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.
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.
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.
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).
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.