Tonight's the night we're gonna make it happen
Tonight we'll put all other things aside
Get in this time and show me some affection
We're goin' for those pleasures in the night
--I'm So Excited, The Pointer Sisters
Maybe baseball suffers from the reflected glory of the National Football League and the Super Bowl. Or we're worn down by the interest engendered by wondering whether Josh Beckett has to get by on three and a half or five million bucks (he settled for something in the middle- about 4,325,000 George Washington portraits). Josh probably never had to take the SATs or the GREs, but hey, I'd be happy to be rich enough to pay somebody to think for me. Did you know that Beckett's never pitched 180 regular season innings? Plus, pretty soon we'll be reveling in medical talk surrounding JB, either his labrum, rotator cuff, or something as mundane as 'blister talk'. Not necessarily a good omen, as the last Blister Boy was Derek 'Late Night' Lowe.
I'm old enough to remember George Frazier of The Globe and his term 'duende', a charismatic, magical spirit surrounding select individuals. As Sox fans wait for the inevitable stories of 'The Loading of the Truck' and 'Equipment Truck Leaves for Fort Myers', I can't help but wonder who carries the duende ball going forward.
Big Papi's the obvious leader on the excitement toteboard, although Sox fans have to expect to be seeing Coco Crisp coming up on the outside. Jason Varitek's a terrific player, but on the excite-o-meter, he's the equivalent of Field Turf. Trot Nixon's an intense guy, but concerning quotes, he's the Sox version of the NHL, "yesterday, we skate hard; tomorrow we skate harder."
It's pretty hard to imagine anyone filling the quote gap left by Johnny Damon, who seems destined for a rendezvous with angst and disappointment as the latest Bronx Bomber mercenary. Johnny must really be an 'Idiot', as he didn't have his contract negotiated in currency other than dollars.
We can only hope that some of the youngsters on the horizon have not only ability but communication skills. With management somewhere between the Cone of Silence and 'Hakuna Matata' mode, we're going to need excitement from somewhere. Oh, you say, it's all about winning baseball games? Well, that won't necessarily be as easy with a revamped Blue Jay roster, youngsters maturing for the D-Rays, and the ever-lurking Yankees, the 'Jaws' of the AL East.