Posted 07/07/2009 at 02:48 AM
I try to keep my analysis strictly objective, and I think I do a pretty good job of keeping any bias out of the equation. But at the same time, I’ve never made any secret of the fact I’m a lifelong Red Sox fan. New England born and bred, and thoroughly obsessed with everything pertaining to my team. I definitely pull for the Patriots, Celtics and Bruins as well, but for me the center stage always belongs to the Red Sox. Always has, always will.
I would have loved to be at Fenway Park on Monday evening to welcome home Nomar Garciaparra. Before the injuries started piling up, Nomar was on his way to a Hall of Fame career. One can’t help but wonder what kind of numbers he’d have put up had he been able to stay healthy. The trade of Nomar to the Cubs back in the summer of 2004 was an extremely unpopular one among most Red Sox fans. Personally, I said the day the trade was made that this was a great move by Theo Epstein, as Nomar was no longer happy in Boston (he’d turned down an extension prior to the season) and there were strong rumblings that he’d become a bit of a problem in the clubhouse. Shortly before the deal, the Red Sox and Yankees played an amazing extra inning game. You may recall the incredible catch of a foul ball by Derek Jeter, where he went crashing into the stands. That took place in that particular game. Some fans might also recall that there was a great camera shot of the Boston dugout where every player was perched on the railing, with one exception. Nomar Garciaparra was seated by himself on the dugout bench. I knew that day that it was time for the Red Sox to deal him, and I was not at all surprised when a trade was consummated shortly thereafter. Plus, that Red Sox team needed a defensive upgrade and acquiring Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz was a stroke of genius by Epstein. That said, saying goodbye to Nomar Garciaparra still wasn’t easy.
The appearance at Fenway last night was the first by Nomar since that trade nearly five years ago. The ovation accorded him by the Red Sox faithful was awesome. Say what you might about Red Sox fans, the one thing that cannot be denied is we remember our own. Unless they leave Boston to sign with the Yankees, which is unacceptable.
And speaking of Yankee fans, what’s with the booing of Andy Pettitte yesterday. Really? What, he hasn’t won enough big games for you guys over the years? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this display of ignorance, as the same “fans” actually booed Mariano Rivera early last season after he blew a couple of saves. And there’s the difference between NYY and Red Sox fans. When David Ortiz was struggling through his epic slump earlier this season, there were virtually no catcalls or boos, just encouragement for one of the franchise’s most beloved players ever. I guess Yankee fans hold their players to a different standard.
I’m sure this particular column will infuriate some Yankee fans, and I don’t want to send anyone off feeling angry. So here’s an awesome joke that ya gotta love, courtesy of my good friend John Cranton.
A man was at the country club for his weekly round of golf. He began his round with an eagle on the first hole and a birdie on the second.. On the third hole he had just scored his first ever hole-in-one when his cell phone rang. It was a doctor notifying him that his wife had just been in a terrible accident and was in critical condition and in the ICU.
The man told the doctor to inform his wife where he was and that he’d be there as soon as possible. As he hung up he realized he was leaving what was shaping up to be his best ever round of golf.
He decided to get in a couple of more holes before heading to the hospital. He ended up playing all eighteen, finishing his round shooting a personal best 61, shattering the club record by five strokes and beating his previous best game by more than 10. He was jubilant….
Then he remembered his wife. Feeling guilty he dashed to the hospital. He saw the doctor in the corridor and asked about his wife’s condition.
The doctor glared at him and shouted, “You went ahead and finished your round of golf didn’t you!” “I hope you’re proud of yourself! While you were out for the past four hours enjoying yourself at the country club your wife has been languishing in the ICU!
It’s just as well you went ahead and finished that round because it will be more than likely your last! For the rest of her life she will require round the clock care, and you will be her care giver!”
The man was feeling so guilty he broke down and sobbed.
The doctor snickered and said, “I’m just f*cking with you. She’s dead. What’d you shoot?”
Big series opening tonight between the Cardinals and Brewers. Yovanni Gallardo is pitching great ball for Milwaukee, but Adam Wainwright has been solid as well for the Cardinals. The Brewers have not been especially dominant at home this season, while the Redbirds sport a winning road record. Tough game for sure, but I see some value at the price with the road underdog Cardinals.