So, I had the pleasure of attending a Red Sox game this weekend. Which one you ask? Naturally, it was Saturday. That seemed about right. After all, the last game I went to in Fenway was the Cubs game that the Sox lost after turning into the Bad News Bears for an inning. So, naturally, I’d pick the one game in the last few that wasn’t a convincing victory for the Red Sox. After a quick start, the Red Sox record in games I’ve attended this season dropped to 2-2. Although, if you count my game in Pittsburgh, the home team is 3-2 when I’ve been in the park this year. Although, that isn’t particularly comforting.
Not only was Saturday’s game the dud in the win-loss column; it also wasn’t the game with the Bruins celebration. I was hoping it might be, since the parade was in the morning. But, they decided to hold off until Sunday, so I didn’t get to see that. Thankfully, loyal reader Lena was nice enough to share one of her photos from Sunday’s pregame ceremony. She wasn’t in Section 36 (and has been scolded for that already) but she took a nice shot of the Bruins getting ready to throw out the first pitch. Here’s her view.
Thanks Lena! The thing I found most interesting about the first pitch(es) was that it didn’t seem to be decided ahead of time which Bruins player would be throwing which Red Sox. I’m guessing that the captains were scripted to throw to each other. But you could clearly hear some players calling out, “I’m throwing to Papi” just before the toss. Thankfully they didn’t all pick the same player to throw to, as entertaining as that might be.
While we’re nowhere near the subject, I wanted to hit on the craziness that is suggesting Adrian Gonzalez play the outfield in the NL parks. The Sox have nine straight games in the NL, and will be without the DH. So, in order to keep both Papi and Gonzalez in the line-up, there is some thought of having Adrian play the outfield. I’ll admit, I almost thought it was a good idea. But, only almost.
The biggest complaint against it is the threat of injury. I don’t really buy that one. As Albert Pujols just proved, you can be hurt playing first base too. Plus, you’ll have a hard time convincing me that Gonzalez is any less athletic than, say, Manny Ramirez. I’m assuming that shagging flies won’t cause his to tear his hamstring in three places. I also assume that the Sox would put some restrictions on him. Anything in the corner is a double. No diving. No throws to anyplace other than second. And, I suppose, that’s my main problem. If he’s playing half-outfielder, is he really enough of an improvement at the plate? Over three or four at-bats, how much better will he be than Cameron or Reddick? One hit? Two? Is that enough of an advantage to make it all worth it? What about the advantage of having Adrian Gonzalez sitting on the bench ready to be inserted into the line-up whenever he needs to be. I can just picture it. The Sox use Gonzalez in the outfield. Then, in a tie game only have Cameron available to pinch-hit with the bases loaded in the ninth inning. I say the bonus of resting him three out of the next nine games and having him to pinch hit is more than the bonus from having him in the line-up.
In a nine game sample, at least.