But I did want to celebrate the opening of camp. No matter who shows up early, pitchers and catchers reporting means that camp is open. I've thus far avoided any major media outlet, because I don't care to hear rehashes of last season's ending. I'll be hearing enough of it through the course of this season. So all I really know is that players have reported. Some Live from Spring Training thing taped on my TiVo last night, so I'll watch that as I'm putting together my Timmy post.
I'm excited, guys. It's been a really long off-season, and I can't seem to completely escape from the 'chicken and beer' taunts. It's tricky being one of the few truly devoted baseball fans around the water cooler, because (as I'm sure so many of you have experienced), more casual fans want an explanation of what happened. They want a player to blame, and they want a forecast for the new season... and I can't provide any of that information. As much as a lot of people want to blame Beckett, I need to remind those people that Josh (while shitty in September) posted the lowest ERA of his career (2001 not included since he only played four games) and allowed the fewest number of hits he's allowed since 2004. Besides, I'm a complete and utter homer for Beckett, so I'm not going to blame him. I'm also not going to blame Lester, because I don't have to. All I can do is say that I don't think the team, as a whole, really tried. Maybe I'm wrong, but from my point of view, that's what I saw. Individual players like Pedroia and Scutaro and Ellsbury still gave it their all, but it just seemed like a majority of the team was distracted. So there. It was a team collapse, not just a pitching staff collapse.
That being said, I'm ready to move forward. I harbor no ill will, except against the front office who made Tito walk. I still think it was the wrong decision, but it was theirs to make. Maybe Valentine will be what this team needs. Maybe he'll muck things up even worse. All I care about is that in a few days, pretend baseball starts. And a month or so after that, real baseball starts. And I can't wait to see what the guys have in store for us this season.