The Fenway Faithful had a few expected returns for their viewing just over 24 hours ago as they saw the likes of one of their former favorites, Kevin Youkilis, return in a different colored pair of socks while Carl Crawford put on his first pair of game socks in 2012. The ovation given to Youk was exactly what I expected. Long cheers, Yooooukkk chants echoing throughout and thanks to the disguise his last name bares whether or not there were any boo birds present did not seem likely. The guy poured his heart and soul into the game of baseball every single day he put on a Red Sox uniform during his eight year stint in Boston. Going 3-4 and scoring the game’s first run in the disastrous fashion he did which showcased the Eire to his throne in Will Middlebrooks tripping over himself who allowed Youk to score was a nice slice of retribution for the guy. Hitting a three run blast in their 7-5 victory tonight was a giant slice of payback pie that Youk got to enjoy every bite of. He will most likely produce for at least the next couple of seasons as he has shown in the brief time he has spent in the windy city that he still has some gas left in the tank and wants to prove all his naysayers wrong.
As far as Crawford’s ovation, it was a little better than I expected. Red Sox Nation probably would liked to have showered CC with many unkind words and Boo’s due to his ridiculously high $16.9 million dollar salary and his underwhelming lack of production in his only season in a Sox Uniform, but were smart not to. Who knows how his tenure in Boston will turn out. Expectations need to be kept in a modest fashion until he can prove to be the 5 tool threat he was during his career in Tampa Bay. When I have heard him talk to the media this year he seems to have learned from last year’s nightmares. The transition from a small market to a big one is never easy on a professional athlete in sports which was the case for Crawford. Unfortunately for him, as much of a blessing as the 7 yr $142 million dollar deal might be to his bank account, it stands as a giant distraction and target on his back that he will not escape no matter how his career in Boston shapes out. The fact of the matter is no single individual in the sport of baseball is worth these 16, 20 25 million dollar a year contracts. The business part of contracts has escalated into a clown show that has price tags going nowhere but up. This conversation leads me to my final point and third return that was of the unexpected variety on Monday night.
This return I speak of is the power in the bat of “Mr. whether its chicken or steak it doesn’t matter a man has to eat…” Adrian Gonzalez! For the first time in almost a month (June 24th to be exact) Gonzo decided to give a souvenir to the Green Monster crew hitting a three run blast that helped his team to a 5-1 victory. Luckily David Ortiz is only projected to miss a week of time or else there would be ever more pressure on Gonzalez to start blasting long balls as he has been accustom to doing so in his career ( averaging 30HR/season in his 9 yr career.) His 18 game singles barrage was one of the more boring hitting streaks I have seen in my entire life. Sure the object of the game is to get on base and produce runs which he has been doing, but he is not being paid 20 million dollars/yr to hit 200 singles in a season. 7 homeruns through 90 games is unacceptable. I’m not quite sure what the cause of his power outage is but the surgically repaired shoulder is definitely a viable candidate for a probable cause. I do not have a PHD in medicine and last time I checked the Red Sox training staff use Excedrin and “Web MD” as their in depth tools for injuries so finding an answer may not come in the near future if he is indeed playing hurt. He has however shown a great deal of resiliency and willingness to be a team player in 2012. The lack of cohesiveness has been one of the worst kept secrets surrounding this team in the last calendar year, but playing out of your normal position like Gonzalez has on more than just a few occasions this year is a quality that is needed one championship winning teams. The theme of attention-grabbing has taken on new levels in regards to this Boston Red Sox team in 2012 with no end in sight. Only 72 games remain people….
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.