There is crying in baseball

The other day I was driving home when one of the sports talk hosts began sharing his thoughts on crying and sports. His stance was crying should be reserved “for life’s real moments” and not wasted upon a moment, play or game in sports.
Now, since it’s my blog, you get my take.
Isn’t sports a part of life? Isn’t it something that drives us to emotional reactions just like life’s various events do? Since when do we separate spots and life? For many of us, myself included, sports ARE our life. We laugh at, cry at and get angry at athletes and our teams. Sports bring us together over a common interest. It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, if you’re sitting next to me at the next Sox game, we’re about to have a three-hour bonding session over the local nine.
So how can you say crying should be left for the things that really matter?! Sports matter. They matter a lot.
 I’ve cried over sports. Tears have been shed in times of sadness and happiness caused by one of my teams. I cried each time the Pats won the Super Bowl. I cried in 2003 when Aaron Boone touched home and was mobbed by jubilant Yankees. I cried- a lot- in October of 2004. I cried last October. I cried this past Super Bowl.
So, if you’re going to call yourself a true sports fan and claim any loyalty to any franchise, then, yeah, feel free to cry.
I cry every time I’ve watched Faith Rewarded…and I’m sure I will the next time I watch it.

Random thoughts

The 2008 season as officially begun…the Sox are back on US soil and our flights to Baltimore later this summer are booked! In other words, all is right with my baseball world. There’s a certain spirit which overcomes me each time this year. The thought of which Minor League prospect could be the next big thing and which one will fail to meet much-anticipated expectations. Thinking about who could have a breakout year a la Billy Mueller circa 2003 or if there’s going to be a Beckettesque turnaround in season 2 for Daisuke.
The possibilities of where the next five months could lead us, what emotions we’re going to experience (although frustration, exasperation and jubilation come to mind) is one of my most looked-forward to feelings.
Tonight, we watch the Sox at Toronto, in their first of six meetings with the Jays. It’ll be Wakefield on the mound and me on the couch. I love Friday nights in, with a beer in one hand and my favorite Sox fan (other than myself) next to me. I love Saturday afternoon games, breaking up a lazy weekend day with three hours of pure joy. And I love Sunday games, where you watch your local nine and the looming threat of Monday seems to disappear.
Here is to the first real weekend series of the 2008 season…I can not wait.

To weigh or not to weigh (in)

A little more than three years ago, I made the decision to become a sportswriter. Not old enough to legally drink yet here I thought i knew what i was getting myself into; in some ways, i was right, in others, way off.

I went into it thinking- no,knowing- it’s more than ‘just a game.’ How much more, i’m still trying to figure out. Every now and then, the sports world reaches beyond highlights, scores and statistics to touch upon what we sports writers call ‘the real world.’ Most recently, it’s through the words of former-Yankee Gary Sheffield (yes, my opinion is affected by his previous pinstripe-days) regarding the decline of African-Americans in the Majors.

Rather than throw in my two cents on what he actually said, which is quite interesting, it’s the response and attention given to the "incident" that made me sit and think about what it is I got myself into. It’s the vast spectrum of opinions I’m sick of hearing. But on the other hand, that’s part-and-parcel of this gig: you have to have an opinion on any and everything sports.

Does it get old sometimes? Sure. Does it ever get boring? No.

So Sheffield said some things that surprised people. Since when is it the first, or last, time we sports writers take something and run, sometimes literally (to our computers) with it? It’s neither. If not Sheffield, we’re trying to squeeze the drama out of some other athlete’s comments. When I wrote my very first article as a college student stringing for a local newspaper, it was under the impression I had to be unbiased (as all my stories continue to be) and make sure not to step on any one’s toes with my words, so to speak.

Now a couple years out of college and fully imersed in this wacky world of sports media, it’s clear how thin the line between passing judgement over others and seeing the world objectively is.

And the tendency to cross that line is as uncontrollable-sometimes, please see: Fisk in Game 6 (oh yeah Sox fans, can you feel the smile spreading across your faces?)- as willing a baseball to land in fair or foul territory.

In no way am I anywhere close to being a seasoned veteran of this industry, but the short stint still has me waxing analytical of everything but the numbers.

In other words, I’m my own judge and jury. But I’m also a sports writer so that makes me the same of athletes.

Ah, Sox are down 3-0 in the top of the seventh, more reason to question the world.

My (valiant) comeback!

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted and I’m flirting dangerously close to the I’ve-broken-my-new-baseball-season-resolution line (too bad that’s the closest thing to ‘flirting’ i’ve done in a while) but I’m not quite there yet.

But I do have my reasons for not keeping this updated. First off, I just returned from the rainy, wet and cold-as-a-Patriots-playoff-game London. Despite the fact I thought it would be warm in say, the end of May, the trip was a success. So much so, we deemed it the "best-worst trip." Enough of that, though, let’s get down to some baseball-business.

I just got home from covering a high school semifinal game (that went into extra innings, forcing me to freeze on a June-night and then go speak with the losing coach and the pitcher who blew the game…not fun) so now’s the perfect time to blog-it-out (stolen from a Michael original from The Office).

Stayed up the past two nights to watch the Sox disappoint me from across the country. Already, I’m finding myself ****** into that "no honey, give me another chance. I promise i won’t let you down…" relationship with the boys. Usually it takes me time to jump on the roller coaster (i know, but at least i’m not afraid of roller coasters, unlike someone i know) in an effort to keep my neighbors’ sanity in tact from my screaming about over each inning of each game.

The last two nights, though, I feel that lap-belt getting tighter and the bar coming down to secure me snuggly into my seat so i’m not able to jump-ship midway through the season, um i mean ‘ride.’

It’s official, i’ve waited in line, taken a deep breath and now let’s get this thing started…twists, turns, ups and downs both welcome and certain!

Double Sided?

After the last three nights of yelling-so-loud-it’ll-take-a-week-for-my-voice-to-come-back baseball, I didn’t think it was possible to hate Yankee fans any more. But an early morning conversation with a friend (no, he really is a friend despite his loyalty to baseball teams) about the first Sox-Yanks series.

And his comments got me so fired up, it changed the entire basis for my original post. When he made his point about our three best starters not having their best starts, "We scored a lot of runs on your three top guys," and kept reminding me that starting pitching isn’t always a gaurantee when you have legitamate arms, I agreed. There’s nothing that secures a "W" just because your last name is Schilling or Beckett.

But then when he tried to point out we beat two rookies and things were going to be much different when Mussina and Wang return, I couldn’t help but point out the hypocracy most Yankees fans are guilty of. So, it’s okay for you to have a dangerous lineup and rely a lot on offense, but not okay when the Sox do it?

And just because you’re a consistent starter and have a proven track record, it still means you can get rocked on any given outing…but that rule doesn’t apply to Mussina and Wang when they come back?

And make up your mind: how is it that your so proud of your offense scoring runs off our three guys but yet "We had at least three automatic outs so that was a big reason we lost." Figure it out: "You guys had a huge starting pitching advantage" versus "You should be troubled by their performances, because none pitched good games."

Oh and let’s not forget the wonderful conundrum that is: "Rivera is 38 years old and hadn’t pitched in like a-week-and-a-half. I know you guys fear him." in the same conversation as "Schilling is showing his age and isn’t a threat to us anymore."Wait let me get this, so we fear Rivera, who’s getting old, but Schilling doesn’t hold any more clout with you, because he’s getting old?!

Yankee fans, make up your minds. At least we Sox fans are either 100 percent optimistic and the team can do NO wrong, or we’re "they’re all bums and the season’s done!" At least we love or hate the team (at different times) whole-heartedly-no wishy-washiness here, unlike some other fans I know…

Small early-season gripe

I know it’s onlya few weeks into the season and none of this could matter in a coupl months, but when Manny Ramirez starts the year off batting .191 with 0 home runs and six RBI, that’s okay because we know (no, we realllly do know) that it won’t last.

When Coco Crisp starts the year off batting .136 with a .191 on-base percentage, it makes me really wanna… well, I got that out of my system. How about you lay off of making those "oh so cute" magazine covers and spend more time in the cages!

I told you so…

After a much-needed, friendly reminder from one of my No.1 fans (you know who you are!) I’m holding true to my message that I’ll blog more this season. But before I get into it, let me explain why I was such a slacker the past few weeks. I don’t like to blog unless I’ve been watching the games, I hate those people that watch the highlights and check the box scores and then think they can just recite that and it’s good blog-fodder. So I like to make sure I at least have an in-depth idea of what’s going on before I sit and post.

Watching the third game at Toronto, I like what Julian Tavarez is doing so far…but it’s only the bottom of the third. One inning at a time, Julian, that’s all I can hope for!

Toot-my-own-horn notice: I like seeing Adam Lind and Aaron Hill do well for the Jays and I like to tink it has a little to do with my stellar coverage of them when they were with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Double-AA Toronto team) for

Okay, that was my "look I’ve talked to them before they were big shots" moment. Every now and then I’ll have them when I see one of the many Minor Leaguers I’ve chatted with in the Bigs. PS…great 1-4-3 double play set off by Tavarez…keep it going Julie Jules!!

It has begun

I say at the beginning of every season but this time I mean it, I promise.

I am going to blog on a regular basis.

As recent events have left my schedule wide open, it just means I have more time to devote to my mistress, or mister, the Red Sox. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just here because my dance card is on hiatus for a while, but because there’s a certain something in the air. It’s that baseball-in-April feeling, the one I’ve been waiting for since the Patriots broke my heart  (something I’m still reeling over) on a cold January evening in Indianapolis.

I admit I haven’t had too much time to watch Spring Training games and did miss Schilling’s "beauty" on opening day, but last night’s game with Beckett on the mound and today’s Daisuke debut have had me sitting in front of the t.v. with my yearly this-is-our-year feeling. It’s the top of the eighth and just as I’m wondering where last night’s offense was, the Royals answered. Three KCesque defensive plays have allowed us to pull ahead, 4-1, with the bases loaded and two outs.

It’s only the third game of ’07, I know, but being able to convert on opponents’ mistakes just wasn’t something we could do last year. Picking up two runs on three errors is exactly the kind of we’re-not-down-til-the-final-out attitude I missed from last season’s squad.

There’s a new sense of refreshed energy in these parts…the Red Sox season has officially begun…

Tangent time

Time for me to jump off topic for a quick second and write about Sunday’s FIFA World Cup match. First off, I’m psyched Italy won for plenty of reasons, one of whichhas to do with me deciding the Italian players were by far the best looking guys in the tourney (Yes, I know I’m supposed to be a professional, but jeez, I’m still a girl).

I just can’t resist weighing on the whole Zidane issue, which I had gotten over until the subject was reopened while I was at the office today and my co-sports reporter Matt and hashed it out.

Yes, Zidane is perhaps one of the best players of the game, but that does not mean he has license to lose control whenever he feels like it. Look, I don’t care what Marco Materazzi said-and trust me, I’ve heard the different theories: something about Zidane’s mother, his sister or calling him a terrorist. Heck, I even heard the one about Materazzi giving Zidane a ‘****** tweak’-you don’t just randomly head-butt the guy in the chest and put your team in jeopardy like that.

Bad move by someone who’s supposed to be the team leader. We all know the outcome could’ve been much different had he been around during the shootout.

Alls well that ends well, I guess; Zidane wins the Golden Ball while the Italians-oh those good looking stallions-take home the big prize.

Okay back to baseball, though I would like to hear thoughts on this too…..