At Years End…

 Hello readers!

I apologize that it has been a little long since any blog entries, and I cannot promise that I will be any better about it. My real job keeps me away from doing this sometimes, and the last month or so has been no exception. The next few months will be more of the same, but rest assured that as time allows, I will post various items that might be of interest…

 As I write this, it is a balmy 5 degrees outside. The truth is that I do not mind how cold it is. It is the snow that I don’t like, and we have our share in America’s Heartland (hint, Dorothy and Toto aren’t there anymore…). Allow me to offer a ‘job well done’ to the road crews who keep the streets here clear and safe. Of course, with it being so bloody cold, it makes it hard to really go anywhere that involves being outside. And that leads to us being inside, a lot. What does this lead to? Cabin Fever, of course! I am not very good at being an entertainment committee, nor am I any good at coming up with answers to ‘there’s nothing to do….’. I a perfectly happy just sitting and reading or watching TV (or writing a blog every now and then…)

 Now, I want to get this out there early. To all the Politically Correct morons who seem to forget the reason why they will get off from work early today, and will probably have tomorrow off. They have forgotten why they will (or won’t) put up a beautifully decorated tree, run around and buy gifts for their friends and loved ones, go to parties and eat too much, and simply enjoy their friends and families. But mostly, these idiots have forgotten the reason that season exists at all. They are so worried about offending anyone or anything, that common sense has left the building. To these people who seem to need a reason to be up-in-arms about something, and to everyone else who understands the ‘reason for the season’, I say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! And, if you are offended? GOOD!!!

 I was going to post a long drippy list of all the things that I am grateful for this year, but I felt that it would be better left between me and God. It is to Him that I owe everything. He has truly blessed me and humbled me this year. On that note, I say Happy Birthday Jesus Christ!

 There has been a lot of nonsense this year. Let’s see. We have had political folly of an unprecedented amount, and that even includes shutting the whole thing down for 16 days. The world of entertainment lost some legendary folks. We watched in horror at some of the heinous acts and atrocities that were perpetrated here and around the globe, wishing it would stop, but knowing that it probably won’t. There was abject cruelty and incredible stupidity, ignorance and intolerance, life, death, and everything in between. We have watched the over-sensitivity of people played out to a more and more ridiculous extreme on an almost daily basis. A little 6-year old boy kisses a little 6-year old girl on the hand in the schoolyard, and he gets expelled from school and idiots in the school district want him labeled as a sex criminal? REALLY??! It seems that every year, we go further down the rabbit hole…

 In my beloved world of sports, what can I say? The Boston Red Sox won the World Series! What else could I possibly want? Well, the New York Rangers winning the Stanley Cup would be nice. They went pretty far in the playoffs last year, but they needed a change at the top, and coach John Tortorella was let go, only to be replaced by Alain Vigneault. The jury is still out on that one. Manchester United won the EPL Barclays Cup, so that is a good thing. Sir Alex Furgeson retired, and things have not been quite right since. The Winter Olympics are coming to us from Sochi, Russia this winter from February 7th-23rd. Of course, the NFL is heading in to week 17 with the playoff picture still not quite in focus. There is a lot riding on what happens this weekend, and there several ‘win-and-you are-in, but lose and you go home’ scenarios being played out. It makes for compelling drama, to be sure. The true miracle of this season is that the Jets could finish with an 8-8 record, after I predicted them to finish 2-14. A .500 record may save Rex Ryan’s job, but this is the NFL, and just mediocre will not a coaching job make. Who would have thought that the Giants (6-9) would have a record almost identical to the Jets (7-8)? Not me!  I wonder if Tom Coughlin will have a job after the season is over?  After the season ends, we say good-bye to The Hubert H.Humphrey Metrodome in Minnesota, and venerable Candlestick Park and Bill Walsh Field in San Francisco. Did you know that the Beatles last concert was held at Candlestick in 1966? And, on a final football note, how about the Super Bowl being played at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands in New Jersey?!?  I think that it s great! But let’s get back to baseball…

 First, ‘Truck Day’ is February 8th,  and for those of you that are counting it down, it is only 46 days away! For those of my readers who do not know what ‘Truck Day’ is, I will let you in on it. Truck Day is when the big 18-wheelers pull up to the service entrance of Fenway Park in Boston, and load everything up for the journey to JetBlue Park in Ft. Myers, Florida for Spring Training! It is a special Boston Red Sox tradition, and I think it is pretty cool. Sadly, the Sox will report to camp minus a few stalwarts. CF Jacoby Ellsbury (free agent, signed with the Evil Empire Yankees), C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (free agent, signed with Marlins), LHP Matt Thornton (free agent, signed with Yankees), and LHP Franklin Morales (traded to Rockies). New arrivals are RHP Burke Badenhop (trade with Brewers), C A.J. Pierzynski (free agent from Rangers), RHP Edward Mujica (free agent from Cardinals), and INF Jonathan Herrera (trade with Rockies). Still available free agents are SS Stephen Drew, RHP Joel Hanrahan, INF John McDonald, RHP Andrew Bailey, and OF Ryan Kalish. In my humble opinion, the Red Sox really need to re-sign Stephen Drew. This should be a priority in BIG RED LETTERS. Are you listening, Mr. Cherington?

What is also a tradition is the Evil Empire New York Yankees throwing their wallet at their problems. Gone are 2B Robinson Cano (free agent, signed with Mariners), LHP Andy Pettitte (retired), RHP Mariano Rivera (retired), OF Curtis Granderson (free agent, signed with Mets), RHP Phil Hughes (free agent, signed with Twins), C Chris Stewart (traded to Pirates), RHP Joba Chamberlain (free agent, signed with Tigers), LHP Boone Logan (free agent, signed with Rockies),  and INF David Adams (non-tendered, signed with Indians). This roster full of departures has been replaced by C Brian McCann (free agent from Braves), CF Jacoby Ellsbury (free agent from Red Sox), 2B Kelly Johnson (free agent from Rays), OF Carlos Beltran (free agent from Cardinals), LHP Matt Thornton (free agent from Red Sox),  and just the other day signed 2B Brian Roberts (free agent from Orioles).  They may also lose DH Travis Hafner, 1B Lyle Overbay, 1B/3B Mark Reynolds, 3B/1B Kevin Youkilis, INF Jayson Nix, and RHP Matt Daley. Kevin Youlilis (YOUUUUK!) has already signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the NPL (Nippon Professional League in Japan). George Von Steinbrenner must be smiling from his Great Owners Box in the Sky.

 Are you delirious yet? I hope not, because this has been a very active Hot Stove season. Even before the Winter GM Meetings in Florida a few weeks ago, there as a lot of business getting done, headlined by the Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler trade. Oh, and just my own opinion, but with the moves made by the Kansas City Royals, they could be a dark horse in the AL Wild Card Race. Just sayin’…

 Let me finish this up by saying this. I want to wish everyone, all my friends and family, and especially my amazing wife Judy and my awesome daughter Tyler, may you all have the Merriest of Christmases. Be safe, stay healthy, and enjoy all of the wonder that the Season brings. And remember The Reason For The Season, and the most amazing gift of all that we have been given…eternal life and salvation in Christ The Lord.

 Now, I am gonna hop on the ‘Net, and go to the NORAD Santa Tracker website. I want to see when the Jolly Old Elf in the Red Suit gets here!



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