Tagged: Adrian Gonzalez

Rain Sox

It is officially summer, and the weather is finally acting like it: a day with absolutely no rain (at least in Montana) and it is 80 degrees. Yet, I’ve been awkwardly introduced to the harsh realities of life: I’m stuck in an office. The low hum of computers attempting to breathe through the ill circulated air finds a harmony with the spontaneous clicking of keyboards. There are no windows, no opportunities, to see what I’m missing in the daylight by being stuck inside.

 

However, when the door is not open, and there is no window to open, you create your own. Being 2 hours earlier and 2,000 miles away from Fenway, I have opened a new window. A small one that I can discretely hide behind the others, (containing spreadsheets, word documents, and research strategies) the Red Sox Gameday Live is providing me with play-by-play coverage of their current game.

At first disappointed when the 1:35pm start time was pushed back due to rain, I kept busy and hoped that the Northeast rain would clear so the Sox could play. Finally, the first pitch was thrown. The tasks I was assigned seemed a bit less mundane, as I could reward myself with checking the game once I finished something. Another delay. A few phone calls and some wishing the skies would clear in Boston led to a return to play in the 3rd.

The window opened and instead of a bright number in the runs column for the Sox, I saw a dark, dismal 0, the Boston weather made it’s way to Montana. While it could still possibly be quite sunny outside, I would have no way of knowing until 7pm when I could run for home.

Instead, it’s raining. It’s raining walks and runs. Lackey is drenched in disappointment, what happened in the 4th? Was he even aiming for the strike zone? Another rain delay. At least I didn’t miss anything when corporate research averted my attention.

Thank goodness for Gonzalez bringing Ellsbury across that plate. Gonzalez is growing on me; I’m always skeptical of the new players, they have to earn their place in Boston, they can’t simply put on the uniform and demand respect (the same goes for the veteran players, they have to continuously earn my affections). But Adrian, 4 for 4 in the 8th, he’s climbing through my ranks. Finally a ray of sunshine peaks through with a 1 on the board.

Yet, it’s dampened by another rain delay and another dead end in my research. The rain delay continued to end the game. A 5-1 loss to the Padres, really? The Sox simply dissolved in the rain. I closed the window and settled on thinking about the next game. Perhaps the sun will shine in Pittsburgh on Friday or at leas the Sox won’t drown as they did in the first four innings.

As for Montana, maybe the sun is shining and it still feels like summer outside, or it could be pouring (the weather is rather spontaneous here), but a prolonged rain delay won’t end the working day early.

 

~~Trenna Field, on the Trolley at large

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Joy in Beantown & the Slumping Blog


Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length, said the poet Robert Frost. If you have spent a few days or weeks in my class on the Confessional Poets, or long enough in a bar in conversation with me, you would hear me repeat this quote. I am interested in Happiness. In recent years, the subject has been the source of many studies, a great deal of research and blogs(See Daniel Gilbert) and books, and now perhaps more of a topic at the tavern. (Well, perhaps it’s always been a topic at the tavern.) The difference is now we are looking at sustaining joy, beyond its term limits implied by Frost. But consider readers of Dante. The number of those who study The Inferno significantly outdo those who read Purgatorio or Paradiso, no to mention how many times The Inferno has been translated into other languages. Could this point to our desire to understand pain and tragedy because it feels more mysterious than joy? Or is it that pain is the territory we most often occupy?

The question I have about our current state, which is first place, is if the relief and joy we are feeling now is a result of how terrible April went for the Sox? On a more personal point, my blog has slumped for many reasons recently(including the switch to WordPress) but one of the reasons this week is a solid feeling of contentment. So, here is what I would like to celebrate with you, in communal happiness(doesn’t pain always feel too personal?):

1)Let’s give the middle relief some. How about Rich Hill’s curveball in the 8th in Cleveland

2) Carl Crawford’s awakening

3) Carl Crawford’s awakening

4)Carl Crawford’s awakening

5)I can’t say it enough, but I will move on to Ellsbury. We missed you last year for certain.

6)I bow down everyday to A.G.

7)How about Pap’s consistency?

8)If you get down for a minute or two one of these nights, consider that sweep a few weeks ago. You know the one.

Boston Springs

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“Good. I think that’s great,” Francona said when
apprised of Selig’s comments on Thursday about the playoff expansion. “I
wish we were hockey. I don’t like hockey, but the more teams, the better. I
can’t see how it wouldn’t be [good for the game]. It gives a lot of fans reason
to stay with their teams.”

Staying with their teams is something Boston fans know all too well. It’s nice to
be from a place where the teams have a shot at the playoffs. So, even if the
Sox are off to a rocky start, over the last night few nights, fans were able to
glimpse the beginning of one season and the end of another. The Sox and Bruins
have  both been able to send wins home in extra innings and overtime. Just
what the Boston fans needed. Not mention the possible second coming of Dice-K last night in California.

The Bruins were in a more dire position; the playoffs limit
the amount of acceptable (if that’s possible) losses. Being down two games in
the quarterfinals was not something the Bruins seemed comfortable with. Michael
Ryder secured a shot at winning the first round of playoff games on the road to
the Stanley Cup. Ryder scored the opening goal for the Bruins as well as the
game-winning goal to bring them back from the brink of the quarterfinals. The
Bruins now lead in the best of seven series.

“But you need your players to step up at this time of
year and every night a lot of times there is a different guy stepping up and
tonight it was Michael,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the game.

And through the course of the same nights, a different guy
stepped up for the Sox. Finally. In what seemed to be the eleventh hour, Adrian
Gonzalez made his move in the eleventh inning with a double to bring J.D. Drew
home to put Boston
on top.

Maybe Gonzalez was waiting for the right moment to step up
but as the team attempts to regain its position as a contender for the
seemingly far off playoffs, he might have urged Carl Crawford to make his move,
too.

As the Bruins pulled out another overtime victory, (followed by the Celtics sweeping New York) and
as the Sox season is picking up, staying with their teams is something fans can do
easily without having to wish baseball was hockey.

—Trenna Field

OH & SICK

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We are looking for answers, solutions, understanding, clarity, perspective and insight. I have no words. But my teammate, Trenna Field, my blogger at large, is here to help.

jason-varitek-05.jpg


If the 2011 Sox season were a book, I’d be tempted to put it down. Not that it
hasn’t peaked my interest, how could it not? 0-6, Ellsbury batting 3 for 22,
Varitek confused over what constitutes a forced out, playing 7 innings before
letting the game winning run score in the 8th as the Tribe takes
another W.

It’slike the baseball version of Space Jam.
Aliens must have come and taken the talent out of our players. They put the
extra hours in during batting practice, changed the batting order, played in
warm weather, moved to colder weather, yet still have not managed to pull out
with a win. These aren’t our Sox.

Or maybe they are. Their not looking for excuses. They know they’re letting fans
down; they’re letting themselves down. “We’ve heard it before every game, “it’s
a long season,” or “we need to get it together” or “the Yankees are going to
hit an 0-6 stretch at some point.” Their hope is there, the optimism. They feel
bad. Heck, with the salaries they make, they should. One might argue that they
should be paid on performance, the same argument used against teacher salary
increases if students aren’t performing. They’re not performing. With a $142
million contract, Crawford better improve his performance. But maybe this is
proof that with all the money the club has it can’t buy wins. Crawford won’t
win by himself. Gonzalez isn’t the key. The pitchers need their defense backing
them. The lineup needs to connect with the ball and find the gaps in the field.
The team needs synergy, they need to connect with the ball, and they need to
connect with each other. They need to up their game against the Yankees and
they need to step up to the plate and cross it more than the Yankees at Fenway.

If this season were produced in Hollywood, the players would flashback to their
childhood days of playing ball, their eleven-year-old little league playing
selves. The game is their life and they love it. When they lose, they take it
hard. They walk off the field with their heads down, bats dragging through the
infield dirt. Home to moms and dads who console them, “it’s not about winning
or losing, it’s about how you play the game.” Coaches who say, “Don’t worry.
We’ll get ’em next time.” The Sox better start playing the game because next
time comes around quickly.

If the 2011 Sox season were a book, I’d be tempted to put it down. It’s too awful.
Not in a poorly written sense, no, this is captivating stuff. It’s too vivid,
too emotional. But, I never put a book down, I have to follow through, page by
page until the last, even if it’s too hard to handle. I can’t put the Sox down,
not until game 162. And who knows, there could always be an epilogue
.