Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Play ball!

Rooters: Sharpen your pencil-leads and prepare your score-cards!

To-day, at last, the Red Stockings begin exhibition contests under the Florida sun. Their first opponents are that fine, hale bunch of lettermen from Boston College, seen above in a studio photograph. These lads are sure to be awestruck from simply sharing a diamond with their professional balling heroes.

But for myself and Hurdy Chadwick, the afternoon's drama shall not be found in the accumulation of "runs" and "outs." Instead, we intend to scrutinize the action for tantalizing portents of the season's fate.

- Will "High Pockets" Lugo begin demonstrating his case for the starting short-stop role when he first toes the dirt of the batter's box?

- How will hometown hero Rocco "The Woonsocket Rocket" Baldelli overcome the mysterious nerve condition that prevented him from participating in regular contests last year?

- Can our aggregation of veteran and yannigan hurlers command the pill with vim and determination -- especially the fallen-angel of the staff, "Beanpole" Buchholz?

The time for idle speculation and academic debate is over. Deeds on the diamond will provide the answers we've long awaited. Huzzah!

Alas, the mid-day contest is not being carried on the wireless. However, a syndicate of newspaper men have apparently commandeered a disused ticker-tape device from a renowned industrialist recently ruined in the Bank Panic of '09. They've adapted the machine to receive telegraph updates from sideline reporters, and will dutifully recount the action through the miracle of modern electronics.

What a time to be alive!

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