On Friday, I made it clear that the ring ceremony on Opening Day would make the result of the game meaningless. The fact that the Sox would be reliving the championship and receiving their rings meant it would be a good day no matter what happened afterwards.
I didn’t expect the Sox to test that theory quite so much.
But, they did.
Before I get to that, a few words on the ceremony itself. I feel like a moron if I critique a ring ceremony. Like some fan in San Diego is going to thump me if I mention a flaw in the third championship ceremony in ten years. But, they still give rings to a lot of people. And, the Sox have gotten much better at how they preset the rings. In 2005, they went in order of time with the team. So, there was a long stretch of players that only appeared in the 2004 season. Some of which even I had trouble remembering actually appeared for the Sox. This year, they spaced out the stars, so you didn’t go too long watching a line of nobodies come out of the dugout. Even so, there were naturally some dead spots and times where it seemed they were stalling before sending the next player out. Perhaps to line it up better with the music. But, that’s my only complaint. Promise.
Well, other than to wonder how Leon Powe got to represent the World Champion Celtics.
As for the collection of champions, I like how they did that. Again in 2004, they had a similar collection. But, they had to go through time to find them. Bill Russell and Bobby Orr came out to represent their franchises, for instance. This time, I like how they used the mayor’s tenure to define the time period for champions. Would any other city be able to put up a similar line-up in a similar timeframe? I was also surprised that Recchi came empty-handed. I know the Stanly Cup is in Chicago at the moment. (If only the Bruins had pulled it out last season.) But, does that mean that there isn’t even a copy given to the team? Every player gets a mini replica of the Commissioner’s Trophy when they win the World Series. But, the Bruins don’t get some sort of cup? Odd.
As we know the game went downhill from there. Heck, the whole weekend went downhill from there. These things happen. I mean, sometimes you get swept by a team leading their division. I can’t get too worked up about it.
I would feel worse if there was anything that I saw as a constant problem. But, the starters actually did pretty well. Clay had a hiccup. But, the rest of them did all you can ask of them. The bullpen did too. Really, only two members of the ‘pen had a bad outing. Considering all the innings they threw, that’s not terrible either.
Sure, the Sox couldn’t score runs. But, that’s what happens sometimes with an offense built on putting runners on base. Sometimes you string together enough base runners to score runs. Sometimes you fall just short. If you want all your runners to score, then you need more guys who hit three-run homers. That’s just not what this team is about. So, you’ll have to live with leaving guys on base.
Eventually they’ll score more than the other guys.