Monday, March 4, 2013

Missing Storylines

The media must be going absolutely crazy.

Spring Training this year has just been plugging along. For me at least, I’ve found very little all that fascinating about it. I think that’s a good thing. Let everyone get their work in, and get ready to go on the first of April. Sounds perfect.

But, if you’re writing an article you expect people to spend money on, that’s not a good thing. Usually the media just makes stuff up to write about. Or, at least embellish things beyond all recognition. But, even that is hard to do this season.

Sure, there are injury worries. But, this team is lacking that superstar talent that the team would be doomed if they lost. I remember when news came out during Spring Training that Nomar was going to have wrist surgery. It was devastating. He was one of two guys expected to perform well, and carry the offense. He was counted on. If he got hurt, it was a story. This year? Not so much. The Sox don’t have that singular talent that would crush a season. When Will Middlebrooks left a game with a wrist issue, people were concerned of course. But, it’s not like the Sox suddenly had to replace 45 home runs, or 220 hits. Everyone on the roster is simply a solid player. Nothing scary there.

Standard Spring Training storylines are also lacking. Everybody showed up in camp on time. Even Pedro. So, they had to throw out their templates for those stories too. Nobody was holding out, or displaying power. Everyone was just going through the drills. The media tried to pull something from Ortiz’s visit back home. Was it really “personal” or was it a hidden injury? But, there really weren’t any legs to the story.

The timing of the WBC is usually good for a few stories. Should Pedroia be playing and risking injury? Will it ruin Dice’K’s season? But, not this year. The only player expected to contribute that is playing is Victorino. And, even he falls into the “eh” category. If he broke his leg crashing into a wall during the classic, it wouldn’t doom the season. Nobody could write about the recklessness of MLB for allowing its stars to risk their seasons in a meaningless exhibition. The games are just going along in the background.

The last option is usually positional battles. Especially with a team like the Sox without many clear stars. When the roster is all simply above average, it should leave open the possibility of a conflict. Not this time. Since the Sox so freely overpaid for mediocrity, they locked the presumed starters into their jobs. Nobody is beating out Stephen Drew. Not with the money he’s getting. Which is why the media has been so excited about the one position with even a shred of debate. Left field, and Jackie Bradley Jr. There’s the one spot were the guy starting isn’t exactly a lock. And, there’s a youngster who has shown some promise. So everyone jumped on it. Twitter is alive with updates on Bradley’s games. The debate over whether he is the Opening Day starter in Boston or Pawtucket is raging. Everyone seems to ignore the fact that there’s no way the Sox will let him start the season in Boston. With their desire to control their prospects, why would they start the arbitration clock one second sooner than they had to? But, it’s the best nugget the Sox Spring Training is providing, so it’s what we get.

Like I said, I don’t mind quiet springs. Personally, I’d prefer the media just ignored it. Instead of trying to keep an entire baseball staff busy looking for stories that aren’t there, just let it go by. Just let the team get ready to play. They only thing that really matters during March is getting everyone ready for April.


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