We're only a few days away from February, and you all know what that means, right?
Baseball is coming back.
Oh, sure, we may not see a meaningful game until April, but us baseball-starved Red Sox fans are desperate for just about anything. So with that in mind, here's the easy guide to all the
important noteworthy slightly interesting dates, starting less than two weeks from now with Truck Day.
February 8 -- Truck Day
Has more ever been made of less? I mean, think about it: at its core, truck day is a bunch of movers picking up equipment and getting ready for an incredibly dull haul across the country. There used to be a Wonder Bread factory out in Natick which had a Truck Day every day!
Somehow, though, this extravaganza of long-distance freight hauling has become one of Boston's favorite Holidays, with fans turning out in droves to meet the long-time Red Sox ambassadors that attend every year. The Red Sox season starts without a single player from the 25-man roster, and Boston has no complaints.
February 14 -- Pitchers and Catchers Report
Here's where the actual, y'know, players show up. Honestly, this is one of the more underwhelming landmark dates this year. We don't have any exciting new pick-ups at either position, and I think by this point we've gotten used to seeing Buchholz and Lester about. Sure, there are minor league guys worth getting excited about, but what we're all really looking forward to is...
February 18 -- Position Players Report
OK, so Adrian Gonzalez still won't quite be ready to go, but how long has it been since we've seen some of these guys? Kevin Youkilis? Dustin Pedroia? Even Jacoby Ellsbury, regardless of OTM's disposition to the speedster. I don't know about you all, but I need to actually see these guys running around and swinging bats before I can be completely convinced we're not still staging practices in Mass General's ICU.
Oh, and some guy named Carl Crawford might be involved. I dunno.
February 26 -- College Double Header
As per usual, the Sox will start the year off with a beatdown. Last year, it was a 21-1 destruction of Northeastern and Boston College. Will the Eagles and Huskies get revenge?
February 27-March 1 -- First Three Mayor's Cup Games
Who will take home the glory in one of the most prestigious and highly anticipated contests of spring training? We might know as early as March 1, at which point all the various media will put out a single story about the victory, and then forget about the damn thing for another year.
March 4 -- First Televised Game (vs. Yankees)
In the past, we Sox fans have been able to at least catch one of the exhibitions against the college teams. Not so in 2011. We'll have to wait another week for NESN to bring us our first look at this group of Sox in an actual game!
Why can't they just stick a camera in center field and give us all what we want for every game? Because they hate us, Sox fans. Because they hate us.
March 5-6 -- Vs. Marlins, At Mets (NESN)
March 9 -- Vs. Orioles (NESN)
March 12-13 -- Vs. Marlins, At Pirates (NESN)
What's with the Marlins love?
March 14 -- Vs. Yankees (NESN/ESPN)
The 2011 Red Sox go out on national television for the first time for all you fans-in-exile out there. Knowing your luck, Daisuke will be starting in front of nothing less than the C-team led by Daniel Nava and Mark Wagner.
Actually, the Paw Sox lineup is so packed that even the backup games should be mildly interesting this year. Kalish, Reddick, Navarro, Anderson, and Exposito could all see some decent TV time.
March 16 -- At Braves (ESPN)
March 19-20 -- At Pirates, Vs. Cardinals (NESN)
March 21 -- At Phillies (ESPN)
The final national tilt.
March 23 -- Presumably When Terry Francona Announces Josh Beckett Will Start Opening Day
Really, though, would you be surprised by this point?
March 25-27 -- Vs. Blue Jays, Vs. Twins, At Orioles (NESN)
The Sox play the last game of the Mayor's Cup.
March 30 -- At Houston (NESN)
In Minute Maid Park! The Sox hit the MLB stadium as they gear up for the start of the season.
March 31 -- At Houston (CANCELED)
Apparently, nobody told the Sox a lot of the MLB was going to be starting the season this day.