Tagged: Crawford

A Message of Interest and Importance

Who remembers this line: “We pause in this thrilling episode for a message of interest and importance”? If you’re not a Baby Boomer, you won’t know this one.

Good for Gordon Edes and Nick Weber, bringing us “a message of interest and importance” with their  profiles of Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney. Credit is due to those who attend to promising news, instead of clubhouse rumors and gossip. Let’s hope we have heard the last of the “blather” (“Bulletins and Blather” 2/29)

When you consider the medically challenged J.D. Drew replaced by these two outfielders, they will have to be an upgrade in right field. A healthy Drew contributed clutch hits during his remarkable hitting streaks, but both his health and his streaks had become faded memories by the end of 2011.

Both Ross and Sweeney report to Spring Training strong and healthy, which ought to qualify them for high honors immediately.  With Crawford coming to camp with wrist problems and Ryan Kallish requiring spring rehab, the presence of two healthy outfielders is welcome.

Neither of the two newcomers comes with the enormous expectations placed on Crawford last Spring.  They both can field their position, Ross can hit with power and  Sweeney can hit to the gaps. No one expects them to anchor the middle of the batting order and neither has Gold Glove expectations. With a strong batting order in the first six positions, the Sox just need someone to keep a rally alive or have a good at-bat.

Thanks to Edes and Weber for covering a real story and introducing us to some new talent on the roster.  How about some of the same on Jose Iglesias?

Bulletins and Blather

I’ve got my tickets for a weekend trip to Fort Myers–March 16,17—and I’ve got Spring Training Fever. Looks like it’s been quite a few seasons, since I had that fever or at least since I opened up  this blog.

As much as I feast on the detail of the Spring developments, I wish the media would avoid contriving the news. Like the morbid details about the clubhouse rules. Like the silly exchange about whether Jeter was out of position during a play he made eleven years ago.  Like who is going to apologize to whom about clubhouse behavior in September. These reporters sound like a klatch of middle school girls digging up dirt and spreading rumors. And their problem is the same. Too much time on their hands and not enough hard news to go around.

Occasionally Spring Training reporters feature a new player on the squad or the comeback of an old one. Now that’s interesting. The Red Sox faithful would like to hear about players who were not on the roster last year.  The uncertain prospects in the outfield also make for good news–Crawford’s rehab. A Cody Ross or a Ryan Sweeney sighting. That’s good for one day. The progress of the lame, the halt and the blind the Sox recruited for the bullpen. How are their arms performing? That’s another good day of news.

Here’s an idea: interview the veteran reporters who can compare this team with previous ones. I always like to hear what Peter Gammons, Dan Shaughnessy, or  Roger Angell have to say. They won’t hand out the tired cliches and the faint praise you get from the coaches and the manager. They can and will say what they think.

What about this new park? Does it really resemble Fenway? Does it have a Pesky pole or an under-developed foul territory?  What do the players think of it?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Well, it may not be hard news, but it would be worth reading, and it suits the speculative frame of mind we’re in as Spring Training rolls in. And it beats running back and forth between training camps trying to start a feud over nothing or trying to deconstruct off-the-cuff remarks like they were the words of the prophets.

Let’s read about baseball and not who broke up with your sister’s ex-boyfriend.