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This Week in Sox Nation; Red Sox Roller Coaster
The NFL and its Issues
Free Fall? No. Concerned tripping down a slippery slope? Maybe.
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Current Affairs

The NFL and its Issues

I think we can all agree that the NFL has some real problems on it's hands. Their players are involved with legal issues off the field at an exponentially higher frequency than the other professional North American Sports combined. Just to put that statement in black and white; there were 22 incidents of current NFL players being cited, arrested, or charged already in 2015. There are just shy of 1,700 players in the NFL. That's not bad, right? Check this out; there were 13 similar incidents across the other four professional sports leagues in North America combined, including none from the MLS.

Free Fall? No. Concerned tripping down a slippery slope? Maybe.

Nick Cafardo categorized avoiding the sweep by the Blue Jays on Sunday as stopping the Red Sox from “free fall” but I think that’s a rough characterization. After Monday’s extra innings win against the A’s our week’s record sits at 500. It’s not usually cause for celebration when we achieve mere equilibrium on the win loss column but here we are. Had the Blue Jays and Rays both swept us, yeah, free fall would be the word to use, but Rick Porcello exists and, as anticipated here last week, Mookie is really starting to put things together.

Mookie's the Man!

Three series wins to open the season and we’re underway. While certainly not enough to quell any naysayers, especially with Buchholz and Masterson both running hot and cold, it is a nice little way to begin things, especially when two of those series wins come at the expense of the hated Yankees and vaunted Nationals. In fact the last time the Red Sox won the first three three-game series of the season Carl Yastrzemski was our DH, Jerry Remy was coming off his 1978 All-Star campaign, and Jim Rice had just won his MVP.

What an Opening Day!

Well it finally got here, opening day! A moderate amount of my hand-wringing over losing Vazquez for the season to Tommy John Surgery was addressed within hours of writing last week in the acquisition of intriguing 3-string catcher Sandy Leon from catcher-wealthy Nationals for cash considerations. He seems to be more or less useless in the hitting role but his defense is solid and we’d just need him enough to make sure Hanigan doesn’t explode into a dust cloud. So that’s it, we’ve had our first taste of  real Red Sox baseball for 2015 (Wainwright looked dominant and Lester looked ordinary in MLB’s official opener).

Catch(er) 22

The initial focus of this week’s entry was going to be on Castillo, he of the multiple late-inning homer heroics, an arm starting to really show its might, and canny baserunning ability that has ensured his runs scored tallies higher than his runs driven in (5 to 4). It’s an interesting subject entering the final week of Spring Training as the rosters start solidifying. Swihart aside, our lineup on Sunday’s game is fairly close to what we’d expect the lineup to be April 6. But that’s not what’s on people’s minds.
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