June 2014


Bob Welch won games, and that's as much as I could say for a long time.

Bob Welch won games, and that’s as much as I could say for a long time.

What did I know as a kid? So close to “nothing” that I’m shocked I even made it to middle school.

I knew I wanted people to like me, but understood so little about how other people thought or moved as a group that I could never keep up. Solitude was much easier to handle. I could sit in my room and keep track of the various nonsensical things I liked in my notebooks and watch sports and follow players and try to get an understanding on how the game worked, who was good and who wasn’t.

From this perspective, it was a lot easier to get a grasp on things. I could watch baseball, for example, and understand how it worked, what was supposed to happen and what was not supposed to happen. I knew that in a lineup, the fastest players hit first, the best hitters hit third and the biggest power threats hit fourth. I knew that power pitchers were big, burly guys and that control pitchers were older, a little funnier looking maybe, but could be counted on for seven or eight innings every night. And closers, even within the facial-hair-friendly world of baseball circa 1989-93, all had mustaches. (more…)

Brock Holt is just hitting everything he sees, it seems.

Brock Holt is just hitting everything he sees, it seems.

On April 19, the Boston Red Sox came back in the late innings to top the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. David Ortiz took Bud Norris deep to right field for a fourth-inning home run, and in the bottom of the seventh, Brock Holt, batting ninth and playing third in place of an injured Will Middlebrooks, hit a triple into the triangle to tie the game and, eventually, score the go-ahead run on a Jonathan Herrera bunt.

Since then, the Red Sox have been down, then up, and then down again. But two constants seem to be taking shape. First, Ortiz is still a monster and hits when he’s supposed to hit. And Holt has become the team’s best hope for a catalyst, someone at the top of the order to work pitchers and give the rest of the lineup a chance as spring turns to summer and the season starts to dwindle.

It’s still a weird team and a weird season where they don’t seem as out of the race as they likely should seem. Jonny Gomes has played much more than he should, thanks to injuries and the unofficial exile of Daniel Nava (though he seems to be squeaking back into the lineup). The season isn’t yet a lost cause, and there’s plenty to be hopeful for this season — Jon Lester and John Lackey anchoring the rotation, the continued growth of Xander Bogaerts, Mike Napoli getting on base every single day, David Ortiz doing his David Ortiz thing whenever possible, etc. (more…)