Boston Red Sox on Paper: Getting it right

“Ultimately you don’t need a team that wants to go out to dinner together, but you need to have a team that wants to protect each other on the field and be fiercely loyal to each other off the field.”

That’s all Tito wanted, that’s all any of us wanted.

And that’s still what we want.  We want the attitude of the title teams, we want the mindset that gave us the bloody sock and the championships.  He was a pain in the ass at times, but we want Manny being Manny, we want Damon with his long hair and beard.  We want Pedro and Tek and We want the Idiots.

It doesn’t matter what happened in the past, and by “In the past” I’m referring to whatever that was in 2012 – because whatever it was, it wasn’t Red Sox baseball…so this year, you will not read one word referring to Valentine’s ball club other than in this paragraph – because it doesn’t matter…

…because anyone who harbors negative feelings about last year is missing the point of baseball.

Each spring, life starts anew – the child, now a year older, sheds his winter clothing for shirtsleeves and a tattered glove – a father puts aside his laborious tasks in the backyard, throws down a bag of Miracle-gro for home plate and picks up the scuffed and grass-stained ball…

…the smell of the fresh cut grass, the hot dogs and peanuts and popcorn, downing beverages and watching the the clouds absorb the colors of the sunset, bright oranges and reds the backdrop for the ballpark lights, their stark brightness lending a surreal tint to the field and the players as the daylight loses it’s battle with the darkness.

It’s a hard habit to argue with, Baseball.  And in the end, I don’t care how much money someone makes, nor do I concern myself with their habits.  It’s not my business, so I don’t care.

But what they do on the field, about that I care very much.

Sports is poetry to me.  The grace mixed with the raw power, it speaks to me.  I write about the Patriots with passion, and lend the same to the Celtics and to the Bruins – a child of the seasons.

And now that Spring Training is upon us, it is almost time to start writing Red Sox.  The annual weirdness that is the offseason has given way to what that weirdness produced, and it’s ours to own, for good or ill.  The money is spent and the players all have different positions to play that lend to the team concept, and they all make varying amounts of money…

…but I don’t care.  My Dad and I would talk about many things while having a catch; life, love, baseball, responsibility.  Having a catch is therapeutic, it gives a father and son the chance to do something that is just them, and a chance for a father to teach life lessons.

One of the lessons I took from our catches is my sense of responsibility to the people who counted on me, to get it right, that it doesn’t matter if someone pays me a dollar or a hundred dollars, I was to do my best regardless of the compensation.

I write because I love it, and to do it to the best of my abilities, it gets corny at times, mushy at others, but always with the love of the art and poetry of the game.  There’s no poetry in the off the field stuff – I do that because the world of instant access and information requires it, nothing more.

Larry Luccino gets it.  On truck day he addressed the small crowd that had gathered and told them that he feels the responsibility that he and the Red Sox have to “Get it right” for the fans that put so much hope in the team…

…and it is of this hope that I start to write, hoping that the 2013 Red Sox respect the game enough to make it as graceful and powerful and poetic as it is supposed to be.

See you all soon with recaps and features…

Tags: Boston Red Sox

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