Tagged: Bobby Jenks

As Restless as a Willow in a Windstorm

Here is another guest entry from my former student, the writer, Trenna Field.

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Spring Baseball

Never mind whether or not a groundhog saw his shadow, the symbol for
spring is when the football season ends and baseball begins. Though spring may
not officially begin until March, the vision for warm weather arises when
Florida becomes more than a winter destination and Arizona becomes a vacation
destination for eager baseball fans.

As
pitchers and catchers begin their first official workout of the 2011 season,
the media is buzzing with the possibilities of whatever may happen with the Red
Sox. The unknowns are what can lead the team to prepare for the best and become
conscientious of the worse. J.D. Drew has mentioned a bothersome hamstring,
which could be a cause for concern as fans remember the injuries piling up, and
a mounting disabled list at the end of the 2010 season.

The
media has also attempted to stir up an in-team rivalry between Jenks and
Papelbon, though both have acknowledged a successful organization and a title
seeking team is the priority. Expectations for the upcoming season are set for
the top. The Red Sox are aiming for a World Series, which might leave some
feeling skeptical. Tracey Jackson, a guest on a Today Show segment titled “Why
50 Is Not The New 30” said, “if you set yourself up for expectations you can’t
meet, you’re going to be depressed.” That makes sense, but as the Red Sox have
everything in line for a great season and the passion to play for it, their
expectations are realistic leaving no room for depression. A Red Sox World
Series is quite possible, after all, it is only spring and anything is
possible.

  Fort Myers is a place where the kinks of the
team can be worked out, on and off the field, and a place that allows baseball
to begin as Fenway Park continues to thaw from the harsh New England winter.
Baseball has officially kicked off an early spring, although the temperature is
still below freezing and the wind chill is unbearable, with something like
opening day to look forward to, the winter is almost a thing of the past, like
the 2010 season.

Closer Nation

Sometimes Jonathan Papelbon’s syntax is a little strange, not to mention a few mixed metaphors and some surprising, thinly veiled insults to others around him. Sometimes Jonathan Papelbon is a little strange, without the words. But in recent days, the king of the Red Sox closers–though that title is nebulous according to many–has made some sense, both scholarly and profound. With all the jubilation about our Winter Signings Wonderland, we have been counting the wins. 100? 103? The best records in baseball in 84 years? But Pap brings us back to reality. He deflates the hype the way he punctures the hearts of autograph seekers by driving right by them with nary a glance.

We don’t have the best bullpen in baseball until we win the World Series, he says. This led me to consider how an overloaded pitching staff can suddenly look like the rotation of the PawSox. After last year’s decimating injuries to just about everyone in the lineup, we must be cautious about our expectations. That doesn’t mean my heart isn’t racing with the sight of palm trees.More importantly, though, I am thinking about the way we assume our bullpen is overloaded. We assume Bard is the closer of the future. Hey, we have Bobby Jenks, too. Was anyone paying attention when baseball’s brightest star unhinged his elbow in the nation’s capital? Of course we all were watching. We watched more closely as our middle relief and closers blew lead after lead. We have the bats, but never ever enough arms.

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photo by David Martin, Boston Herald