I’m not a fan of the day. The Valentine’s Days when I’ve been in a relationship bring back bad memories and not being in a relationship turns V-Day into "why are you still single are you a leper or something?" day and no one wants to deal with that. So to write a piece about ‘love’ kind of makes my stomach turn these days.
Except I remember that I’m writing on a baseball blog and no one cares if I’m in a relationship or if I’m in love with anyone, they’re just here to read about baseball. Cool. Takes off all the pressure.
Since 2004, I’ve been going to games at Fenway with my ‘sistahs’. Each year, at some point, one of them (usually KellyJ at the games, Cruiser or Booklady when we just get together) turns to me and says "I just love these guys. I love them!". Every year. So looking at this team this year, as every year in February, I wonder how we’ll fall in love with this team.
We will be in love with JD Drew, who will possibly be wearing number 7 in right field a short six months after Trot Nixon last wore number 7 in right field?
We will be in love with Julio Lugo? He has a history some fans don’t like and a lot of fans aren’t convinced he’s an upgrade from Alex Gonzalez.
The biggest question…we will be in love with Daisuke Matsuzaka? Who brings with him an entourage supplied by the Red Sox, as well as hundreds more members of the media (sub question: will we like the Japanese sports media more than we do the Boston sports media?).
I’m pretty sure all three questions (okay, four including the sub question) will be answered with a ‘yes!". Heck, we already love Dice-K, even if on his first day in Florida he’s already overexposed. Lugo and Drew only have to stay healthy and not mess up too much to fall into our good graces.
Jon Lester is back after being sick. Jonathan Papelbon will be starting instead of closing. Josh Beckett is so eager to improve over his lackluster first season that he showed up early. It’s three days before pitchers and catchers are required to show up and we have four pitchers there already…and I already love them all, all over again (well the love for Dice-K is new!).
Thanks to Truck Day and pitchers and catchers reporting, February 14th now has a more pleasant connotation than it has in the past. It’s just a pit stop on the way to the real beginning of Spring…Spring Training.
Bring it on, fellas!
(Hey, it’s midnight! Happy Valentine’s Day, folks!)