The Baseball Desert

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Recipe for success

So Manny went 0-for-4, Loretta and Gonzalez went a combined 0-for-8, we gifted the Blue Jays two home runs on Wily Mo Pena's failed grab at the wall and we still won the game. How is that possible?

Well here's the recipe: take one backup center fielder (2 RBIs and a stolen base), one you-don't-get-Beckett-unless-you-take-this-guy-off-our-hands third baseman (4-for-4, including 3 doubles - "Mike, meet the Green Monster; Green Monster, meet Mike") and one let's-give-him-a-shot first baseman (2-for-4 and a fine basket catch) and mix 'em all together. Add in a gutsy, intense starter, a solid bullpen and a couple of crucial double plays from the aforementioned Loretta-Gonzalez combo and bake for 2 3/4 hours. When done, add a David Ortiz Thank-you-Boston-I-love-you home run cherry on the top, and you have yourself a perfect Opening Day team win.

The more I see this team play, the more I like it. We heard all the offseason worries about the team's chemistry, and although I'm not privy to all that goes on in the clubhouse, it seems to me that they are gelling nicely where it counts: on the field. We all know what Manny, Schilling, Big Papi, Varitek & co. can contribute, but to be able to count on the other players on the roster is huge. It is comforting to be able to see the shortstop field a difficult ground ball or a pitcher run in from the bullpen in the 8th inning without having that sinking "Oh shit - here we go again" feeling in your stomach. I hope that we can still be feeling this good come September.