Trudging up to Yawkey Way from the Kenmore Square T stop last Friday, I tasted bile in contemplating the horrors of the 2012 team, a performance that defies description by all but the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessey. I consoled myself that it was a picture perfect summer night for a ballgame and, besides, I hadn’t been to Fenway yet this season. A lifelong Red Sox fan and friend of my non-Sox fan husband had flown in from his adopted home in New York and graciously invited us to attend with him. It was a long overdue get-together with friend Chuck and where better to spend a lovely summer evening than in beloved Fenway.
Chuck is a fan because it ties him to his father, who took him to Fenway when he was a child. I am a fan because it ties me to my grandmother, who shared with me her love of the Red Sox and the Metropolitan Opera. The guys with season tickets whom we met on the T come in from Albany because they learned to love the Sox when they were Little Leaguers. So many come because it’s who they are and who figures in their memories. It’s what keeps them even when the team and its ownership inflicts unspeakable pain on us.
But – mirabile dictu – Friday’s game was terrific! Big Papi returned from the DL and got a hit on the very first pitch, driving in two runs. The pitching was solid. Lester performed well enough to get the win; Andrew Bailey got his first save. We got a look at the potential of speedy Pedro Ciriaco and credible performances from Scott Posednik and others whose names are just now becoming recognized.
The game set the stage for the blockbuster news that the Red Sox have made a huge trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, getting rid of whiner and clubhouse problem Adrian Gonzalez, underperforming beer and chicken feeder Josh Beckett (called by the Herald’s Gerry Callahan an “arrogrant, entitled, out-of-shape slug”), overpriced Carl Crawford (who, I think, will perform well in L.A.).
I think I have begun to feel a hint of the high side of the manic-depressive cycle that characterizes most die-hard Red Sox fans.
Callahan and others have said “this is only the greatest trade in Red Sox history.” I can’t vouch for all the specifics of team history. What I can say is that I have grieved the 2012 season and put it behind me. I see real potential for next year and especially the year after that. General Manager Ben Cherington may finally come into his own. It took us all year to evolve painfully from deconstructing to rebuilding. I am optimistic that we’re on our way. As my buddy Steve would say ever optimistically, “We’ve got ’em right where we want ’em.”