Things are rounding into form down in beautiful, sunny, Fort Myers, Florida. The Red Sox are ramping up, some of the minor leaguers have gone back where they belong (the minor league camp, just to be clear) and the season is fast approaching. Heck, All-Star voting starts in a month! Seriously. This might be a good time to take a look at the work the Red Sox have in front of them. That's right, it's schedule time, and while we're looking at the schedule, why not throw some predictions on top of there as well?
You probably have a good reason for us not to, but we're going to do it anyway. Sorry.
April 1, 3, 4: at New York Yankees
- Jon Lester strikes out 10 in seven innings getting the win on Opening Day in Yankee Stadium, including striking out Chris Stewart, Travis Hafner, Brennan Boesch, and Juan Rivera twice each. After the game Lester inquires how the second part of Yankees split squad did.
- Yankee "bleacher creature" fans get "Youuuk" all mixed up with "Booooo" to the point where some are so confused that they can't remember whether blue mountains means their beer is cold or hot.
- Alfredo Aceves brings a fake hand out to the mound. When John Farrell comes to take the ball after a particularly Aceves-ish third of an inning his hand comes off.
- David Ortiz returns to the lineup. He homers and doubles.
April 5-7: at Toronto Blue Jays
- Before the first game of the series it is announced that David Ortiz will go back on the DL.
- To celebrate opening day, new old Blue Jays manager John Gibbons punches out the season's first player.
- As a joke, Farrell gives every Blue Jays hitter the bunt sign. For the first four innings every Blue Jays hitter bunts.
- Farrell incorporates new infield shift technology for Edwin Encarnacion. When he comes to the plate everyone moves over to third base.
- Farrell incorporates new infield shift technology for Colby Rasmus When he comes to the plate everyone sits down and pulls out an iPhone. Tweeting time!
April 8, 10, 11: Baltimore Orioles
- Some controversy erupts when the Air Force flyover turns into a fly-through-the-Green-Monster. Later it is learned that it was all just a Will Middlebrooks prank and since only hundreds were hurt, hey, no harm done! Good season, good season.
- Adam Jones' impatience shows when he yells at someone taking a long time to make a left turn off Boylston. Man that guy is impatient!
- An old guy rides by the park on a bike. Nobody notices.
Photo credit: J. Meric
April 12-15: Tampa Bay Rays
- David Ortiz returns. He hits two homers then goes back on the DL.
- Red Sox are shut out by Rays newest pitcher, a 16-year-old sidearm knuckleballer they plucked out of section 208 a half hour before the game. Hate them.
- Joe Maddon employs new Cats shift where Rays infielders act out various dances from the hit Broadway musical.
April 16-18: at Cleveland Indians
- Dustin Pedroia crashes on Terry Francona's couch. When Francona wakes in the morning he finds his entire stash of toilet paper adorning the trees in the front yard. Pedroia, who did not sleep, goes 3-for-4 with a double in a Red Sox win.
- Attempting to steal second base, Michael Bourn's slide falls a couple feet short of reaching second base, Willy Mays Hayes style. Pedroia, an avid fan of Major League, waives him in before slapping the tag on.
- Just back from the DL, David Ortiz hits a homer then holds up a sign that says "DL -->" before slinking back to the dugout.
April 19-21: Kansas City Royals
- Even in mid-April at least 40 percent of internety baseball fans will still be in disbelief over the Wil Myers trade.
- Brian Butterfield makes a cogent argument for shifting his eggs on to his toast. John Farrell buys in. The eggs are shifted. They are delicious. But what of the bacon?
- It is revealed that in addition to his degenerative hip condition, Mike Napoli also has a regenerative hip condition. Napoli makes a deal with WWE for the two conditions to join Friday Night SmackDown.
April 22-24: Oakland Athletics
- Yoenis Cespedes can't be bothered to catch a rocket off the bat of Will Middlebrooks as he was too busy roasting a pig on a new bar-b-que pit he installed in left centerfield.
- Stephen Drew makes his triumphant return to the lineup. On his way to the plate he collides with Big Papi who is returning from hitting a homer. Both players immediately go on the DL.
- After three weeks of quietly doing his job, Shane Victorino finally gives us all what we want: a totally gifable play where he misses the ball, backpedals, misses the ball, trips over it, gets up and heaves it 20 feet backwards. Thanks, Shane! Glad you're in Boston.
April 25-28: Houston Astros
- Statistically speaking the Astros shouldn't win a game ever.
- Any chance of salvaging the finale goes out the door when, with a three run lead in the bottom of the ninth, new shortstop Jake McSquirt trips, lands face first on the ball, and swallows it. Four Red Sox score. Said Astros Manager Bo Porter after the game, "I can handle physical mistakes, those are going to happen. It's the "I'm not kidding anyone I can't believe that boy swallowed the baseball that's nuts!"
- The Red Sox sweep Houston to finish the month 14-10. The next day Larry Lucchino drives onto the tarmac at Logan and personally punctures all the tires on the Astros' plane.
Until next month... (or not)
Read more Red Sox:
- Jackie Bradley Still In Red Sox' Opening Day Mix, But Should He Be?
- Wes Welker, Jacoby Ellsbury, And Acceptance
- Christian Vazquez, Future Red Sox' Catcher?
- The Cult Of Jackie Bradley
- A Decade Of David Ortiz