During Spring Training 2001, the news came out that Nomar Garciaparra had a wrist injury. He would need surgery.
It was crushing news. In fact, it bothered me how much it bothered me. It was just a baseball team, after all.
But, back then we were all still waiting. The Boston area hadn't had a world champion since the Celtics in 1986. The Red Sox, you may remember, hadn't had a title since a few years before that.
But, this...THIS...was their year. They had Nomar, the two-time defending batting champion and all around MVP type. They still had Pedro Martinez, coming off the two best years any pitcher had ever had. That wasn't quite enough to bring a title. So, in the off-season they added Manny Ramirez. The best right-handed hitter in who knows how long. They were all set. Finally. This was going to be their year.
Then, suddenly it wasn't.
In 2017, things are a little different. The Red Sox have won three title in the years since 2001. The rest of Boston sports added seven more. We don't need THIS to be the year. The Patriots are the World Champs. The Sox won a title just over three years ago.
So, when news came out that David Price was having elbow issues, I was surprised by my reaction. "That's too bad. At least we still have Chris Sale and can give this a good run."
The urgency was gone. Even now that Price appears to be OK, it's not jubilation. More like just being happy to be able to see everything I expected. Cool.
I'm thinking that's a good thing. I know it's easier on me to not live and die over every single game. I know I'm enjoying looking forward to a fun season without worrying that they might not actually pull it out. If they don't, I'm sure they will soon.
Two injuries to two superstars, and I couldn't have felt more different about them. Because everything changed years ago.
What a time to be a Boston fan.
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