It Should Be A Holiday

Today is really one of my favorite days of the year.  It should really be a national holiday.  No, I am not talking about April Fools’ Day, although it does happen to coincide with it this year.

I am talking about, of course, Opening Day.

I am a huge baseball fan.  In years past, I would call in “sick” on Opening Day, just so I could park myself on the couch and watch a marathon day of baseball.

I am a Red Sox fan.  Big time.  Through the good times, and the bad times.  I kept a glimmer of hope in September 2011 as they slowly imploded, missing the playoffs; I endured the torture of Bobby Valentine’s tenure (2012), when injuries and underperforming ruled the day.  Through it all, I have stayed loyal.

It has been years, however, since I sat here on Opening Day with such low expectations from the Sox.  To be perfectly honest, I would be thrilled with 85 wins from them, especially coming off a 69-win disaster of a season.  The pitching staff was dreadful last year, and the rest of the team, with a few exceptions, was not much better.

I am hopeful for what the 2012 season brings for the Sox.  I am confident that Jon Lester will bounce back and be the pitcher he was developing into before last season; I am confident Clay Buchholz will continue to improve, and that Ryan Dempster was a good addition to the staff; and I am confident that John Lackey is going to silence some of the haters, if only because he has always seemed to me to be one of those pitchers who pitched better when he was pissed off, and that is how he should pitch this year.  I like what Will Middlebrooks brings to the lineup (“Wake and Rake”), and Dustin Pedroia is a player any manager would love to have.  I like that they brought in David Ross, Mike Napoli, and Shane Victorino because those guys just seem to put their heads down and get the job done.  From the small sample size that I have seen out of Jackie Bradley, Jr., his energy could be and should be contagious to the rest of the team, though it seems like he will be sent to the minors when David Ortiz returns.

I am not making any predictions for this year, because I am not really good at them.  I will watch the Sox every chance I get, and I will enjoy watching Bryce Harper and the Nationals when they are on, too (talk about someone with his motor constantly running, Bryce Harper is fun to watch).  I am rooting for the Pirates to finally get over the .500 mark for the first time since I was in middle school.

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