I feel like the last 16 months have been part of the longest off-season in the history of baseball.
Last week I was forced to miss attending Truck Day for the first time in about five years and for a couple of days I really dwelled on how miserable that made me. And it was acknowledging to myself that I really wanted to be standing on Van Ness Street in the freezing cold watch vacuums and compression shorts being loaded onto an equipment truck that made me realize the Red Sox aren’t dead to me.
And, really, for a while there I was worried that they were.
But no, as happens every freaking year the sonofabitches have my heart. I saw a photo of a trimmed-down John Lackey and read a blurb about how good he feels and thought “Hey, he could win 18 games this year!” I got excited when I read that regardless of whatever drama circled around the Mike Napoli signing, he always knew he’d be with the Red Sox. And if you aren’t on Twitter (or if you are and don’t follow him) you’ve missed the absolute joy that Will Middlebrooks has been tweeting with in regard to the team and this season. His enthusiasm is contagious. I also have to admit I melted inside when I read this Twitter exchange yesterday between Middlebrooks and Gabe Kapler:
I’m such a mush.
Today begins the first official day of workouts in Fort Myers. A week from Thursday are the games against Northeastern and Boston College and on February 23rd we get the first real game of Spring Training (against the Tampa Bay Rays at Jet Blue Park). My fingers might be freezing as I type this but I can feel the sunshine bursting through and soon enough we get baseball…real baseball…and dammit even though I really thought I might not care this year…I really do.