Scarlet Fever

A teenage girl's perspective on the Red Sox and everything else.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Boston is Spoiled

Boston is the absolute luckiest town in all of sports. We've become the hub of the hated, the feared, the dreaded. Most towns are known for one sport. Indianapolis has football. Ottawa has hockey. San Antonio has basketball.
And then there's Boston. It seems like Boston has always had one good team at a time. The Red Sox have had their years. The Celtics have had their years. The Bruins have had their years... and then came 2007. The Red Sox won the World Series, and we thought it was baseball's year. But then the Patriots started winning... and winning. And not losing. And the Celtics got two new superstars and started winning. And the Bruins started winning.
And that leaves us here. With one championship already under our city's belt, the Pats are undefeated. The Celtics are first in their division and 18-2. The Bruins, formerly the laughingstock of Boston, have quietly gone to 17-10 and crept to second in their division, fourth overall in the Eastern Conference.
With so many options, what's a city to do? People dream of monopolies like this. We are truly the sports capital of the world. Nearly every night there's a game to watch with a dominating Boston team playing. We are so, so spoiled. Remember when we were always told to wait until next year?
Well, I think next year has finally arrived. For every sport. For every fan. This is the year where one city will achieve incredible things. Boston fans, we have been truly blessed.
Just remember to be careful. Be thankful for the gifts our sports teams have given us. Be thankful, cheer them on, but be careful. Conceit and arrogance come easily. We are lucky, but domination is temporary. Humility is instilled in the Patriots by Bill Belichick, and we should follow his example. We will be able to impress the world with our talent, rendering our words useless. We don't need to tell people how awesome Boston is--they're already being shown.
(Except New York. Shove it in their faces all you want.)

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Once the exhilaration of winning the World Series wore off, the high of being on top of the world, the rewarding feeling of months and months of never giving up--I was left with pride. Pride in a sports team is a funny thing. In some ways, it feels as though the Sox are my child, whom I've watched grow up and mature through the vicissitudes of a season, and eventually succeed in life. Yet in another way, the Sox are this huge force I cannot touch, yet I admire and respect, and I dream of being like them. After all, the Sox is a historic organization made up of grown men playing their hearts out, day after day. And I'm proud at what they were able to accomplish. On a third level, I'm proud of the Sox because they are role models, and they are good, humble people who deserved every minute of their accomplishment. They worked hard all season, all offseason, every minute of their lives so that they could give the fans a victory. And I'm so grateful.
When we first won, I didn't even know what to do with myself. I kept repeating, "We just won the World Series." Before, every victory was merely a stepping point to a greater stage. Finally, there was nothing to wait for. We had to live in the moment, bathe in the warmth of our satisfaction. Even though it was after midnight, I stayed up to watch all the postgame celebration the FOX televised. My heart was beating so rapidly, I was afraid it would jump out of my chest. There was no greater gift the Red Sox could have given us than this. When I woke up the next morning, I was sleep-deprived, torpid, and sluggish. It was one of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced. My entire school seemed to be wearing Red Sox gear, and I was walking on air.
The offseason is going to be a long one. Some key players might be involved in trades (cross your fingers that it's not Mike Lowell!), but the core of this team will remain. We are going to be great. We are going to be champions.
We're already off to a very good start.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I'm Still Alive

I know, you probably all assumed that I'd abandoned my blog, and it's somewhat true that I did, but I had no intention of never writing again. Summer was impossibly busy and school is busier, and the only free time I have goes to watching games, with none left over to write about them. However, I figured that this tough first post after such a long hiatus should finally be tackled today, the day after we clinched the AL East in an absolutely thrilling fashion. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise that I'm grounded this weekend, because last night I stayed up to watch the game in its entirety, followed by the postgame coverage with Yankees updates, and finally the celebration after the Orioles' amazing comeback. Never have the O's had so many fans before! The pure exhilaration when Melvin Mora bunted home the winning run was unequivocal. I think I smiled for the next hour straight as Jonathan Papebon stole the show, running around in his tighty-whities with a Bud Light box on his head, eye holes poked out. As other players were interviewed by Tina Cervasio, Pap was always in the background doing an irish jig or dousing teammates in champagne. He was absolutely hilarious and the entire celebration was pure ecstacy.
Sorry to cut this post short, but I have to go out to dinner.
Let's win these last two and get home field advantage!
And one more thing: Pedroia the Destroyah for ROY!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

First Half

I could give excuses upon excuses for my lack of posting this summer, but I don't know that that really makes a difference anyways. The truth is that it's almost halfway through summer and I have yet to make a post. The reasons really aren't important, and I know that last summer I posted every day. However, I used to write my posts at my old job and nobody really cared what I did there. This summer I'm working 10 or 11-hour days at my dad's office and I have something to do at all times. I also can't look like a slacker. So posting daily is a lot harder now, but anyways that's besides the point. I'll try and post as often as I have an idea for something to write.
Suddenly the season has come to its halfway point. It seems like days ago I was just waiting for the season to start, just marveling at how good we looked in Spring Training, just making predictions on how well we'd play. At the beginning of the season hopes are always through the roof. Rarely does a team succeed at making those dreams true, yet this team has. I wonder how I would have reacted if somebody had told me during Spring Training that at the All-Star Break we would have a double-digit lead in our division, and six Sox representatives at the game (with a seventh, in Kevin Youkilis, deserving a spot on the team).
It can be very easy to begin to feel comfortable with our spot at the top, and indeed, we have the best record in the majors. Yet we had the same record last year at the ASB, and that year ended in a catastrophic debacle. We cannot relax; we must keep performing at the level we have been. The Yankees always will give us a hard time, regardless of their record. The minute we start to pity them, they will come back and usurp the division title. We do not have such a large lead because of our own play, but rather because of the rest of our division's sub-.500 play. It's risky to depend on another team to keep your lead alive.
Here's to a second half that rivals the first in its thrill and dominance!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Real Deal

Other than a recent four-game skid (which is, thankfully, over), the Red Sox have been incredibly consistent thus far in the 2007 season. Even with the $70 million JD Drew hitting in the .220s, $8 million-a-year Julio Lugo becoming an automatic out as leadoff man, and $100 million Daisuke Matsuzaka carrying around a 4.63 ERA, this team is winning. Winning like Patriots. Winning as though they weren't human. And it's not the guys with the hefty salaries who are carrying most of the weight.
Kevin Youkilis recently ended a 23-game hitting streak, but still has a live 28-game on-base streak. He ranks fourth in the AL with a .341 batting average, despite a tough series in Oakland. He ranks 6th in runs with 43, 7th in hits with 75, and is errorless at first base. And his humble attitude has endeared him to the fans. Upon ending his streak with a three-walk night, Youkilis responded that "We just won a ballgame. Who [cares] about a streak. Streaks are streaks. They're gonna happen. You can't be mad about ending a hitting streak." Said Terry Francona about his blossoming first baseman, "What impressed me more than anything was seeing Youkilis mature right in front of our eyes. I mean, he never left the strike zone. I got a kick out of that more than almost anything today. He plays the game right." Youk's salary is $424,500.
Dustin Pedroia has been blisteringly hot since he broke out of his April slump. He earned AL Rookie of the Month honors for May, batting .415 with a .600 slugging percentage over that period. He has only two errors at second base, and had a 13-game hitting streak. According to Francona, "When he was struggling, he didn't put his head down, he's got that fighter mentality. He goes to the cage every day. He had a lot of long sessions with [hitting coach Dave Magadan]." Though many fans were quick to dismiss him as unprepared for the majors, and Francona was forced to platoon Pedroia with Alex Cora throughout April, Cora has seen a lot less playing time as of late. "Pedroia got himself to a point where he's a key member of our team and he's not looking over his shoulder," said Francona. Pedroia makes the major league minimum, $380,000.
If you compare Jonathan Papelbon's stats from this season with last year's, it almost appears that he has been struggling. And when a 2.11 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 21.1 innings is struggling, you're almost inhuman. Papelbon has gone from unknown to household name in just a year. His explosive pitches have confuddled batters all year long, and his energy is insane. He's one of the elite closers in all of baseball. He makes $425,500.
Hideki Okajima came over much like Mike Lowell did, as a forgettable side dish to an expensive, expensive meal. Nobody even mentioned him during Spring Training when the team was searching for a closer, yet he has become Jonathan Papelbon's setup man and occasional partner in crime. Okajima's miniscule ERA of 1.21 earned him AL Rookie of the Month honors for April. He has emerged as the workhorse of an incredible bullpen and captured the fans' hearts. His salary is $1,225,000.
Jon Lester will soon return from the DL after a bout with cancer. He has been phenomenal in Triple A Pawtucket, boasting an 0.87 ERA in four starts. He's dying to get back and round out an already-stacked rotation. Lester has been the Sox' farm system's prize posession, and last year he joined the rotation when the entire pitching staff was struck with a case of horrible luck. Lester will make $384,000.
Everyone seems to focus on the salaries of veterans like Manny, Papi, Drew, and Schilling, yet the great deals the team has seem to be going unnoticed. Although the Red Sox have the second-largest payroll in baseball, they clearly have some of baseball's best bargains as well.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Trot's Return

I will be at tonight's game. Trot's return to Fenway, our first game in a while against a great team, and of course GRADY SIZEMORE! I'm so excited. It's going to be a thrilling game. I'm wearing my blue Lester jersey but I doubt I'll be on TV or anything. The only way I'll be mentioned is if I'm a crazy fan who jumps on the field and runs over to Grady. Just kidding... sort of.
The Sox are almost unhumanly good right now. I'm soaking in every minute of it. Even with our ace on the DL we have the best record in baseball and are first in our division by 12.5 games. It's unreal. Let's make it 13.5, shall we?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Vocab Essay

The following is a 100-vocab-word essay I wrote for my English class. The vocab words are numbered because my teacher insisted that we do that and I didn't feel like going back and changing them all.

The Boston Red Sox appear to be on the advent (1) of a stellar (2) season. After a disconcerting (3) Opening Day loss to the penurious (4) Kansas City Royals (who, owners of baseball’s lowest payroll, are notoriously (5) impecunious (6)), many fans postulated (7) prematurely that the Sox were in the throes (8) of an evil, Yankee-enamored (9) god. Eventually, though, these innately (10) pessimistic fans were forced to have a revelation (11) and realize that one loss does not besmirch (12) a record. After their unemphatic (13) Opening Day performance, the Red Sox regained their composure (14) and turned April into a month for the archives (15), never again appearing vulnerable (16). On April 22, the Sox sluggers completed the seemingly ludicrous (17) feat of hitting four consecutive home runs against their anathema (18), the heinous (19) New York Yankees. As Sox fans watched the debacle (20) of Yankees pitching unfold, they felt payback for all the years the repulsive (21) Evil Empire had usurped (22) the division title. When the vain, egotistical Roger Clemens signed with the Yankees several weeks later, some Red Sox fans felt jaundiced (23) and made caustic (24) comments, but the truth is that Roger is washed-up and self-centered, with a propensity (25) for infantile (26) histrionics (27) due to the cavalier (28) belief that the entire baseball world glorifies (29) and exalts (30) him as its pinnacle (31).
The Red Sox’ once-ramshackle (32) pitching rotation underwent an upheaval (33) during the busy offseason, and now exudes (34) talent. The BoSox boast as co-aces the iconic (35) Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett, the latter no longer tentative (36) in his sophomore season in Boston. Japanese phenomenon Daisuke Matsuzaka, entrenched (37) in his position as the third starter, is master of eight baffling pitches, the fastest of which careens (38) by at 96 mph and the most dilatory (39) of which is a duplicitous (40) changeup with screwball-like movement. The venerable (41) knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, entering his twelfth season in a Red Sox uniform, returns to his fourth spot in the rotation, while interim (42) starter Julian Tavarez rounds out the rotation until Jon Lester returns from a perilous (43) bout of cancer (luckily, the cancer was found in its nascent (44) stages). The formidable (45) starting five will certainly prove inimical (46) to opposing batters’ averages. The Red Sox also boast Major League Baseball’s best current bullpen, able to withstand daily travail (47) while being parsimonious (48) in the number of combined runs it allows. The repercussions (49) of facing any one Red Sox reliever include strikeouts and bellicose (50) glares at the mound.
The Red Sox also have a lineup capable of turning pitches into projectiles (51), and their hitters are currently hot enough to be the genesis (52) of a conflagration (53). Leadoff man Julio Lugo, despite a propensity (54) to overthrow first base from his position at shortstop, is an upgrade offensively from Alex Gonzalez. His vibrant (55) personality is a huge change from Gonzo’s stoicism (56), even though he appears attenuated (57) and atrophied (58) because he is thin. Kevin Youkilis is in line for another solid season, if last season presages (59) anything; his biggest flaw is his tendency to hold himself to strict criteria (60) and feel mortified (61) after striking out. The avuncular (62), altruistic (63) behemoth (64) David Ortiz bats third, a huge man with a huger smile who appears constantly at charity events; he is known for being extremely munificent (65) with his opulence (66) (being a mogul (67), of course, he is a multi-millionaire). Last season, the man known as Big Papi sullied (68) records with his fifty-four prodigious (69) home runs, many of which were walkoffs hit with bravado (70) and marked by a pious (71) finger-point towards the sky. Hitting after Ortiz is Manny Ramirez, the dreadlocked slugger with a phlegmatic (72) brain but a bat so redoubtable (73) that, despite his nebulous (74) thoughts, many sequester (75) him into a coterie (76) of hitters so talented that they are considered sacrosanct (77). Red Sox fans have become inured (78) to Manny’s “Manny-isms”, which brought about the epigram (79) “Manny being Manny.” J.D. Drew offers Manny protection and snags fly balls about to cross the short façade (80) in right field, and has been producing in Boston, despite an oft-aggrieved (81) shoulder and a reputation of listlessness (82) and a blasé (83) attitude. Mike Lowell, given the sobriquet (84) “Mr. Doubles” for self-explanatory reasons, has become a team leader and a dependable hitter, known for his probity (85) and his fantastic defense at third base, in addition to his ability to hit the ball at and over the Green Monster. The team’s captain Jason Varitek is the ultimate “dirt dog”, free from grandeur (86); as catcher, calling games is his métier (87) – he spends hours studying video of hitters and memorizing arcane (88) statistics, trying to pick up on abstruse (89) details so he can lead a foray (90) against opposing hitters. The ambidextrous (91) switch-hitter Coco Crisp follows ‘Tek; last season, Coco was sidelined by a broken finger and was never the same player after his convalescence (92). This season, however, Coco’s productive at-bats have seemed to presage (93) a better year, and his fidgety batting stance (94) is always entertaining. Rounding out the batting order is the diminutive (95) Dustin Pedroia, in his rookie season as a major leaguer. At 5’7”, Pedroia appears lilliputian (96), yet his tiny body is able to produce grandiloquent (97) home runs, and he is believed to be in the incipient (98) stages of an impressive career.
The Red Sox call the felicitous (99) environs (100) of Fenway Park home, and they are lucky to have one of baseball’s most historic venues (101) as a ballpark. They are famous for pulverizing (102) opponents on their home turf, yet this year they have been sensational on the road as well. The vicissitudes (103) of the season are bound to take their toll, but this team is buttressed (104) by an excellent farm system. Should injuries and various forms of malaise (105) take their toll, replacements are waiting; thus, the world should remain in equilibrium and the Red Sox should remain in their rightful spot: ensconced (106) in first place.