May 22, 2015
Here’s Fred Lynn, in a uniform a lot of people don’t remember him wearing.
At this very moment, I’m not watching baseball. The Red Sox are hosting the Angels at Fenway Park and apparently Mike Napoli has already hit a home run, but I don’t think watching a game is in the cards for tonight.
Instead, I’m sitting here, reading about other experiences loosely tied to the game and listening to Elvis in my newly rearranged living room, realizing that I’m not quite writing about the game, or anything else, with the kind of frequency I’d like. I still write enough, in whatever that sense may be, and I’m still following along, watching as Hanley Ramirez tries to hit through a bad shoulder and the Sox continue to let great performances by a suddenly rejuvenated starting rotation fall by the wayside. They’re struggling. It’s reality and it’s not ideal but I’m comfortable with that.
But it’s in this moment that I wanted to write about baseball, even if the urge to watch a game they may or may not be winning is, at the moment, nonexistent. Just something to reflect on this thing that’s here for half of the year, just about always when it’s needed, always present regardless of whether or not I’m paying attention. (more…)
April 28, 2015
Josh Hamilton will try again back in Texas.
I’m sure a team has handled something worse than the Angels have handled Josh Hamilton’s relapse, but it’s not coming to mind at the moment.
Hamilton, a recovering drug addict with the unusual skill of being able to hit a baseball into the middle of the Pacific Ocean, has been traded from the Angels back to the Texas Rangers for basically nothing. The Angels will pay for the honor of not having to deal with him, in the apparent hope that he completely falls apart as a human being and becomes a destructive force on his new team.
If that seems a little cold, it should. Like most sports teams, the Angels talk a big game about how their organization is a family, but like few teams, they turned their back on an adopted family member quickly and brutally.
April 13, 2015
Mookie Betts certainly knows how to make an entrance.
In the second inning of Fenway Park’s Opening Day, Mookie Betts came to bat with Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon on base and sent a pitch that ricocheted off the third row of seats above the Green Monster. It was 4-0 so quickly that it felt like Pedro Martinez’s ceremonial first pitch was the one Betts rejected over the wall.
It’s served as a microcosm of his ascent from promising minor league infielder to starting center fielder for the Boston Red Sox in just one calendar year. He’s shot past so many other highly rated prospects to force his way onto the roster in the middle of a lost season last year, and today, he kept adding to his myth. It feels like he’s a character out of every sappy baseball script. He’s feeding every trope and cliche, smiling and hitting and leaving everyone wondering if this is history unfolding. (more…)
March 30, 2015
Posted by Nick Tavares under Boston Red Sox
| Tags: David Ortiz
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David Ortiz, the constant through all the upheaval.
I called in sick to work for the first time in months on Friday. I’d been fighting some seasonal nonsense all week, and finally, I just needed a day to stay in, keeping my path no more ambitious than the bed to the couch and back.
In the middle of the day, there was a Red Sox Spring Training game on TV. I watched a couple of innings before losing interest. I was so out of it and so far from having baseball on the brain that I couldn’t focus on who was playing and why.
Thanks to a historic and depressing winter, this has been a month where all my old baseball rituals have flown out the door.
March has been thrown all out of whack in the Boston area thanks to freezing temperatures threatening to creep into April and the slogging weather exhaustion that affects everything. My girlfriend and I haven’t gone out to eat as much, or even on walks around the city, as much as would be typical for now. It has snowed every weekend for the past 10 weeks, a stretch that dates back to the first January blizzard. It’s always cold here, of course, but this has long gone past absurdity, and among the casualties has been any kind of usual baseball excitement.
The most basic of exercises would simply be watching Spring Training games on TV. Rather than serving as some kind of escape, it’s just a drag, with no enthusiasm coming in to the experience. Despite the calendar, it’s still winter, we still have plastic up on the windows and I don’t feel like watching sun-baked fans under palm trees casually enjoy Clay Buchholz going through his reps. I haven’t spent any kind of time scribbling out possible 25-man rosters in notebooks. I haven’t even watched Bull Durham yet.
So, what’s there to pull me back into baseball mode? If nothing else, there’s David Ortiz. (more…)
February 15, 2015
Driving home around 4 p.m. yesterday up the Southeast Expressway, I realized I needed to buy new windshield wipers. The levels of snow and salt and frozen rain and more snow have taken their toll, leaving giant streaks that immediately smudged and fogged up and took the already limited visibility of the early stage of what is now our fourth major snow storm in the past three weeks (plus all those little 3-5 inch jobs in between) down to almost nothing. I have to think I used most of my windshield wiper fluid cleaning up as I drove the final 10 miles home.
So, windshield wipers are on my shopping list now. I’ve already bought four new tires, road salt and extra long johns to wear underneath all the other layers that have been somehow even more necessary that usual. After I got home, the latest blizzard really got to work, and I woke up this morning to the most snow I’ve ever seen. Seven feet of snow have fallen in Boston and practically none of it has melted. February in New England is never a picnic, but this is insanity.
And so begins the search for little victories in this never-ending blizzard. There are a lot of movies to catch up on. We try to get out for a drink every couple of nights just to get out of the apartment. We caught a Celtics game a week ago, which was a blast and a nice taste of normalcy in this psychological experiment disguised as winter. (more…)