It’s the night before Opening Day, and I know I won’t sleep. I imagine this is what Christmas Eve feels like when you’re little.
I don’t know what the future holds; no one does. All I know is how I feel. And how I feel about this team tonight is in no way how I felt about them last year, and that is a good thing. My heart is so full tonight, thinking about how lucky I am to love something so much. The joy that baseball gives me is a win all its own, regardless of a score on the board.
Tomorrow, I get to go home. I’ve been in town from my new city, Los Angeles, for a week now, but I won’t truly be home until tomorrow. When I walk into Fenway Park, it will feel real.
There’s something so special about Opening Day. The entire season lies in front of us like an unexplored trail in a beautiful wood. Anything is possible, and there’s nothing more exciting than that.
And there’s so much to be excited about this season. For the 106th straight year, we have the most beautiful ballpark in the world. We’re the most passionate, crazy, devoted fans in all of sports. So far, the starting rotation has pitched phenomenally. Hanley is healthy, smashing balls. JD Martinez is driving in runs, acclimating, if a little slower than we’d like. Alex Cora really seems to know what he’s doing, and the guys seem to like playing for him. For the first time in a long time, it feels like we have all the pieces to build a championship season. My gut tells me to expect good things.
There are no shortcuts to October. From Day 1, it’s an uphill climb. And I’m not going to pretend there won’t be hard days or kinks to work out for this team. But in a way, they seem locked in, ready to overcome.
Only effort, hard work, drive, passion, and teamwork will get the Red Sox where they want to go. And love of the game. Belief that what they’re doing is important. A game can be and should be more than “just a game.” It inspires excellence. Distracts from difficult times. And unites us all in something simple and fun when we need it even more than we may know.
Let’s go, Red Sox