Friday, February 17, 2006

The sun is coming up!

That jukebox in the corner blasting out my favorite song
The nights are getting warmer, it won't be long
Won't be long till summer comes
Now that the boys are here again

The boys are back in town...

YES! This was the first song I heard on my iPod today - and as I listened to this verse, I found myself just grinning. The boys are starting to arrive in Fort Myers - tomorrow is the official day for pitchers and catchers to report. But several of the position players are rolling in - Trot Nixon has been in the Fort since February 1st! The new guys are arriving, meeting their new teammates and bosses, some warily (Beckett), some downright ecstatic (Riske). documents the first meeting of Jonathan Papelbon and Josh Beckett. This part makes me swoon in anticipation of the season - on several levels!

Papelbon is listed at 6 feet 4 inches, 230 pounds, Beckett 6-5, 220. But their bodies are discernibly different. Because, before the chubby face, before the goatee, before the prodigal arm, before anything else, when you look at the former Marlin, your eyes take you to his legs. The bio says Beckett is 1 inch taller than Papelbon, but it doesn't mention anything about distribution of those 77 inches, and Beckett's torso rises noticeably higher than Papelbon's. Upon first sight, the source of Beckett's power -- the transference of kinetic energy between legs and right arm -- comes as little surprise.

''This kid shakes your hand," manager Terry Francona noted yesterday, ''and your whole body shakes."
And the signs of spring are everywhere. The Fort Myers paper is running photos of the early practices - great site to bookmark and consult for the next few weeks. Edes and Snow are filing articles. Today, NESN starts their reports from the Fort - and I believe my DirectTV is now reloaded with the expensive package so I can start seeing those reports. Yahoo!

I'll also be monitoring the progress of some other teams during ST. Like the Dodgers (have to check on my Billy Mueller). The Orioles (here's an amusing quote from today's

Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and B.J. Surhoff are replaced on the roster by low-key veterans Kevin Millar from Boston, Jeff Conine from Florida and Corey Patterson from Chicago.
I don't think I've EVER heard the words "low key" and "Kevin Millar" in the same sentence!

And, of course, I think the biggest contender for my attention will be the San Diego Padres. Man, I hope Doug Mirabelli does well. Oh, yeah, and that guy Mark Bellhorn, too....

Oh, and there's one other verse from Thin Lizzie that might predict the future:

And that time over at Johnny's place
Well this chick got up and she slapped Johnny's face
Man we just fell about the place

Let's hope our 2006 Sox will slap Johnny's face this year - and we will certainly fall about the place!!


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