There’s a 4″ x 3″ piece of paper held by magnet on my refrigerator door. The paper is yellow. It’s the American League standing from the first days of the 2015 season. Boston was at the top of the East division, with an .800 record. It had won four and lost one game. The scrap was from a scant year ago, and it was the high point of last year’s season.
Tomorrow, the Red Sox open in Cleveland. It’s appropriate that opening day comes between Easter and its promise of resurrection and Passover, with its legend of liberation. Right now, all things are possible for the home team.
It’s especially encouraging that Sox management, having made terrible investments in big bucks, non-producing players in the past, are willing to bench those costly errors and play those who can perform on the field. It must stick in the craw of principal owner John Henry that Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo will be $29 million bench warmers until they prove they can do the job. Add to that the $9 million they are paying Allen Craig to go to Pawtucket. In fact, it made the front page of Saturday’s Boston Globe that Boston now has “the most expensive bench in the league.”
Baseball players in general are notoriously overpaid, but that’s a reflection of societal values and a topic for another blog. For now, I love that manager John Farrell wants to put the best team on the field, regardless of who gets paid what.
Young guys out there – Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Travis Shaw, Vazquez and Swihart – mean energy and optimism. I believe in pitcher David Price. The Sox believe in Henry Owens and others whose names don’t flow trippingly from the tongue. But it is a time for belief.
It’s spring. It’s about to be opening day. The hyacinths and daffodils are blooming in my garden. I’ll try to ignore that snow is falling on them. The Red Sox are definitely moving toward the playoffs.
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