I love truck day. It means baseball is coming. It would be my favorite day in February if my birthday wasn't in February. Valentine's day comes in probably fourth, after my birthday, truck day, and reporting day. No matter how terribly the season ended, and it was pretty freakin terrible, truck day means we are going to have the chance to start over. No records, no tough losses, no terrible performances, no rain delays... just 162 days of pure sun-shiney bliss. Every game is a day game in my head. And when the truck leaves for Florida, it reminds me that long afternoons of home runs and Fenway Franks are right around the corner. It makes me happy.
This year, there are going to be a lot of changes to get accustomed to. New GM, new manager, lots of familiar faces that will be missing from the crowd. Most notably, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield. I have to admit, despite my excitement for the new season, my heart breaks that neither has been brought back yet. In my mind, there IS no team without Jason and Tim. They have literally been parts of the Red Sox since I started watching baseball. The fact that they are simply not there doesn't sit right with me. I'm still going to hold out hope. If I'm honest with myself, I know I will be holding out hope all season. It will be, 'ok, well maybe they're still negotiating. Jason and Tim will join the club for spring training,' and then 'still negotiating. There's time to get them on the opening day roster,' and the after that will be 'the trading deadline is a perfect time to bring in some veterans who need jobs. Jason and Tim would be perfect for that!' I won't be able to let go until I know there's no hope left. So many changes... at least we'll still have Papi... I hope. His arbitration meeting is scheduled for today. I'm interested to see how it turns out.
Pitchers and catchers reporting day is on my birthday this year. I'll be out celebrating, and I will have a drink in honor of number 33 and number 49, whether or not they're back.