Daniel (and everyone else!) watching it go on Monday (Photo by Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)
I’m thankful there are no more Opening Days because this day off after one game stuff kills me. Although it has given me time to just relax and enjoy where the Red Sox are right now (as of this writing, sitting alone atop the American League East with a 5-2 record). It also gave me a day to recover from Fenway just to gear myself up again for going Wednesday night! As I’ve been telling folks lately, I seem to always end up at a lot of April games…not that I’m complaining (so far I’m on pace for 4 or 5).
Monday at Fenway was an awful lot of fun. The pre-game festivities were a lot more toned down than usual (although I will say the Jimmy Fund Chorus was wonderful and brought me to tears with their version of “Just One Person”) but it seemed fitting. I encountered only good-natured fans at the Fens. A week of winning will do that for a fan base, I know, but it was still refreshing. It’s nice to not be one of only a few people showing up at the park with a positive attitude. If the Red Sox have given me a gift this year it’s not having to start the season fighting with fellow Red Sox fans. And I greatly appreciate it.
Clay Buchholz and Daniel Nava made sure the fans who showed up in a good mood left in one too (I don’t know that there is a guy in the lineup that it would have made me happier to see hit that home run than Daniel Nava). I’m hoping for many more experiences like that one throughout this season.
I’m willing to give Joel Hanrahan a pass. Let’s chalk up his 9th inning shakiness to Opening Day jitters (as well as being thrown when, as he was coming out of the bullpen the first few notes to Shipping Up to Boston” began playing before all the video boards went dark and silent). I will admit, though, after the Adam Jones home run I just sat in my seat looking down so I didn’t have to see what was happening. What’s a good baseball game without a little bit of stress, right?
This team is exciting so far and, after what we’ve endured from them, I think that’s all any of us were looking for to begin the season.
While I will admit to losing interest in the game after John Lackey had to come out, I will also admit to not even caring that the Red Sox dropped one to the Blue Jays this weekend. Didn’t like to see Lackey go down that way (and there is cause for hope both with his pitching and with the possibility of his arm not being nearly as bad as we all might have thought it was) but the Red Sox taking both the Yankees and the Blue Jays series, Lackey’s arm practically flying off aside, is a wonderful way to head into Opening Day at Fenway!
Let’s see. The Jays didn’t break Jose Iglesias, Will Middlebrooks went batshit crazy on R.A. Dickey and Toronto pitching and the Sox ran a reigning Cy Young winner out of the game in less than five innings. It has been WAY too long since Red Sox fans had some genuinely good reason to hoot and hollar about their team. Small sample size, maybe, but tough nuggets…I’m going into Fenway today with a spring in my step and high hopes for another series win!
As I type this, I hear birds singing and there is a little bit of sun shining through my window. Weather reports keep telling me it’ll be in the low sixties at Fenway for the start of the game and I will be there…can’t ask for more than that on a spring day, right?
This week marks the fourth week of my being at my new job. It’s hard work and I’m enjoying it a lot. The work isn’t all, though. Today, as I’ve noted, I’m going to Fenway Park (thanks so much to Kelly O’Connor!) and to do so I had to take a day off…which my boss granted so excitedly it was really just adorable. He isn’t a baseball fan but he knows I am and seemed genuinely happy that I was going to be heading down Brookline Avenue today instead of to my office. I’m a very fortunate person and I feel like I need to appreciate that more.
We have our winners for the Knuckleball DVD and they’ve been contacted. As soon as I hear back from everyone, I’ll let you all know how it went down. Looking forward to doing more of these things this season. (Also, I’m hoping to bring back live chats on Wednesdays this year; but this coming Wednesday I’ll actually be back at Fenway – thanks to my new boss who won tickets for the game and gave them to me – so this week I am looking at the Thursday game, the final game of the Orioles series, as our first live chat night. Hope that works for folks!)
I was up at five o’clock this morning in anticipation of the day…it’s like the first day of school (hey, I loved school!), Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one.
Enjoy this Opening Day, people!! We earned this one!