Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bob Lobel: A-Rod Comes to Town

By Bob Lobel  @boblobel

The dog days of August are upon us. We can feel the end of summer approaching and it’s not a happy place. 

The worst part about the dog days of summer is the reality that almost all analysts are taking their vacations at a time when they are most needed. So, we are left to fend for ourselves on a steady diet of pre-season football and all those needless injuries that come with it. 

We, however, have a little more intrigue than most this August. We have become the home of infamous people. Bombers who show up at marathons, shooters who used to play football, and  gangsters who have Stanley cup rings (even if it is a Montreal Canadien bauble). We have become quite the center of attention. More is yet to come, and it's coming this week. 

Friday, to be precise. 

A-Rod returns to Fenway. The Boston referendum will be held on the villain destined for the hall of fame, at least the HOF for sports villains.  Number 13 is coming to town and fans at Fenway will get their turn to welcome him, just like the fans in New York welcomed him last Friday.  I watched that reaction, and it was mixed. That was expected and that was fair. 

Friday night’s reception is fairly predictable... I mean, if the citizens of Red Sox nation can boo Johnny Damon on his return as a Yankee, what will the appealing Alex Rodiriguz get? 

But really, you can only boo so much. Since we have just about erased from our memory that he almost played for us, the memories against him have pretty much been captured in couple of photos. One, of course was that memorable game when A-Rod was hit and started to move toward the mound, only to be intercepted by Veritek. 

That was a game to remember, not only for that moment, but as it turned out, it was a defining moment in the season, won on a walk off Bill Miller home run. 

Yes, it was the same Bill Miller who drove in Dave Roberts off Mariano Rivera in game 4 of the ALCS in 2004.  So, Friday will be filled with memories and probably a short list of games remaining for number 13 in pinstripes, as well as number 42 in pinstripes. 

Could there possibly be two guys on such different ends of the “welcome to Boston” spectrum than 13 and 42?  There was another picture of Alex trying to literally slap a ball out of the glove of Bronson Arroyo during a play at first that was wildly mocked by photo shoppers, who stuck a handbag on Alex to make their statement.

It worked.

As for the dog days, the next 6 games are kinda important, since they are against the east. Then they fly to California for the three with the Giants and Dodgers. The Dodger series will be billed as a possible world series matchup, but don’t you believe it. It will be Boston and Pittsburgh, so don’t forget it. 

Who wants those retread Red Sox back here at all? NO thanks. Hang in there fans, your shrink will get back to you in a couple of weeks.  Either you won't need him or her because things are going so well, or just the opposite, and it will be too late for help. 

By this time next week, two pre season football games down, two to go. Gronk, Wes and Aaron are not part of the conversation and, honestly, I could care less about Tebow. If he can help, great, if not, see ya. So now a breathless nation waits as anxiety builds… Hey, Whitey got his ring, so why can't we?  It’s been that kind of summer in this corner of the world.

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