With the season less than two weeks away, the Red Sox and Boston sports offer up fodder for commentary.
Bundle of Choi? Who are these guys? The revolver door (started with Theo Epstein in mind) yielded to the revolving door, not so much of a purge as a retooling from 2004. Long-time Celtics fans recall that the failure to rebuild (and the deaths of Len Bias and Reggie Lewis) has left the franchise barren of championship dreams for two decades. The entire infield is rebuilt, with better defense, and (God let it be so) better offense. Will Hee Seop Choi be a better foreign import than Jin Ho Cho, Sonny Kim, and Seung Song?
Cereal killers? Sox fans await the swings of Manny, Ortiz, our new favorite Coco Crisp, Jason Varitek, and Trot Nixon. If the Sox were the Patriots, this would be Trot's curtain call, as his production hasn't matched his enthusiasm. There are great moments like the ninth inning homerun off Roger Clemens at the Stadium, and the bases loaded double in Game 4 at Busch, but all too often it's been a sore back, or chest muscle, or hamstring. His three year splits are .378/.514/.892 but only 998 AB, 47 homers and 177 RBI and .305/.327/.632 against LHP. If the Sox could legislate only RHP, Trot could be a perennial All-Star.
Right now an infield of Youkilis, Loretta, Gonzalez, and Lowell isn't exactly inspiring visions of pennant fever. The Greek God of Walks had three so far this spring, last time I checked. Oh, well, Sox fans are always from Missouri, demanding 'show me'.
C - Varitek, Bard
1 - Youkilis, Snow
2 - Loretta
3 - Lowell
U - Cora
O - Ramirez, Crisp, Nixon, Stern, Pena
SP - Schilling, Beckett, Clement, Wakefield, Wells
Pen - Foulke, Papelbon, Timlin, Seanez, Riske, DiNardo, Tavarez
Outside, looking in:
Pedroia, Choi, Hansen (1st man up?), Delcarmen, Lester, Meredith, Machado, Graffanino, VanBuren. Not a lot of sticks in the upper minors.
Elsewhere in the Hub
Are the Bruins still playing? The best hockey game I've seen all season came with Melrose's Joey Capuano lighting the lamp into an empty net with B.C. High defeating the local version of the Yankees, Catholic Memorial in the State Hockey final.
I enjoy basketball, high school to professional. March Madness showcases so many wonderful players that I haven't even heard of, like 'Big Baby' of LSU. Unfortunately, basketball officiating screws it up all too often, like last night when the annual B.C. bridesmaid appearance checked in. The zebras choked down the stretch, and the Eagles didn't help by failing to switch against the pick on the inbounds play with 3 seconds to go. Unforgiveable. Until next year. Will Craig Smith be able to rebound like that in the pros? I think so.