Guess Who’s Back?
After a long and agonizing two months, I finally have the
time to sit down and write—and not to mention the day I was able to do this,
I’m literally snowed in after a “blizzard” dropped six inches in North-Atlanta
(which is an absurd amount for Georgia, so everything is shut down).
These last two months have been somewhat of a roller coaster ride for yours
truly, which makes perfect sense because the Red Sox off-season has also sent
the Nation into swirling winds of excitement, hope and utter craziness while we
wait for these last thirty-four days of the “Hot Stove” season to
wind down. With all the recent acquisitions, and my pure eagerness for baseball
season to start, I can’t stop thinking about the potential we have for 2011.
Yes, I understand that everyone is “World Series Champs” in the
winter months, but if you take an in-depth look at our starting line-up (no matter
what order Terry Francona decides on), plus our starting rotation, it is only
right for all of us to think we could be major contenders this upcoming season.
On December 6, 2010, five days after my twenty-first birthday, Adrian Gonzalez
was sent to the Red Sox via trade with the San Diego Padres for three minor
league prospects (RHP Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder
Reymond Fuentes) and a PTBNL (Eric Patterson). The twenty-eight year old first
baseman, who will be wearing number 28 for the Sox, is coming off an
outstanding season with his hometown team. In 591 at-bats, the lefty hit
.298/.393/.511 with a .904 OPS and belted 31 long balls, with 101 RBIs. The
three-time All-Star (’08, ’09, ’10) and two-time Gold Glove winner (’08, ’09)
knew what to say in his Fenway Park press conference to win over the hearts of
the Nation, stating “I’m ready to beat the Yanks.”
Then two days later on the 8th of December, rumors finally came to
rest when it was confirmed that the left fielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, Carl
Crawford (29), signed a 7 year, $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
The four-time All-Star (’04, ’07, ’09, ’10) and 2010 Gold Glove and Silver
Slugger Award winner is entering Boston in his prime. Last year, he hit 19
homers, with 90 RBIs and batted .307/.356/.495 with an .851 OPS. In this
blockbuster deal, Crawford becomes the highest paid outfielder to never hit twenty home-runs in a season.
Happy birthday to me, right?
Although there were plenty of other notable transactions the last few months, I
have to say I’m very excited to see a healthy line-up including Kevin Youkilis,
Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury. Our bullpen could possibly see more changes
by adding another lefty in the mix, however, with Daniel Bard, Bobby
Jenks and Jonathan Papelbon ready to step on that mound, I have a very good
feeling about our pitching staff.
February 13th is slowly but surely creeping up on us, pitchers and catchers
will report, and the chilly Hot Stove season will finally coming to an end.
It’s hard to picture myself at a ball game when all I see is white when I look
outside, but I know that very, very soon I will be able to sit back, eat my sunflower seeds, and finally enjoy another memorable baseball season.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and I want you all to know how
great it feels to finally be back!