We've had, what is it, 20 Opening Days now?
Opening Day - Tokyo. Opening Day - Oakland. Opening Day - Toronto. Two weeks and three road trips to three countries in three different time zones. That's enough. Bring them back home.
I'm still not in midseason form yet as a fan, if by 'midseason form' you mean 'curling up into the fetal position and cursing all descendants of Julio Lugo over a loss'. Or even the milder 'prioritizing baseball over all other activities of daily life', which I did not do for most of this weekend (except for geeking out about Beckett's return. In fact, I'd like to nominate that for recognition as a fifth Opening Day).
A big part of this is because, in my mind, it's not really, fully baseball season until the Sox come back to Fenway. That's even more true this time around, because there's still a ring ceremony to get to before settling down to the business of 2008.
This year, I could've been there - a mixup with work meant I missed my chance. And yes, I am very bitter.
But even on television--even on TiVoed television--it's just not right until I see the deep green interior of our lyrical little bandbox behind the faces of our players.
And there's one more thing I find myself still needing to check off my 'baseball cravings' list this spring, now that my Beckett withdrawal has been taken care of - I need to see Jonathan Papelbon introduced at Fenway Park.
I need to feel the gathering energy, even through my TV screen, as the crowd anticipates his name. I need to hear the frenzy they break into when it comes. I need to watch him bow his head at the edge of the warning track, fist-bump the cop, and come trotting over his home turf to save the day.It's amazing how quickly this collective ritual between crowd and cop and Papelbon has come to embody Red Sox baseball for me.
As far as I'm concerned, it's been too long coming, and it cannot get here soon enough.