Red Sox fans rejoice

Published 8:33 pm Friday, December 10, 2010

It’s a good day to be a Red Sox fan – and it’s December.

Thursday morning I was walking into the Windsor Town Commissioners meeting when my cell phone rang. It was a call from Patrick Bryant who serves the dual role here of friend and co-worker.

It’s not unusual for Patrick to call, but an 8:30 a.m. call isn’t all that likely so I wasn’t sure what was going on.

Then I heard the happiness in his voice as he asked, “Did you see ESPN?”

I had to admit that in getting my oldest son ready for school, I hadn’t turned on the sports news Thursday morning and didn’t know what was going on.

He told me the great news that Boston’s Major League franchise – one that he and I both love passionately – had signed outfielder Carl Crawford to a seven-year deal.

That came on the heels of adding first baseball Adrian Gonzalez by way of a trade with the San Diego Padres last week.

Now, when it comes to most of my sports loyalties I’m a pretty laidback person. I root for my team, but I don’t really get all hyped up about whether they win or lose. That comes with two exceptions – the Duke Blue Devils and the Boston Red Sox.

Last year was an awful year in Boston. Despite finishing well above .500 (16 games to be exact), the Sox were never a threat down the stretch. A combination of injuries, bad play and poor management led a downfall.

By the end of the season, Billy Harrell (our resident Yankees fan) didn’t even bother to rub our noses in the failures of the Sox because we weren’t much in the mood for joking.

If possible, Patrick and I spend more time reading about the Red Sox during the offseason than during the regular season. We’re always on the Boston Globe’s website and other sites that give us some insight into what’s going on with our favorite baseball team.

This offseason has been exciting.

It was disappointing to see Victor Martinez pack up and head off to Detroit, but by the same token, it was somewhat expected. He was a great player in Boston, but wasn’t as valuable as some of the other pieces of the puzzle that needed to be put in place.

I’m a big fan of Theo Epstein, the Red Sox General Manager. He does a good job of putting together the right pieces and has helped pry some money lose from the tight purse strings of owner John Henry.

Over the course of his tenure he has made some mistakes (acquiring Eric Gagne and trading Adam LaRoche), but he has got more right than he’s got wrong. This off season he has done the same – hitting at least two homeruns already with Gonzalez and Crawford.

I’m not ready to join the Boston Globe in calling the Red Sox the best team in baseball on paper because there is still much to do. We could use another catcher and a middle reliever would help tremendously.

All of those things are for the future, however.

Today, it’s simply a good day to be a Red Sox fan.

Thadd White is Sports Editor and Staff Writer of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached via email at or by telephone at 332-7211.