BOSTON — The catcher can’t throw to second base. The third baseman, picked up for his defensive prowess during the off season, has made seven errors. The ace of the pitching staff has an earned average that, as a college board exam score, would allow him to compete for the Ivy Leagues.
Only this is baseball, where a 746 doesn’t mean you’re smart — it means you’ve been stinking up the mound.
The left fielder is nursing four cracked ribs. The center fielder is on the disabled list, too. The starting outfield reads like something out of Abbott and Costello (who’s on first?) The designated hitter has nearly six times more strikeouts than home runs. (He may be big, but he’s playing baseball like my Papi did, and he was German).
And now the closer can’t close.
The Boston Red Sox, not merely a team but an obsession in New England, are a mess. No, make that A MESS! Just shy of a quarter way through the 2010 baseball season they’ve slipped below .500 ball to 19-20. Last night they overcame a five-run, first-inning deficit to the vaunted and hated New York Yankees, took a two-run lead into the 9th inning — and blew it.
I can’t watch. I can’t read the box scores. I can’t even keep the sound on.
The Red Sox are closer to the cellar than 1st place, and it’s only May 18. Give them one more week of playing contenders and the season just may be over. And then my choices will be limited. Ride my bike a lot to get in shape? Read lots of books to get smart, and relax? Study French, a language with which for years I’ve struggled, and failed, to gain modest competency? Blog more? Hit the road to Connecticut and resume my long lost college love affair with poker? Hit the road to Louisiana and try my hand at oil surfing?
What’s a summer without baseball (no, make that without competitive baseball)? Hell, I quit smoking 31 years ago and never looked back. I can manage this.