Monday, April 2, 2007

It's the hap, happiest season of all...

As if you didn't already know, the Red Sox and Curt Schilling open their season tonight against The Kansas City Royals and Gil Meche. Personally I try to make it my rule in life to never trust anyone named Gil.

Obviously a ton of preview articles today. I'll list them out in order of my favorites, along with my favorite part, incase you don't have time to read all 23 like I do.

Beckett chills: Boston's ace-in-waiting has discovered a comfort zone following difficult 2006 season, by Rob Bradford. "I had been a part of a lot of different things, but that is totally different," said Beckett of the opener. "Fenway Park. First game of the season. Boston, Massachusetts. Everybody is pretty excited. I remember warming up and thinking this is right up there with Game 6 of the World Series. It had the same feeling" (hands down the best article out there today)

Kevin Gray on Baseball: Finally, the real thing, by Kevin Gray (obvioulsy) Winter came much earlier when the Red Sox didn't make the playoffs last fall, and it seemed to last forever as they painstakingly formed a team for 2007. So tell your boss quitting time is 4 p.m. because the season is finally here.

Really. Congratulations. You've made it.

Sit back and enjoy another 162 games (at least) of excitement, disappointment and unscripted drama that is Red Sox baseball.

Renewed optimism: After disappointing season, Sox rebuild in hopes to regain glory, by Jeff Horrigan. “If we stay healthy, I’m pretty sure this is going to be a hell of a year,” David Ortiz said. (weee!)

Kingpin: Ortiz is hoping to remain the Sox' main man, by Gordon Edes. He is coming off arguably the greatest season by a Red Sox slugger, but David Ortiz is not at a loss for words when asked what he possibly can do for an encore in 2007. "What I always do," he said, flashing an expanse of teeth that alerts his listener this would be no swing and a miss. "Kill the ball!"

Opening Day fever: As ancipation bubbles near and far, Sox set to bow in, Dan Shaughnessy. Enjoy the ride. Just remember that the Red Sox no longer belong to New England. They are North America's team. They are Japan's team. This is the year the Nation goes global.

On the doorstep of a new season, by Jon Couture. Baseball is a 162-game soap opera in New England. It's charming and beautiful, even if it does spawn the fake controversies of sports radio, dating reality shows and spangle-covered Sox hats that would make your grandpa cringe. And it's long, so very long.

A world apart: Red Sox’ popularity, influence has risen to global proportions, by Tony Massarotti. “People talk about Ohio State fans and Michigan fans, and I’ll put our fans up against any of ’em in college sports or professional sports,” Dee said. “There’s no greater affection that people have for their teams than our fans (have for the Red Sox). Red Sox fans want people to know they’re Red Sox fans.”

Matsuzaka, fans on learning curve, by Michael Silverman. “I know during the game, many fans will be cheering for me and supporting me 100 percent as a professional baseball player, it is natural,” Matsuzaka said. “It is important to take care of them. I know Boston fans are very passionate fans. I would like to feel their passion at the Fenway ballpark very soon.”

Manny: Enjoy 'em while you can, by Gerry Callahan. Manny is the lone Hall of Famer on your ’07 Sox. We know he’ll ask to be traded at some point, and we know the Red Sox won’t trade him. They’ll put up with him because he’ll put up the numbers, and then 19 months from now, they’ll say goodbye. And down the road, the Sox will put together an extravagant event to celebrate Manny Ramirez’ incredible career. And they’ll know, in their hearts, there will zero chance of Manny showing up.

All About The Setup, by Jeff Goldberg. "We know that Pap this year has more backup than he had last year. Now we've got a lot of different options. We've got a lot of good pitchers. I think we're OK with that," Brendan Donnelly

X-factors mark start, by Sean McAdam. The starting rotation is better and deeper. The prodigal closer has returned to his customary spot at the back end of the bullpen. The lineup features a new leadoff hitter and improved protection for the middle of the lineup.
But as the Red Sox begin their 2007 season here this afternoon, they’re not a perfect bunch. For the Sox to end the New York Yankees’ decade-long dominance at the top of the American League East, some questions will first have to be answered.

Change(up) of plans: New pitch, ’08 for Curt, by John Tomase. On the one hand Curt Schilling has absolutely nothing to prove. He’s a six-time All-Star, two-time World Series winner and one of the best big game pitchers of this or any other generation. On the other hand, Curt Schilling has absolutely everything to prove. He’s 40 years old, entering the final year of his contract, and a borderline Hall of Famer.

Royal Start: Play Ball! Schilling, Sox Ready, by Bill Ballou. Schilling will start, definitely, and if things go well enough, Papelbon will finish.

A few other things:

*Curt has a new Q & A.

*The New York Mets beat the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals last night. (my brother watched the game with me and goes, wait, the Cardinals won the WS? I thought the Tigers did. If no one remembers the World Series, did it really happen?
Jose Reyes is probably the most exciting player in MLB.
Carlos Beltran has a cannon of an arm.
I love Tom Glavine (and I once met him at the mall).
I don't trust Chris Carpenter one bit. Ace my ass.

*If you've got a billion dollars lying around you can buy the Cubs.

*Celts beat the Cavs last night. Honestly, they don't really get how this lottery works do they?

*D-Wade is going to try to practice today.

*The Patriots and Seahawks preseason game in China was cancelled. I'm glad, but probaby not as glad as Bill. (Peter King also has some other notes)

*Florida is trying to go back to back tonight.

So here we are, finally. After a season that ended with losing 5 games in one weekend to the MFY, with David having heart problems and Lester needing chemotherapy. Finally, after an offseason made too long by a 3rd place finish, a tease of an AFC Championship game, no 4 rings in 6 year talk, no parades, and Peyton Manning everywhere you freakin' turn. After all the Dice-K bidding, signing and plane tracking, J.D. Drew not really signed but signed contracts, Trot in an Indians uniform, Manny missing and showing, Curt talking (and learning Japanese), Todd Helton, Papelbon's shoulder, and closer-by-committee panic attacks. Finally, after a spring training that never seemed to end and that mattered a little too much because of another teams inability to get a first down when it counted. Finally after all the waiting, it's time for the games to count. Play Ball!

1 comment:

Conor said...

Let's go Red Sox clap clap clapclapclap