It’s Monday, April 4, 2016. At the time of this writing, it is 35 degrees in Cleveland. At 4:00 pm EST, it is being guessed that the temperature will be about 33 degrees with an 11% chance of precipitation (read: snow). Out my window here in Boston all I see are grey skies and snowflakes. There is nothing about this day that screams “BASEBALL SEASON” yet here it is. Cardinals, Pirates, Rays, Blue Jays, Mets and Royals fans got their opening day yesterday and for the rest of us TODAY is it. (Well not all of us. Astros and Yankees fans have to wait another day thanks to Mother Nature, who is apparently NOT a Yankees fan.)
Outdoor sports that don’t involve boots, skates, or layered clothing should not be played in 33 degrees. It’s uncomfortable for the players, for the fans, for the folks who work at the parks and stadiums…it’s pretty much miserable for everyone. But know what? We don’t care. None of us. Because MOST of us will be sitting at home watching on television or listening to the radio/Internet while everyone else languishes in the cold. We get to enjoy the fruits of their labor and suffering from the warmth of our couches and bar stools because, dammit, baseball season will not be halted. Not even for a little bit of snow. (Again, unless you’re in New York today.)
Diehard baseball fans will argue that the season isn’t long enough. Just when it starts to get really good, bam, it’s over. So we accept that our teams play in the snow in April and sometimes in October as well because the alternative is no baseball…and what the hell is the point of that?
Seven years ago this past weekend I was at the opening of Citi Field for exhibition games between the Mets and the Red Sox (apologies for the lack of photos on those links – archiving the old blog entries didn’t go as well as I had hoped). It was a cold, grey, rainy weekend and at one point while we were walking around the brand new park shivering and practically getting blown over by the wind, I overheard a couple behind me. He was ranting about how he had told her before that they weren’t going to any games in April and she literally just laughed in his face. She knew he was full of it (either that, she knew the next April game she went to would be on her own or with someone who wasn’t him) – we ALL complain about the miserable April weather but we all show up at the games or turn that television on come opening day. We are baseball fans and we are a little bit crazy.
The 2016 season is a snowy blank canvas and the Red Sox have David Price as their artist in residence. I’m looking forward to some beautiful, winning tableaus this year – sprinkled with a little carnage every now and then.
Let’s go, Red Sox!
Seeing a triple play in person is on many the baseball fan’s bucket list…and it’s still on mine. Not only didn’t I see it in person, but I didn’t see it live on NESN either. That’s okay. I’ve seen the replay a hundred times and it’s still great. Would have been nice if they could have gotten the “w” as well so we could see this game repeated on NESN for years to come but at his point I suppose that is picking nits.
Thanks to that loss and a Yankees win last night the Red Sox are a half a game out of first place and the Yankees currently have a game in hand. It’s August 17th. There is a lot more baseball to be played and, as it stands, if the playoffs started today the Red Sox are 9 games up in the Wild Card race. The only team in MLB to have more wins than the Red Sox right now is the Philadelphia Phillies. The team is good. The team is playing well and, for the majority of their games, the team is winning. Still, last night, people were booing Carl Crawford. Those people can go stick their heads in a pile of manure.
But there is no time to dwell on the negative. Sox split the double header, which is good enough for me. Now today, at 1:35pm, I’d like to see them win the series with John Lackey on the mound against David Price. What? It could happen!
Still processing that the season for the Sox has ended. Watching “Four Days in October” last night helped and hearing Don Orsillo calling the Rangers/Rays game does too.
Given that I don’t really dislike any of the teams in the playoffs except for one, for the most part I’m in the “Anyone but the Yankees” camp. There are three games on television today, though, so I might as well make some picks (idea kind of lifted from Metsgrrl who mapped out her choices over at her blog). I’m only picking by series, though, so here’s what I’d like to happen in the Division Series.
Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays: I’m torn. I despise the cowbells which means I’m not fond of most Rays fans (not all, though. I know a few I consider good fans and part of me is happy for them) so every Rays loss means we’re closer to no more freaking cowbells until April 2011. That I can get behind. (Also, I will always dislike James Shields for many reasons but mostly his dumbass nickname. Once the Rays are out of it, no one will be mentioning “Big Game” James. Who could root against that?) The only thing I have against the Rangers is Josh Hamilton. I don’t want to hear what a wonderful story he has for the next month. Any time someone starts talking about Josh Hamilton and his issues, it makes me want to start using drugs. That’s probably not what he had in mind when he shared his story, huh? I’m going with the Rangers. Cliff Lee making his way through the playoffs makes me happy. I won’t be devastated if the Rays win, but if the baseball gods love us even a little than they will spare us the idiocy that is adults ringing cowbells.
Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies: I don’t hate the Phillies but I’m really just sick of them. The only things that make me not want to root for the Reds are Dusty Brown and Jonny Gomes. If Gomes pulls something in his first appearance and can’t play the rest of the post-season, I’ll be a happy gal. I’m rooting for the Reds. Gomes and Baker aside, I like their fan base and I think a fan base as loyal as theirs should get to enjoy more than one round of the playoffs. It doesn’t hurt that Bronson Arroyo is with the Reds, not at all. Okay, who am I kidding? I want Bronson to get another ring. I do. I do. I do. I do. There, I said it.
New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins: I’m all about the Yankees. (Man, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face!) I don’t just want the Twins to beat the Yankees, I want Joe Girardi to get thrown out of every game. I want Derek Jeter to throw his shoulder out while he’s fist pumping. I want Slappy to tear a few muscles in the groin area. I want CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte to all give up over ten hits and ten runs. I want Mark Teixeira to bat .000 and Nick Swisher to have 17 errors. I WANT THE TWINS TO DESTROY THE YANKEES! That is all.
Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants: Honestly? I couldn’t care less. There are ex-Sox on the Braves (Lowe, Gonzalez, Wagner, Hinske, heck even Ross) AND on the Giants (Lopez, Ramirez, Renteria, Sanchez), so I could develop a fondness for either team. Do I have to pick one? Let’s see, Tomahawk Chop versus panda hats…I’m going to have to give this one to San Francisco. Plus, seeing Javier Lopez in the post season makes me unreasonably happy. Not exactly a good rationale for choosing the Giants but there you have it.
I’m watching the Rangers take David Price for five runs in five innings so far. I hope every game today has a similar scenario!
In March of 2010, the unemployment rate in Florida was 12.3%. In August of this year it was 11.5% and it fluctuated in the months between March and August. The average unemployment rate in New York this summer was 8.3% and in Boston the rate was 9.0% in July and 8.8% in August.
Roughly 248,000 people live in St. Petersburg, Florida (home of the Tampa Bay Rays). There are about 645,000 people living in Boston and over 1.3 million people living in the Bronx.
As I have mentioned here before, I happen to be one of the unemployed in the Massachusetts and have been for almost a year now. Every year, I go to more baseball games at Fenway Park than I can count. This year, I’ve gone to so few games that I haven’t counted them. I have no children to take to the games, it’s just me, and I’m having a hard time affording to go to games. I’ve had to decide what the best way to spend my money is more carefully than I have before and most of the time it doesn’t involve going to a baseball game. That people expect every fan in every state there is a baseball team to be able to afford to go to the games is ridiculous. That there are those who think the low attendance in St. Petersburg is a reflection that the Tampa Bay Rays fans aren’t loyal fans is just ignorant.