Wow. I never realized I?d get such a huge response, especially on my first post. It sounds like most of you liked the name ?Yooooouuuuukkkkk? so it?s officially a keeper. Anyway, it?s great to get another reminder that Red Sox Nation is out there behind us in numbers. Not that it surprises me, though, because we probably have the most intense fans in the game. There?s something really special about the relationship between the fans and the Red Sox.
We?re in a stretch of Interleague Play right now. It?s nice to see some of the other teams and players and stadiums. But we?re not at full strength when we play at NL parks, so in that sense it?s a difficult situation for our club. We have three of our middle-of-the-order guys to fill two lineup spots when there?s no designated hitter, leaving someone out in each of those games.
When we were in Arizona, I sat a game, played third base for a game and played first base for a game. I thought Tito did a great job in making sure that each of us play two out of three games and each of us got a rest. As a younger player, I can?t ask for more. David and Mike Lowell are established veteran players. Those guys are owed the opportunity to play if they want to play, so I?m just glad to get in the games.
We have another six games at Atlanta and San Diego coming up so I?d expect we?ll do similar juggling of the lineup. Part of the equation has to be whether we?re facing a left-hander in a particular series. If we are, that?s the obvious day for David to get a rest. If we?re facing three right-handers, that makes the puzzle a little more difficult. Our club usually finds a way to put a pretty good lineup out there, so I?m not too concerned about it.
This weekend the Giants are visiting us. I?m sure there will be a bigger-than-usual media turnout with Barry Bonds coming to town, but we always have a big media contingent, so adding a few more won?t make a difference. It?s just another day at the ballpark for us. We played against the Giants and Barry a couple years ago, in my first season. It was a lot of fun playing against someone of that caliber. It should be even more fun this year as he?s counting down toward becoming the home run king.
One thing for certain is that Barry will be hearing from the fans at Fenway Park, just like all of the opposing superstars who come to town. At Fenway Park, it?s about the Red Sox winning and the fans know which guys have the best chance of getting in the way of us winning a game. It?s going to be loud and exciting.
In baseball it?s a compliment to get booed by the opposing fans. As a player you take it as a badge of honor to be told "you stink" by the other club?s fans. My first year or so nobody told me I stink, but this year I?m beginning to hear it more and I take that as a compliment. When you?re doing well or part of a club that?s doing well, you tend to get heckled more.
I?ve also got family and friends in town for the homestand this weekend to help celebrate Father?s Day, so this is shaping up as a fun weekend all the way around. My mom and dad (Mike and Carolyn), some cousins and friends from college are all here in Boston. I?m fortunate to be able to stay close to the most important people in my life.
It can get a little hectic with a big group here but they?re really considerate about giving me the space and time I need to prepare for the games. My parents have always been there for me. They travel a lot to come see me, like Mother?s Day and Father?s Day. Everybody who meets them tells me they?re the greatest, but I already know that.
They?re not staying with my girlfriend Enza and me this time. We only have one extra bedroom in our townhouse. So since my cousins and everyone are in town, too, they?re all at the hotel so they can hang out together when I?m not around.
Until next time?.