The plan was simple: go to Fenway, watch some Red Sox prospects and a few major league retreads duke it out with the Orioles' prospects and organizational filler, and steadfastly ignore the major league scoreboard. And, hey, were it not for our perverse preoccupation with the outcome of the epic Barry Zito-Bronson Arroyo duel going down in the NL, we would've very probably succeeded. Still, Futures at Fenway is, bar none, one of our favorite baseball experiences every year, and even though we think it works better when the Lowell Spinners get the invite (no offense to the Paw Sox, but both they and the Norfolk Tides are littered with guys who were playing in the bigs only a few weeks ago), it was an awesome time yet again.
We sat in what we lovingly call the "rich people's seats," up close and personal with the visitors' on deck circle. We cheered for our favorites--no, they weren't all catchers, though we obviously shouted extra loud for Expo and Brownie--and avoided sunstroke due to a fortuitous combination of SPF 75 and some timely shadows. We decided that Ryan Kalish and Ryan Khoury should be best friends forever based on nothing more than their names. We ate ballpark food. We tried to keep score (an unfortunately timed bathroom run killed that plan), and we took a few pictures.
And we needed those simple pleasures, to remind us that baseball games aren't always the terrifying experiences that have happened to certain parent clubs in recent times.* Sometimes you can even sit through nine whole innings and still have enamel left on your teeth at the end.
Futures helped us to remember that, though baseball is famous for for its yesterdays--its segregated, dead-balled, spike-sharpened, mob-rigged, amphetamined and roid-raged yesterdays--there are always tomorrows. There are 21-year-old kids who get to hit a home run over the Green Monster, and keep that story forever. There's Josh Reddick making the most of things (and sacrificing his Mohawk in the process, oh, woe). There's tomorrow, and Junichi Tazawa's second chance to make a first impression.
And then there's the day after tomorrow, when we'll be back in the standing room saddle, resisting the siren song of frozen lemonade and cheering for the guys in the biggest, reddest socks of them all.** And reminding Dustin Pedroia that we expect to see a laser show. We may grow weary, but we never turn our backs on our boys.
Because we're afraid of getting hit with a line drive foul. That would hurt!
*Hey, as long as no one gets diagnosed with cancer, we're counting this season as better than 2006. Knock on wood!
**This means you, Tek.