Every year I see media coverage today, and ask the same question. What exactly is the point of it all supposed to be?
To be clear, I understand that there’s a difference between “Truck Day” and “truck day”. I actually understand the point of capital-T capital-D more than the other one. Truck Day has become an event. A way for the Red Sox to steal some headlines from other area teams in a slow sports landscape. They realized that there were a handful of fans that hung around looking at the truck being loaded, and decided to turn it into a thing. They got a sponsor. They had Larry Lucchino bring out a tray of hot chocolate. Bingo. Twitter mentions all over the place. Instagram pictures pop up like the plague. You’d think everyone in the world except you was down there watching the truck being loaded. A quick segment on the regular news outlets. Add it all up, and the Sox have hijacked a news cycle. Plus, it's good fun.
I get that.
But, now, it’s the “truck day” part that has me puzzled.
Why do the Sox need to load up a truck with equipment and other items, and drive it down to Florida?
What’s on that truck that isn’t already in Florida? After all, they play baseball at Jet Blue Park all the time, right? The Gulf Coast League Sox play a 70 or so game season based out of there. Don’t they have equipment for them stored at the park? Do the Sox need to bring towels from Fenway down to Florida? That seems odd. What happened to the towels they used last year? Did they bring them back up to Boston before the season? The Sox are a multi-million dollar organization, and they can’t afford a second set of towels to leave in Florida? 20,000 baseballs? Aren’t half the players there already? What are they using? Balled up newspapers and cardboard boxes?
Or, food? Things like sunflower seeds or bubble gum are on the truck. Did the Sox just run down to Market Basket to buy that stuff? I assume it was ordered in bulk. Maybe even directly from the company. Why did they have the stuff delivered to Fenway? They don’t have delivery services in Florida? When they call Tootsie Roll to order 75 cases of Dubble Bubble, can’t they just give the Jet Blue Park delivery address in the first place? Or have Rawlings ship the fresh cases of baseballs there? Skip the middle man?
They’re bringing down uniforms and t-shirts. But, again, aren’t they special Spring Training uniforms? Why are they at Fenway in the first place? And t-shirts? I’ve seen players down there working out…they’re not topless. Obviously they have clothing stores in Florida.
Sometimes I see player’s stuff on the truck. Like Pedroia’s albatross of a contract wasn’t enough of a gift, the Sox are also stuck lugging his stuff to Florida so he can avoid a $50 extra bag charge on his flight? Seriously?
What’s on that truck that isn’t, or shouldn’t be, already available at Jet Blue Park? What’s on that truck that can’t just be purchased in Florida? Or delivered there in the first place?
What’s the point?