Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Banner Day

After a long, sleepy winter that saw the heart breaking loss of the Pats to the Giants and the rebirth of the Celtics (and to some degree, Bruins) it's time to rekindle the passion on Big Papelbon. Yesterday's picture perfect home opener seems to be the perfect time to kick things off.

Highlights of yesterday's game/ceremony included:
  • * Unfurling of the 2007 banner on the Green Monster - not dissimilar to what the Sox did in 2004. Hell, it worked then, why not now?
  • * A trotting out of the other Boston greats (Celts, Pats, Bruins) to help the Beaneaters celebrate their big day.
  • * Handing out of the rings as players walked down the temporary red carpet
  • * The big surprise (and classy touch) of having Bill Buckner throwing out the first pitch - this is worthy of a separate blog post but I'll save that for another day. I'll say two things about this move: 1) good for him - shows what a good guy he truly is after enduring twenty years of humiliation and hate 2) good for the Sox - let's get all the ghosts behind us!
  • * Oh yeah, the Sox won behind timely hitting and another stellar outing by the Dice man. Hard to believe that Detroit is now 0-7 after all the fanfare about their kick ass starting lineup and rotation. It's a long season though, I'm quite sure they'll turn it around soon.
  • * Even better? The Yanks lost to the suddenly mighty Kansas City Royals. Last year I would have felt really good saying this. This year, it almost feels a little petty... Nah, still feels pretty good!
The biggest take away from this early season game was that the Sox looked a little more like themselves. I'm quite sure that the 13 day, three country tour de force completely wiped them out - how could it not? To that end, the Sox looked lackluster against Toronto (who will be good this year UNTIL the usual injury bug sidelines Halladay, Burnett, Big Hurt, etc.) so it was nice to see the team that we expected back on the field.

The other early win is that Dice K is looking to play a big role in the starting pitching in 2008. After laying an egg in Japan, he came on for two stellar performances in Oakland and now Boston. The stat that jumps out at me most? 16Ks! I know, I know, it's early in the season but even so, it's good to see him fooling batters in his sophmore season.

Did you get to watch yesterday's game? If so, what was your biggest highlight?

Let the chatter on Big P begin!


Doug Haslam said...

My highlights, though I only watched the game on the radio:

- Sox getting away with trotting Dice-K out in the 7th, though he labored a bit in the 6th

- Manny scoring on the Placido Domingo Error; changed the tenor of the game.

- Youk is hot: keep Casey on ice until we need him-- and we will

Adawg said...

Doug - right on the money. Totally agree about Youk - white hot. Nice to have Casey as a backup plan.


Dmitri said...

Another good consistent outing from Dice-K! Miguel Cabrera looked like a turkey and I'm left wondering what Detroit paid all that money for?

Props should be given to the Red Sox for inviting Buckner to throw out the first pitch, which collectively exorcised those 1986 Game Six ghosts. It was a surreal moment watching him take the field to a standing ovation as the fans cheered his significant career contribution to the team. Classy move all around.

adam said...

I wasn't able to see the game while at a conference, but some thoughts came to mind while hearing about what was happening:

- It's good to be back in Fenway. We've all had that feeling after a long road trip - nothing like a shutout start to the home season.

- Dice-K could really have a banner year. He is a workhorse, always has been, and now that he is settled in the states, clubhouse and rotation he can focus on doing what he does best.

- It's about time Buckner gets recognized for his career contribution, but can you imagine what was going thru his head when he walked out on the field? For a short second he had to worry that a beer bottle was coming his way and that this was all some delayed April Fools gig. "Ah, it's Bill Buckner, sure, welcome back....good to see you...only YOU RUINED MY CHILDHOOD!" [smash]

Scott Monty said...

I didn't get a chance to see the game live, but caught the highlights. Nice way to start out the season.

What struck me most about the opening ceremonies was Bill Buckner's appearance. Between the grand overture that was playing over the loudspeakers to the crowd's warm and welcoming ovation, I can see why he had to wipe away the tears.

To me, it was a testament to the Boston fans - that, even if a player has made an egregious season-ending error (and has had to live with it all of these years), we're still people who care deeply about our own. Giving Bucker a warm homecoming like that was a testament to the classiness that I see in so many members of the Red Sox Nation (ahem, as opposed to some other franchises that lack grace and class).

It made me proud to be associated with the Home Town team and glad that we could put another curse behind us. Let's hope that Buckner felt the same way.

KFFBOS said...

I watched everything and was lucky enough to watch it with my Dad yesterday. The Buckner moment was good, although we both agreed that the 1990 Opening Day (we were there) was much more emotional. Everyone forgets that Buckner was purely a scapegoat for Game 6...notice that Bob Stanley nor Calvin Schiraldi are invited back, they are the folks that actually ruined that series. Buckner is a HOFer who got a bad rap at the expense of Shaugnessey (which he hinted at during his post-ceremony interview).

For me the best moment was having Pesky so prominent throughout. The current owners have done a great job with all the alums, but particularly Johnny. He is the true link to the Red Sox of my Grandfather and Father. Watching him walk back to the dugout with Wakefield was such a wonderful moment of why I love being a Red Sox fan; two guys who dedicated the majority of their careers playing in the hub.


Johnny Rooster said...

Another point about Dice-K's performance - he had pitched only 70+ pitches through five innings. While he used up 26 in the sixth, it is nice to see him keep his total count down. A smooth 6th, and he could have pitched a complete game. Nice change from last year (and the first game) when he was much less efficient. Second, it is great to see (hear) that Coco is back at his defensive greatness in the outfield. Despite all the trade talk, it is good to know that he is such a professional.