust me, she'd know and she'd report them with breathless haste - someone has to keep an eye on Ortiz. I trust you can all handle it?

Plus, there's always the pitching staff, helmed admirably by Senor Fathead today (all right, two hits warrants an actual name, Joshua), but let us not forget that Mr. Walks-The-Ballpark Matsuzaka will still hold court once every five days and we're not yet certain that young Mr. Kottaras has been given the requisite amount of psychological training to handle catching Wakefield. We certainly can't ask Josh Bard for help since he's almost assuredly developed quite the trust issues when it comes to our Red Sox. But if you can find me a team without some pitching questions at the beginning of the season, I'll call you a liar. Hell, even New Yorkers are lining up to chase CC Sabathia with torches and pitchforks after one disastrous start. Ah, overreaction, it is baseball season after all, isn't it?

On a personal level, this season promises to be interesting in a larger sense as I'm now dating a Yankee fan. (I know, I know, you think you know a person). But call it an exercise in bipartisanship and look forward to the he said/she said commentary that's sure to pop up in this space. And no, he's not one of those jumping in the Hudson after yesterday's Sabathia-Boggle. He really seems quite rational, all evidence and logic to the contrary. But go easy on him. Despite his questionable taste in sports teams, he's really quite lovely. And he finds you all delightful.

I do wonder how he'll react to my constant vigilance in re: Jason Varitek's thighs and the power contained therein though?

Whatdaya say, kids? Wanna play another one tomorrow? Oh let's!