|Clay Buchholz on February 28th. Maybe the lack of necklaces is helping his game? Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.net. Used with permission.|
So Mike Lowell struck out, popped out and hit a single in his first game since he had surgery. I know my glasses are rose-colored, but that excites the hell out of me. The idea of Youk, Pedroia, an improved Lugo and a healthy Lowell manning the infield makes me downright giddy. I’m not getting ahead of myself, but Mike seems to be:
Afterwards, Lowell pronounced his complete confidence that he will be ready come Opening Day.
â€œThere would have to be a major setback or car crash,â€ he said, while turning skyward in supplication, â€œfor that not to happen.â€
So here’s hoping for no car accidents and Mike Lowell at third on April 6th!
More encouraging is Clay Buchholz. He’s having a great Spring Training, much the opposite of last year, and there’s no reason (thus far) to think he can’t continue that into the regular season. Yesterday, he pitched his best game this spring and Adam Kilgore says it’s due, in part, to John Smoltz:
“He sat down and said, ‘Hey, anything that you need to know?’ ” Buchholz said. “He said he feels like he’s been in the same position as me early in his career as far as people telling you, ‘Hey, you’ve got really good stuff. You need to learn how to use it.’ It’s been good so far having him.”
Smoltz then gave Buchholz one pointer: “Go out there and know what you want to do prior to even warming up.”
Clay’s confidence has rebounded so much that he was “out there” shaking off Jason Varitek…and still being successful. Way to show up the Captain, kid.
Word is that Jerry Remy will be in Florida and calling Friday’s game against the Yankees. Same game, Mike Lowell is supposed to start at third and, thanks to the Netherlands beating up on the Dominican Republic last night, David Ortiz will be back with the team as well. I finally have a Spring Training game that I’m really looking forward to and I’ll be watching it while I’m drafting for my fantasy baseball team. Yes, I know how much of a geek this makes me.
In what’s almost become the daily Kyle Snyder update: He pitched one inning yesterday and gave up a lead-off triple. Then he kicked butt and got out the next three batters. The Nationals radio dude, Charlie Slowes, spoke glowingly about his curve ball and about Kyle in general. But I do wonder about the research they do on the opposing teams players. His explanation of why Kyle wasn’t successful with the Royals was “Things didn’t work out for him” (when in reality it’s a little more detailed and involves four separate operations) and his description of Kyle’s 2008 was “He only played 2 games for Boston because he was injured most of the season (when the short version there is “He was designated for assignment in April and pitched for Pawtucket”). Oh well. Kyle had a good day which is encouraging. I’ll have to forgive the lack of research and chalk it up to not being in regular season mode just yet.
In my quest to find things to write about, I happened upon this story yesterday. It’s about the new Red Sox chaplain for Baseball Chapel. It’s a nice enough piece but it has me wondering about the other players. You know the ones who aren’t part of Baseball Chapel. The Catholic players, the Jewish players, hell even the Atheist players. How is it allowed that Baseball Chapel comes in to the clubhouse every Sunday when not everyone on the team shares the same beliefs? And how do the other players feel about it? Are there representatives for the religions of all the players? I’m nosey. I need to know things like this. Religion of all kinds fascinates me so it isn’t that I mind some of the players being more vocal about their religion than others. I actually enjoy hearing players speak so openly about their faith. But I don’t know how I’d feel if my company suddenly allowed religious services to be held in my office, especially if I felt like, by their allowing one faith the floor, mine was being pushed aside. I’ve read stories before about the Evangelical Christians in baseball, but I’ve never read anything in detail on how the rest of the players feel about the issue. I’d like to read that story. Everyone’s voice deserves to be heard.
MLBN is, currently, re-airing the Netherlands/Dominican game from last night. Check it out if you can. Most exciting baseball I’ve seen in a long time. Nice to see the underdog come out on top once in a while.
On a day I’m actually around to pay attention, there’s no Red Sox game. Not even a Mets game or a WBC game to keep me company during the day. I’ll have to seek out my entertainment elsewhere until 5pm when the WBC picks back up.