Sunday, May 6, 2007
One Month In
*Photo from Yahoo.com*
After a 4-3 win vs. Minnesota, Boston sits at 20-10 for the year, 5.5 games up on the next closest team in the AL East, which just so happens to be the Yankees.
Roughly one month and a few days into the 2007 season, just a few observations from the knucklehead who writes this trainwreck.
Pitching, both starting and relieving, have been very, very good. Beckett sits at 6-0, Schilling at 4-1 after today, Wake is at 3-3, Daisuke at 3-2, and Julian at 1-3, but with a little run support Saturday could easily be 2-3. The bullpen, led by Pap, Okajima, and Donnelly has been a pleasant surprise for anyone who sat through last years travesty of a pen with Seanez, Foulke, Riske, etc..
With the warming of the temperatures has come the inevitable awakening of the bats. Papi has been solid from the get go, along with Lowell, Drew, Cora, and Youk. Now, Manny is starting to be Manny, and Coco Crisp, El' Capitan, and Lil' Dustin Pedroia are coming around as well. About the only guy scuffling right now is Julio Lugo, and I'm gonna attribute that to the "first year on a new team/trying a little too hard" syndrome. Talk to me in L. June, and I think it'll be a different story. Besides, any guy that runs that fast in such a goofy way was BORN to be a Red Sox player.
Which leads me to this: this team is EERILY similar, in a good way, to the 2004 group. While I'd like to take credit for this observation, it was actually brought to my attention by my good buddy Christine, who writes over at "Boston Red Thoughts", which is linked to your right. If you haven't done it yet, go check it out: home girl can WRITE, plus she's getting hitched later this year, so she needs the positive vibes.
Anyway, this group may be goofier than the '04 bunch: I've never seen a group of athletes, usually the most macho cat's on the planet, engage in as much man hugging, funky hand shakes, and after today's game, leading the league in petting each other's head like a cat. If you don't have NESN or the Extra Innings package, let's just say Manny, Julian, and Lugo in the dugout was QUITE the scene. I would not be able to describe it and do it justice, so just use your imagination. Unreal.
So with all that, images like the one I threw up here should be available all year: Ortiz bear hugging Manny while everyone else, including Tito, clap and applaud.
Finally, what this team DID NOT NEED is Roger: go to New York, win your 8 games, and go play golf while this band of misfits heads to October. I hope that $28 million pro rated salary keeps you warm in your retirement years Roger.
Man, do I love this team.