I know there are many people in mourning today. Mark Bellhorn has been let go.
I, for one, am relieved.
Bellhorn's bat, which thankfully awoke last postseason, appeared to be in a permanent coma this year. Even last year's record-setting strikeout rates paled in comparison to his utter ineffectiveness at the plate. His fielding remained average, but the little Second Baseman that Could, couldn't anymore. I respected Bellhorn's often well-hidden talents as much as the next person, but it was time for him to go. He simply wasn't performing.
Bellhorn was only supposed to have been a one-year gap filler. He lasted far longer, and attained far greater heights than he probably even expected.
After the way Tony Graffanino has performed, the Sox would have to be in the grip of extremely powerful hallucinogens not to want to hang onto him for all they're worth. And if, in a year or so, Graffanino's production has fallen off the charts, he'll be let go, too. That's the game.
However, as Surviving Grady pointed out (and hey, THEY lost one of their most lucrative commodities in Bellhorn), "We'll miss the Bell. And we respect the Bell." I'd be stupid not to admit he figures prominently in some of the best Red Sox moments of all time.
Especially this one:
Bellhorn's home run was the most multi-sensory home run I've ever witnessed. You could hear it, as already mentioned, and you could see it, too--not in the way you see the ball simply leaving the ballpark, but you could see its impact and its effect light up a crowd, a sudden, unexpected, uncanny moment.
A moment that's given me a pure, innocent, uninhibited joy the likes of which I haven't known since a single-digit age, and that I'm unlikely to meet again often between here and the high two figures.
And then a high pitched-whine as my grainy VHS tape rewinds. That tape'll break before long with the way I'm wearing it out, and it'll break right on that frame, the frame that goes BOOM.