29 March 2011
A new baseball season stretches before us fans like a perfect yellow brick road. We don’t know exactly what we will find along the way, but we can’t stay in the black-and-white Kansas that is the off season. The amazing technicolor 2011 baseball season awaits!
Just like Dorothy faced high expectations after she killed the Wicked Witch of the East, the Sox face the same after acquiring Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. The munchkins heralded her as a great liberator, but she had her doubts. Can she live up to expectations? Can the Red Sox?
During her journey Dorothy meets up with friends who help her. But she also faces many set backs. Poppies threaten to lull her to sleep just as the seemingly endless 162-game schedule can lead some teams to lose momentum. Homesickness can strike a Kansas girl as well as a baseball team on a West Coast road trip.
Dorothy stops to pick some apples leading to an attack from angry trees in much the same way picking up (and dropping) players before the tread deadline can cause verbal abuse from fans and analysts.
Everywhere Dorothy goes she is watched by the Wicked Witch of the West. The Red Sox know a little something about constant scrutiny. Being labeled as one of the teams to beat this season puts a giant target on your back. Everyone is looking for your weaknesses.
The Tin Man rusts and the Scarecrow loses his stuffing. Unfortunately baseball players get hurt as well.
The wizard turns out to be a sad, little man with a big head. Let us hope that none of the Sox headline acquisitions turn out to be Henry Gales.
And of course the most frightening thing about Dorothy's quest for the World Series trophy, I mean Emerald City, is the devil monkeys. They come out of nowhere when she least expects it. And this is true of the AL East as well. There is a constant threat from the Bronx, but just when you think you can count out Toronto, Tampa Bay, or Baltimore, they make a surge.
Will the Red Sox reach the end of the season successfully? Not even Glinda the Good Witch can tell us that.
All we can do is say “play ball!”
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