Rick Nash and a return to something old

Yesterday afternoon, I went flipping through the channels in that first bit of post-Olympics viewing and landed on the Red Sox and Orioles in Spring Training. I know that happened because my primary memory of this was in seeing the Orioles’ hats with a full-bodied cartoon bird swinging a bat, which was cool. That cartoon bird is hard to mess up, and with the mostly leisurely and whimsical nature of Spring Training, that kind of graphic works nicely on a hat.

The other thing I remember is that the Red Sox apparently have three different guys wearing no. 18 in camp, which pretty much sums up where the two guys not named Mitch Moreland stand on the odds table to make the team.

But that’s about it. The game was on, but I was mostly waiting for the Boston Bruins’ pregame to start, since they’d swung a trade for the New York Rangers’ Rick Nash earlier that morning. It cost them two draft picks, Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey’s exiled contract and a college prospect, but they got it done and added a big, rough-and-tumble goal scorer to David Krejci’s line. It’s not the Ryan McDonagh trade I wanted them to swing with New York, but it’s pretty good.

And that’s as deep as my thoughts on baseball this spring have gone so far. I’ve followed along with the offseason moves — or lack thereof — throughout the Majors, but it hasn’t exactly been inspiring. More specifically, it hasn’t provided the kind of inspiration I used to bring to a baseball blog, and I haven’t been motivated to mine the kind of effort needed to produce something readable.

Most of that energy went into a weekly column I’d been writing for the past few years. For most Sundays since 2012, I’ve had a column in my hometown paper, where I get to work my own point-of-view and a Pearl Jam reference into print. It wasn’t a tremendous amount of writing — 600 to 800 words a week — but it took a decent amount of energy. I tried to stay aware of everything that was happening in sports, especially in New England, while looking for something to say that maybe hadn’t been said yet. With that, I refocused this blog, with the notion that if was just on baseball, I had a better chance of maintaining both with out either suffering.

Ultimately, that’s not what happened. Slowly and surely, I neglected this space as more of my brain was focused on my obligation to the Sunday column, which was probably inevitable. But the great newspaper budget crunch continues, and the Present Tense column is now a thing of the past. And with that came the immediate reminder that, look here, here’s a perfectly good place to write that already has a decent little archive attached.

And with that return comes the original intent of the blog. There will be a lot of hockey and baseball, I imagine, and I’ll occasionally hit the Celtics and whatever else I feel like. There’s a World Cup this summer, too. And I’ve spruced up the design to match, shaking the cobwebs off the previously very 2010 design for something that’s hopefully at least 2015.

So there it is, writing about sports for the fun of it. It’s probably going to be fun to watch Nash in the Bruins’ top six for the last couple of months this year. It’ll probably be fun watching Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez in the Red Sox lineup, too. And as it goes, I’ll probably have thoughts to jot down here when I can.

That’s how this all started, anyway — flipping through the channels, landing on the game, finding something I like, and telling someone else about it.

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