I have often said that I am major fan of excellence in sports, and I would certainly never downplay the inherent fun of rooting for a baseball team capable of winning 110 games, but I am here to say that cheering for a team as handicapped as the 2010 Boston Red Sox presents an opportunity to enjoy an exquisite fan experience.
They're battered and they're wounded, but they're hanging around, and they are eminently rootable. Not one among us knew at the beginning of the season that Terry Francona would be writing in names such as "McDonald," 'Nava" and, soon, "Patterson" on his lineup card, or that someone named "Atchison" (What? No Topeka and Santa Fe?) would become a bullpen bellwether, no matter how briefly. But that's the deal.
I don't know if they can withstand the loss of Pedroia for six weeks, or what they'll do without Victor Martinez's bat, but I'm looking forward to seeing it unfold. No matter what transpires, they get a pass from me. I know management, not to mention the manager and the players, never want to discuss things in these terms, but that doesn't mean we can't.
Here it is, end of June, and they're already playing with house money. They've given us all we could ask for under trying circumstances already.