Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Welcome to the Jungle

Well, that didn’t exactly go as planned, did it?

The Red Sox had it all scripted. The rain in Cleveland allowed them to monkey with the rotation just a little bit. They could slide David Price just enough to allow him to start the Home Opener. After his seven strong innings, the Sox could shift to Koji and Kimbrel to close the door.

Yup. That’s what happens when you make plans.

Basically, things couldn’t have gone worse for those thoughts. Price only went five innings giving up five runs. (Geez. Even Porcello went six innings.) Thankfully the Sox offense held things together enough to keep the game tied. That did allow Tazawa and Koji to come in and show their stuff. It also allowed Craig Kimbrel to come in. So, the Sox did win there. We were all able to witness the first of many entrances by our new closer. Music blared. Flaming graphics filled the park. The fans were sufficiently excited. 

Then Kimbrel walked two guys and gave up a three-run bomb.


Even then, it almost worked out even better for the Sox. With the Sox down three, Mookie homered to start the ninth. The next two guys reached, bringing up Papi representing the winning run. On his final home opener. On what was basically “his” day, the greatest clutch hitter in Red Sox history could win the game with a home run. He could completely change the story of the game with one swing.

Instead he grounded into a double play. 

Even now I’m not completely sure how to process that result.

But, it happened. Disappointing to be sure. On the bright side, at least it was a good game right up until the end. The tying run was at the plate. Other than a victory, can’t ask for much more than that.

One thing about Kimbrel and his entrance. I loved the graphics. They were able to have his name in flames on every video board around the park. However, I’m not a fan of “Welcome to the Jungle” as an entrance. While I understand the idea, due to the name of the song, I’m not sure the actual song itself fits. I’ve always thought that “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” was the best entrance song ever. I loved the way it started slow and distinctive, and then built itself into a frenzy as the song went along. “Sandstorm” does the same sort of thing. As Koji got closer to the mound, the song got more excited and brought the crowd along with it. “Welcome to the Jungle” feels more constant. I’m having trouble imagining the song getting me on my feet. I know that the situation is supposed to do that without the help of music. But, everyone on their feet cheering is a different feel than everyone cheering along to a song. The song helps keep everyone in the park together to an even greater effect.

I guess Kimbrel will just have to do that on his own.

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