Fort Myers, FL, USA; General view of JetBlue Stadium during a spring training game between the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Hard to believe but there was real actual baseball this weekend. Oh sure, it was fake real actual baseball, but what do you want? You can't just run the mile in under four minutes or paint the Mona Lisa or write On The Road. You have to practice first.
Practice is just what the Red Sox did. First they played a bunch of college kids whom they outscored by a combined score of 82-3. Or maybe it was 28-3. Either way. But that wasn't really the real fake actual baseball. That was just fake fake actual baseball. No. The real fake stuff began yesterday with the Red Sox facing off against Mayor's Cup rivals, the Minnesota Twins, who are potentially as fake a baseball team as the American League possesses and who, as Tim Britton of The Providence Journal writes, believe they control the rights to the Cup in perpetuity. Thieves!
To disprove Minnesota's contention, the Red Sox went and took it to 'em on the field. Lars Anderson (no relation to Anderson Cooper or Lars Ulrich) powered the Sox with his power which he doesn't have. (I kid Chris Mellon who does an awesome job over at Sox Prospects.) The future ex-Red Sock Anderson golfed a low and in pitch as they say, way way out of there. OK, he didn't hit it over the World of Beer, but that's only because that's in a different stadium.
The Sox went on to beat the Twins 8-3. Mr. Britton's recap is here, the Globe's Nick Carfardo's game notes are here, Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston has some takeaways (which are apparently one word) from the game, and at WEEI.com Rob Bradford notes that yesterday's starter, Josh Beckett, may have to go without a personal catcher this season. The horror!Allan at Joy of Sox has a well done piece about Carl Crawford and his stubborn nature which has perhaps prevented him from fixing his stance last year and has driven him to re-injure himself in a foolish drive to get back from wrist surgery in time for opening day.
One enjoyable aspect of having the Sox back on the telley is getting to listen to Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy weave their verbal magic once again. Yesterday was no exception. For example, at one point during yesterday's broadcast, Orsillo asked, and I quote, "Is the equator real?" There is no wonder then that the Red Sox TV team was recently named the fifth best in baseball according to an extensive poll taken of Fan Graphs readers on Fan Graphs. The author of that piece, a Mr. Carson Cistulli, took the time and care, because he is a prince of a gentleman, to post video clips of some of the announcers.
For the Red Sox, he picked the great pizza throwing incident from a few years ago which I will briefly detail here because I want to. J.D. Drew hits a high foul ball into the first row of the third base stands. Angels outfielders converge on the stands while still everyone was watching the ball and bump into a guy in the first row holding a full cup of beer. He bumps into another guy holding beer. Beer splashes all over everyone. The outfielder misses the ball. Then, seemingly from nowhere, a piece of cheese pizza goes flying past. The next ten minutes are spent re-telling the story, adding new information about the pizza thrower, and of course giggling. It's the very definition of must see TV.
But that's not all! If you buy that one, here are two other Red Sox broadcast highlights for you. First, there was the time when Dennis Eckersley swore repeatedly on a live game broadcast, and the time Dennis Eckersley called then-Sox pitcher Justin Masterson "masturbate" live on air then was quiet for like five minutes. Then there was that time when Orsillo and Remy were getting dive bombed by wasps at Anaheim Stadium. Ah, memories.
Finally, today I made my debut at Baseball Prospectus as a regular author. My first piece went up today, it's free, it's about spring training, and yes it mentions Lake Titicaca. Happy Monday, everyone!