Musings by Dick Flavin

I bid you welcome to something new for the new year. This is the first of a weekly (more or less) blog featuring whatever thoughts I might have at any particular time about any particular subject. Some entries, but not all, might be on the Red Sox and baseball, and some, but not all, might contain verse. So we begin with a verse about the Red Sox.

Last month the Olde Towne Team pulled off the biggest deal thus far in the off-season by acquiring left-handed ace Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox. I've been around baseball long enough (seventy-two years, for crying out loud) to know that pitching wins.

1946 was the first year that I followed a pennant race closely, and the Red Sox won in a walk. They had the number one hitting team in the American League that year with Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky. And they also had terrific pitching; Boo Ferriss had a record of 25-6, Tex Hughson went 20-11 and Mickey Harris went 17-9. Being only nine years old and not yet exposed to the vagaries of life, I thought, Gee, winning is easy. And it is – if you've got good pitching.

The next year, 1947, Ferriss, Hughson and Harris all came down with sore arms. None of them was ever the same again. And although the Red Sox continued to have the best hitting team in baseball, dreams of a dynasty floated off into the netherworld, only to find a home in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees had good pitching.

Which brings us to 2017. The acquisition of Sale puts him together with David Price and Rick Porcello at the top of the pitching rotation. That gives the Red Sox potentially the best starting trio in the league. Shades of 1946. Am I excited about the coming season? You bet I am, although I know from hard experience the pitfalls of high expectations.

Now, don't get excited, it's bad for the heart.
Don't jump and down or pull things apart.
Just take a deep breath and slowly exhale –
The Red Sox have made a deal for Chris Sale!
The guy from Chicago with all that great stuff;
Those strikeouts, those vict'ries, man, he's really tough.
They already have Porcello and Price;
The starting rotation looks pretty nice.
The outfleld's all set, in fact, rather trendy,
With Mookie and Jackie and young Benintendi.
They've got Bogey and Hanley – Pedroia, of course,
The Town Team next season could be a real force.
Do you know what this means? Well, neither do I,
Except that my blood pressure's getting real high.

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