The Baseball Desert

Friday, April 28, 2006

Meltdown and countdown

I love to see players having a career night - 4-for-5, two home runs (including a grand slam), 8 RBIs - just not against the Red Sox.

Last night's loss means that the Sox, after a promising start, have now lost the last two series, and now the top four teams in the AL East are separated by a mere 1 1/2 games. It would be good if the losing streak were turned around tonight against the Devil Rays, because I don't need to remind you who's in town on Monday and Tuesday.

There is obviously a personal sub-text to all of this - I would very much like the Red Sox to be on a roll when I see them next week. Despite having had the tickets in my possession for four months, I have only really thought about the trip in abstract terms. Having been burned before on planned trips to baseball games, I've been trying so far to balance a growing excitement with a rational "Don't smile until you're actually sat inside Fenwway Park" attitude, but with the trip a mere five days away, that is getting harder and harder to do. I'm now at the point where I'm starting to look at concrete details: how I get from the airport to the hotel; how best to get from the hotel to Fenway; what kind of weather I can expect (could be better, unfortunately) and who's pitching.

I've spent a long time just hoping that this trip would finally come together - I first saw the Red Sox on TV in 1986 - so I figure I'm going to be a fairly easy audience. Some occasional showers? I can live with that - I spent the first 18 years of my life in the north of England. A possible rotation of Clement-DiNardo-Schilling-Wakefield? Sounds pretty good (I was hoping for Beckett, but after last night's game, not so much). However, there is one area in which I'm prepared to be a bit more demanding: if I'm going to fly 4,000 miles and cross six time-zones to the Sox play, I think it is only fair that the Sox put some wins on the board for me. I can't go all Steinbrenner on them and demand a win in every game I'm going to see, but I would like to use this forum to share a thought or two with the Sox. I'm not so worried about Friday and Saturday, because Kevin Millar will back at Fenway to liven up the proceedings, but please note: ineptitude in the games on Wednesday and Thursday against the Toronto Blow Jobs will not, repeat NOT, be tolerated.

You have been warned.