Friday, March 17, 2006

Love That Pitching...

Because Heaven forbid that I should be able to watch Spring Training games (especially on days without the WBC love), I plugged in to Twins radio yesterday and listened to the sweet sound of Josh Beckett’s fastball making hitters look foolish. One run on five hits over five innings, you say? Torii Hunter looking like Beckett’s fastball stole his wallet while striking him out, you say? I love it. Not to mention that today, young Jonathan Papelbon gave up no hits through five innings to hold the peg the Sox to a five to nothing lead against the Marlins. Things go this well consistently during the season and at the very least the Sox seem assured of a post-season berth.

To continue the pitching love, Tim Wakefield is awesome. Yes, he’s a consistent pitcher who doesn’t get hurt very often, makes the sacrifices necessary to make sure that the team gets ahead, etc. and we all know and love these things about him. Indeed, anyone who ever held the Aaron Boone homerun against Wakefield should have turned in his or her Red Sox Nation membership card (the real one, not that money-grubbing crap the club put out) by now. And yet his awesomeness grows: doing crosswords in the dugout during spring training, preparing to hold down the number two rotation spot this year to throw a curveball (or a knuckleball) into the preparations of opposing hitters…and he’s been with the Sox so long (12 years this season) that according to this year’s media guide, he’s played with twenty percent of the players who’ve ever worn a Red Sox uniform. Wake doesn’t know how long he’ll be around before he hangs up his spikes, but I’ll be glad to see him as long as he’s around.

The Rocket, who’s got to be baseball’s equivalent of Adriana Lima, says he is hanging up the spikes after Team USA’s tournament-eliminating loss to Mexico last night…but he might be back later in the season. Presumably to whichever team waves the most money, the possibility of another ring and maybe a full wait staff at him. Baseball’s multi-million dollar team fell to another competitor with more heart (and more offense) than the Americans and while the result was a bit shocking, I continue to think that it’s for the best for the tournament that Team USA didn’t win the first ever World Baseball Classic. Also, with a little more personal venom, might I add that I’m especially pleased that the game ended with Jorge Cantu tagging out Johnny Damon during a double play.