Red Sox Hat

Sox fans settle in for long wait

It became clear that the Red Sox were actually going about their business of preparing for the 2024 season once the tractor-trailer trucks rolled away from the ballpark, destined for Fort Myers, Fla.

Or oblivion, judging by the roster awaiting the trucks’ arrival.

Unlike other years, Truck Day was generally ignored. Masses of fans did not descend on Fenway Park to wave good-bye, or to see if anyone worth asking for an autograph were around, or to simply commemorate a rite of winter’s last gasps. An equipment truck is an oversized groundhog.  The end of a New England winter is not necessarily evident, but its demise is at least calculable.

This year, Truck Day came and went with no one caring.

Pitchers and catchers reported for duty this week. Just watching them play catch has always been a sure-fire ignition switch on Boston baseball passion.

Not this time. Day 1 of spring training’s traditional practice sessions was a dud, too. Not even the manager showed up for it.

Much has been made of Alex Cora’s absence on the first day of school. It has been interpreted as a clear signal that the manager fully realizes the last season of his contractual obligations will land on the wrong side of dreary.

Asked directly if he thought he’d be in Fort Myers in February, 2025, Cora completely blew off that line of questioning.

Cora, clearly a man of the people, has no stomach for what is euphemistically known as rebuilding, 

It is also known as a bridge year, which may end up as a bridge to another year, or two, or even longer.

When a manager parts ways with his team’s management mindset, it cannot be spun into happy chatter. Red Sox chief baseball operator Craig Beslow, a clearly intelligent man, didn’t bother trying.

Tom Werner may require a focus group to crystallize suspicions that the fans are not pleased. If saving money is among the Red Sox’s top priorities, he could achieve that much by hanging out in a bar or two for some serious eavesdropping. A stiff drink might help digest the anger.

Lots of folks have zero interest in paying top-dollar to watch their team’s unpredictable march down a road that may lead nowhere.

Such fans do have a bridge in mind – the Bruins and Celtics playoff runs, leading to the Patriots training camp.