So last night I was discussing (with a fellow Red Sox fanatic) how I feel about the team right now. The short (and I’m guessing obvious) conclusion is that, right now, I don’t find it fun or entertaining to talk or especially write about the Red Sox. As a matter of fact, I find it quite painful.
It isn’t that I don’t care about the team…I do more than most (but not as much as some!)…but these past three and a half months (related to baseball) have sucked the life of me. It’s to the point where nothing that gets published about them surprises me. I found out yesterday that the Red Sox have suspended their rookie development program this year. Which, for me, was the cherry on this shit sundae of an off-season.
“With all the change to coaching and medical staff we are going to focus January on making sure we are fully prepared for spring training,” Sox general manager Ben Cherington said in a text. “The rookie program will return in 2013.”
I have no reason to not believe Ben Cherington when he says the program will return…but it just feels like this announcement is the death knell for it and, along with just about everything else that has happened since September, it makes me sad. I’m eager (and anxious) for this team to make an off-season move that doesn’t leave me scratching my head. Just one would suffice.
Last night I had a dream that the World Series in 2012 was played between the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays and Pedro Martinez was the first base coach (?) for the Mets (who ultimately beat the Blue Jays in seven games).
So if the Red Sox continue to stomp on my soul at least I have the Mets in the World Series to look forward to?
Somehow that doesn’t make me feel all that much better.
Look no further than Josh Reddick’s Twitter feed:
Just so everyone knows, the hair is looking great today
Albert Pujols, a player pretty much considered a lock for the Hall of Fame once he retires, signed a contract with the Anaheim Angels worth $254 million over ten years (including a no-trade clause) this past week. For a few moments after I read this news, I forgot that the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series this year. I was so stunned over the contract and the fact that Pujols left St. Louis that I didn’t make the connection that the most recognizable Cardinal was leaving the nest not even two months after getting another ring with his team.
(A side note I found interesting. While researching to write this, I was reminded that Pujols didn’t win MVP in either of the NLCS or World Series in both 2006 and 2011. Which has no reflection on his overall career; it just struck me interesting that other players came up bigger in the post-season than he did.)
I’m not one who usually harps on the terms of these contracts. I try not to compare MLB salaries to those in the real world because it really doesn’t make sense as the two have nothing in common. But I have to admit that sitting here in my own kind of lousy situation it occurred to me that Pujols could give $2 million a piece to 25 different people and still have $200 million left after this contract is over and the enormity of that smacked me in the face. (And his isn’t even the largest contract in MLB’s history. That honor goes to Slappy thanks to the New York Yankees. ARod actually shows up twice in the top ten contracts in MLB, his contract with the Texas Rangers being third largest, with Pujols sitting between both of his at second. Manny Ramirez’ Red Sox contract comes in 8th and the contract the Sox gave Adrian Gonzalez comes in 10th at seven years and $154 million.)
With the way the season ended for the Red Sox and then the way the off-season began, baseball is already on thin ice with me. Albert Pujols citing his feelings of being unappreciated by the Cardinals didn’t make me feel any better. I suppose I understand that in his mind the Cardinals not focussing solely on his contract negotiations and, ultimately, not giving him everything he wanted made him feel unappreciated but it’s tough to garner sympathy for someone who accepts a 10 year $254 contract with a no-trade clause telling us a nine year $210 million contract with an option for a 10th year with the team he made his name with, won two World Series with and that has such a passionate, appreciative fan base, wasn’t good enough for him. Like many other players before him, he went to the place that threw the most money (and guaranteed years) at him.
So just when much of the Red Sox fan base is worried, frustrated and at the end of their rope, who shows up in town to cheer us up?
The best pitcher I have seen in my lifetime was sitting at a folding table in a HomeGoods store in Bedford, Massachusetts over the weekend promoting a charity toy drive supporting the Jimmy Fund and his personal charity back in the Dominican Republic. He was supposed to be there for two hours and he stayed for three and a half, signing autographs for roughly 450 people. I wasn’t one of those 450 but nonetheless I sit here beaming while reading the stories and looking at the photos of his return.