Back, yet not at peace.

There is only one time of year, and one place on Earth that I can deal with being separated from nightly Boston Red Sox games, and the continuous MLB Network. That place was, as I explained in my previous (and by previous, I mean a month ago) post, California. Although the state itself does not constitute my isolation (considering the fact that there are five baseball teams in that state, I would hope not) the summer program that I attended to did. 

As usual, it surpassed my expectations, and being isolated from the incessant updates of pop culture, baseball, and oh yes, world events is actually a nice change. I have mentioned before that I live in a baseball bubble, but for me this program is a utopian bubble. It is the only place that I can truly be myself, and people accept me for it. Granted at Fenway Park, I am undoubtedly accepted as a Red Sox fan, but it is nice to be accepted in a place where not everyone is a Red Sox fan, or a baseball fan for that matter. 
My friends actually wanted to listen to me talk about the Red Sox and baseball, even if they had no previous knowledge of it whatsoever. One of the best friends that I made there, Caroline, did not even know what a grand slam was before we had our little talk. By the end of our two, short weeks together, she was throwing pennies from the year 1986 on the ground because they are cursed. 
This made me truly happy that I could bring a smile to someone’s face just by talking about baseball. It made me realize even more that this is exactly what I want to do with my life. While I would love to convert everyone into a Red Sox fan, I think it is more important to appreciate the beauty of baseball. 
She truly appreciated that passion that I have for it, and she told me she wished “she could love anything as much as I love baseball”. I hope that others will be able to see this when they talk to me. 
Considering I have been gone for a month, I have missed out on a lot. As I was leaving, Dice-K was on his way out of the rotation, and I was trying to come up with a creative injury for his trip to the DL. 
I remember getting updated about John Smoltz’s first start, I was on my way to dinner at Lagunita (the cafeteria at Stanford). I knew he was starting against the Nationals, which is a very nice team to start against for that transition period (from the minors to the majors) considering the Nationals remind me of a minor league team. I was notified that the score was 9-1, Nationals. 
My first thought was, “Have the Nationals even scored nine runs in a game before?” I actually wasn’t angry with Smoltz. I understand the whole need for an adjustment period after talking to my good friend Michael. Even though he is a 20+ year veteran, I was really delving into my empathetic side. 
For his next few starts, I was probably too busy reading about cultural relativism, how altruism and morality don’t exist, or maybe some form of ekphrasis. One of the first games that I watched upon my return was the opening game of the series against the Rangers. 
Our lack of an offense was cruising along nicely for a while, before John Smoltz decided to give up three home runs in one inning, which is quite the rarity for someone of his stature. I was already experiencing separation anxiety/book camp withdrawal, so this did not add to my chipper mood. 
I screamed at my computer screen for the first time in about a month, and yielded more profane tweets than ever before. Generally, I don’t question Terry Francona’s moves, but I thought Smoltz was taken out a little late. I was quite happy to be reunited with Justin Masterson though. I think he was holding a small grudge against my absence considering his ERA was near 5.00. 
The offense seemed to be fine in my absence, I don’t know why they’re acting up now. Big Papi really resurged, and if I need to close my eyes while he is at-bat, then I’ll do it. I’m sad to see that Jason Bay’s average has plummeted, and that Drew and Varitek are in slumps. 
I found it interesting that when Jeff Bailey went on the DL, that Aaron Bates was called up instead of Chris Carter. Aaron Bates is an imminent project of mine, and like Josh Reddick, he is an automatic project for next Spring. Believe me I saw the potential his first two nights in Triple-A Pawtucket. I am just a bit perplexed as to why we are bringing someone up to the Majors who has just barely adjusted to Triple-A. As I said before, when he came up, he had a Triple-A swing with a Double-A eye. I think Chris Carter needs to be given another chance, but I would advise everyone to keep their eye on Bates. 
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Speaking of projects, I have to tell you all how thrilled I am to see Buchholz back on the Red Sox for an extended period of time. I was very pleased to see that his first performance this year went well. I know his numbers imply that he has been tearing up Triple-A but he, like Jon Lester, is one of those guys that needs to focus on every single pitch, not the final outcome. He needs to not get frustrated by his mistakes too. If he gives up a home run, fine, but just move on. I think that Ramon Ramirez does a great job of doing that. However, I do not expect Buchholz to be performing perfectly. He is still very well entitled to that adjustment period. 

10 Comments

Welcome back! I hope you had fun at Stanford. Yes, losing to the Nationals just makes our team look pathetic. (No offense to Nationals and their fans) Padres are going to play them this weekend and we need a sweep!
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

Welcome back Elizabeth! And it only got crazier today! LaRoche in, Chris Duncan to us from the Cards (directly to the minors) in exchange for LUGO!! And Timlin might be signed by the Rockies! And while I am glad that Buchholz is getting another chance I am not at all happy for the reason he is here! Wakefield has been our most dependable pitcher.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Welcome back, Elizabeth! Too bad your Sox seem to be taking the summer off. Maybe it’s just because they missed you :) If there’s one thing you can be certain of though, Theo isn’t going to stand pat and let you guys fall out of contention. I wish I could say the same.-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.blogspot.com

Nice to have you back! It’s nice that baseball can bring people together, but I’m glad you got to have an escape. Sometimes that’s what we need.
Emily
http://deconstructingthoughts.mlblogs.com/

Your time in Stanford sounds well worth it. I didn’t know that you guys threw 1986 pennies away because they’re cursed, but I can see that. Kind of neat that you could instill a little passion for baseball in your friend. You are back just in time to see things heat up in the AL East. The next week and a half will go a long way towards deciding who will have a chance and who won’t. Very fun stuff.
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

I bet your new friend Caroline would like the 7th inning strecth in Fenway. Welcome back. I personally thought it was a mistake not to have Bucholtz in the Sox rotation all year. He is up now, so maybe the Sox can tread against this mid-season slide.

http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

Welcome back! I hope you had fun. Well I’m sure a lot happened while you where at camp but so was I so I don’t know what.

Bob, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

Great to have you back! Would be very interested to hear your commentary on LaRoche’s acquisition and the displacement of Lugo. Also, any theories of why we’re in such an offensive slump and anything we can do with the lineup to improve the situation?

Elizabeth!!
You are back! So glad to have you posting again! How did you ever catchup with everything in baseball?! Great post as always.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

“I was quite happy to be reunited with Justin Masterson though. I think he was holding a small grudge against my absence considering his ERA was near 5.00.”

I’m so upset the Red Sox traded Masterson. He was home grown and he has great potential. Why couldn’t they of gotten ride of Delcarmen…he’s been stinking lately.

–Melissa
http://redsox46.mlblogs.com/

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