I’d say it was a fairly productive weekend….
I honestly believe this Scarlett Hose / Baby Bears rivalry will endure to be a rather historic one, ya’ know… should MLB decide to keep interleague play. They beat us over the head with ‘Interleague’ and then once we get used to it,
build some cool rivalries and deepen the cross town hatreds (NY, LA, CHI, Bay area) and the interstate opponents (Florida, CA, PA, etc..) and look at ancient encounters like Oakland vs. Philly and The Boston Braves.. oops… Braves vs. Sox or ghosts of world series past including Yankees vs. Dodgers so on and so forth. I’m sure I’ve left many a nice matching such as O’s vs. Nats, Rangers returning to aforementioned Nats, The battle of the Show Me state and more out but you get the gist. Aside from the historical splendor of the Cubs return to the site of the 1918 World Series (which should really give the baseball folks outside Boston or Chicago an idea of why we’re so rabid and fanatical.. 1918 b!tches), the games themselves were quite meaningful. If we can put the 8th inning meltdown and those forgettable Clorox Bleach uniforms (or the ‘ubbies road jersey) behind us, it was true baseball.
And it was almost a flashback of sorts in another way. Just like 1918, the Sox are a recent multiple time champion, a mecca of baseball and looking like they’ll be competing at a championship caliber with pitching and power for years to come while the Cubs will forever continue to be the Cubs (which is like being the Yawkey Red Sox) with flashes of brilliance under good teams led by great field generals who just can’t carry the team with various holes. However, this isn’t about poking the caged bear (we here in Boston love baby bears.. right Tim Thomas?) as much as it is genuine fan appreciation.
But the season rolls on and we collapsed against Cleveland tonight. While Chief Wahoo’s Tribe has been the surprise hit of the season and the game was far from a blow-out and ‘collapse’ may be slightly overreacting.. I don’t care. Clay pitched well for the weather and Justin “Traded for Detroit’s Victor Martinez” Masterson did comparably well. Looking back, I hate the f^#%ing trade. V-Mart was a great player, an awesome spark plug and a very needed stop-gap playing C/1B/DH in the Big Papi power outages while Mike Lowell hit retirement age head-on due to injury and Varitek just began to hit the wall. I was sad to see him go but hurt worse by what we gave up in Masterson to get a ‘short-term’ blue chipper. And hearing the Sox Brass call Salty, who I very much like as a developing player, “The guy we’ve wanted for years”… didn’t help. Did the Brass have an idea they couldn’t sign him when they traded for him… I wonder. He was a slightly older centerpiece who couldn’t catch more than a 100 games a season and would soon be reliable DH/1B/C utility player at a centerpiece price and may have made it harder to keep a Papi, Youk and now A-Gon line-up together. Remember, they’ve been chasing Adrian Gonzalez for years and I have to believe in their eyes V-Mart, like Jason Bay, was a calculated risk. Obviously not Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson, but if Casey Kelly becomes an all-star caliber pitcher or even a reliable Number Two Guy in the Padres rotation, at least we know getting A-Gon long-term was a positive investment.
Of course, I’m the guy who was a bit more keen on the Sox entering the Prince Fielder sweepstakes over Adrian Gonzalez… so what do I know.