NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

August 3, 2013

A year of promise and hope for Sox faithful

I had just finished with the sports section when Big Freddy showed up for our mid-morning get together.

“What’s up?” he asked.

“The Sox,” I said.

“They haven’t been down since the getgo,” Freddy said.

“They haven’t been this far up for too long,” I said. “Last year, this time, they were crashing into a bottomless pit.”

“That was the old Sox,” Freddy said. “These Sox have a new manager, new players...”

“Not all new players,” I said. “Pedroia, Ellsbury, Ortiz ... they’re almost in a league of their own, and we need them - Poppy probably most of all. I don’t think he should be bashing telephones with his bat because he’s frustrated over a bad call however, but ...

“Don’t knock it,” Freddy said. “Bad example for the kids? Sure. He explodes in the dugout over the really bad call and blows his stack. Why wouldn’t he? Hitting. It’s what he’s paid to do. Even the ump said the next day he’d blown the call.”

“If a rookie beats up on a telephone it doesn’t work. But a veteran hitter like Ortiz? It shows what really caring about what he does is about.

“Teams need a backbone, but a backbone needs a body, and last year’s team had a fatal disease,” Freddy said.

“Enough with the figures of speech,” I said. “This team doesn’t know quit. Two walkoff wins in a row, and eleven this far in the season? This keeps up it’s going to be one for the record books.”

“It already is, and it’s all about building character - team character. That’s all important, “ Freddy said. “You can have star players - in fact you need star players - but most of all you need a team.

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