Monday, April 9, 2007

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls...

Tomorrow is Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park! They will face off against the Seattle Mariners at 2:05 p.m. Opening Day has always been a big deal around these parts. But it has become even more so since the “New Owners” took over in 2002. These guys (John Henry, Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino, et al) possess not only a love of baseball, the sport, but an instinctive understanding of the role a team like the Red Sox plays in the heart of a community. By community, I refer to all those who love the Red Sox and consider themselves, these days, a part of Red Sox Nation. This new administration (including Theo Epstein as General Manager) has done everything they and their financial resources can do to bring the best talent on board. They also have respected the temple that is Fenway Park and have managed to make dramatic changes to the park without damaging the spiritual, historic and sentimental meaning of it. They also seem to be able to rile up the fans throughout the season and during the hot stove months, without completely angering and alienating them!

Tomorrow, just before two in the afternoon, there will no doubt be a moving ceremony at Fenway Park. One important component will be honoring the 1967 American League Championship Red Sox Team, including Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. It will stir our emotions and our memories, while simultaneously psyching us up for a winning 2007 season. In that moment when Johnny Pesky concludes the ceremonies and says: “Play ball!”, we will all feel excitement and relief. Why relief? Once upon a time, way, way back, before 2004, after the first loss of any season, fans would turn to one another, sigh, and say: “Just wait ‘til next year...” Now, we believe.

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