- 2004 and 2007: Seven years ago, we were coming off the biggest heartbreak since 1986. We still claimed lovable loser status, and there were people who swore that the Cubs curse would break before ours. Then, seven years ago today, our own Theo Epstein made a trek to Curt Schilling's Arizona home for Thanksgiving, and a deal was eventually done. The rest, as they say, is history.
- An 89-win season: Fully two-thirds of MLB teams finished behind Boston this season, and this despite the 2010 Parade of Carnage that saw SIX Opening Day starters spend an extended period on the disabled list, not to mention the grab bag of injuries to bench players and pitchers beyond Opening Day starter Josh Beckett.
- The chance to cheer for prospects: The Red Sox have had a fantastic farm system, and despite Theo's ill-fated "bridge year" comment of yesteryear, we got to see some fantastic things this season. If I had proclaimed, this time last year, that we would soon be cheering on Daniel Nava, Darnell McDonald, Ryan Kalish, Felix Doubront, and Josh Reddick on a regular basis, you all would have had me committed. The kids, as they say, are all right, and they certainly proved themselves this season.
- My proximity to Boston: Sure, I'm three hours away at home, and two when I'm at school, but the fact is that I can drive there any time I wish (so long as there's not a blizzard or something). There are fans all over the country, and all over the world, who have never set foot in Fenway Park, have never been to the the East Coast of the US, and so are constant minorities in their baseball-rooting interest. I'm thankful that there are thousands of Fenway Faithful all around me, that Red Sox hats abound (more in NH than CT), and that people around here are generally so passionate.
- Dustin Pedroia: You had to know this was coming. However, it's not just my favorite player for whom I am thankful, but all of his home-grown teammates, especially those who are still under Red Sox control, pre-arbitration, and those who took wallet-friendly deals to stay with the Sox. Players like Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, John Lester, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Jed Lowrie (remember him!?), and yes, even Jacoby Ellsbury.
- The wallet of John Henry, et al: Yes, yes, I know all of RSN is claiming that Henry's acquisition of the Liverpool Football Club is the reason that VMart is now a Tiger, but I'm going to go on record as skeptical of that theory. The fact is, Henry is fabulously wealthy, and he bankrolled the second-highest payroll in MLB last year. I know it's difficult to keep perspective on how lucky the Sox are financially when the Yankees are outspending King Midas 200 miles to the south, but please try to remember: we are very, VERY lucky to have an owner who is willing to spend when his GM thinks it's appropriate.
- Theo Epstein: Speaking of the GM, we happen to have one of the best. I know people's opinions are tainted right now because of the Victor Martinez debacle, but the fact is that Theo always knows what he's doing (except, apparently, with shortstops). Do you recall the offseason a few years back (I believe this was pre-Martinez, but perhaps not) when all of RSN was howling at Mr. Epstein to go out and get a new young backstop? Jarrod Saltalamacchia was near the top of the wish list, and Theo managed to acquire him for peanuts. Theo has a plan. Chill.
- You! Yes, dear reader, I am thankful for you. When I started this blog nearly two years ago, I never expected to get more than a few reads, if I got any at all. Really, this was going to function more like a journal for me to get out my Sox thoughts, since no one in my life particularly cared to discuss baseball 24/7. The audience I have now blows me away, and I'm extremely thankful to be able to write for such a passionate group of fans.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving, Red Sox Nation!
All too often this blog has become a place for rants and complaints: mostly because none of my friends or family really care about the Red Sox (at least, not like I do), so this is a somewhat healthy way to vent my frustrations. However, in spirit of today's holiday, I thought I would post a list of Red Sox-related things for which I am thankful: