This is another set of minis that were hidden away in a crevace in my game room as I shuttled out hobby boxes for the garage sale last weekend. I am really glad that I found these, logged them and put them safely away in the binder. Goodwin Champions was just a top-notch artistic offering that also, fortunately, became a reasonably affordable offering due to bad word-of-mouth from reviewers. "Ginter Light" What I love about the current players is the rich, deep coloring and shadows that a lot of the Goodwins demonstrate. Then they also threw in a smattering of historical figures, champions, HOF's and animals and really made a nice product.
Finding these cards really got me thinking about the Red Sox this season. I have not really blogged much of my thoughts on the team this year. My gut reaction would be to say that I have been disappointed, mainly because the Red Sox have not acquired that necessary piece to push them through post-All-Star break play. Both the division and the wild card are RIGHT THERE, and yet the Red Sox do nothing. If I could describe it with metaphor, I would say it is like chasing a dollar bill attached to a string.
But then again, that is really not fair to this team. Here is why.
Back in 2006, and more specifically in August of 2006, the Red Sox were decimated with injuries...Captain and team leader Jason Varitek was out with Knee Surgery, Jon Lester was diagnosed with cancer, Tim Wakefield had a fractured rib, Alex Gonzalez had a strained oblique...all on the disabled list. Manny claims his knees hurt, and Youk, Beckett, Loretta, the then-closer Keith Foulke....all injured in some manner or another.
Each night I would flip on the games and it would feel like watching AAA. And the team floundered, badly. A hotly contested AL-East quickly became a foregone conclusion as the Sox ended up 11 back of the hated Yankees. Boo.
THIS year, things could not be more similar, or opposite. You name the player, and they have most likely been hurt this year. Ellsbury (sniff), Pedroia, Youkilis, Martinez, Varitek, Beckett, Buchholz, Dice-K....need we keep going? The major difference is that the replacement players that have been called to duty to fill in for fallen heroes have played amazingly well together. It is a true testimate to the quality of the Red Sox farm system that a bunch of players are hurried up through the ranks and have actually found a way to continue to tread water when this team could have easily mailed this season in back before the All-Star break.
Frustrating chasing that dollar bill? YES, without a doubt it is never any fun to consistently be 5.5 games back. But there are tons of teams that would kill to be in this position with a month to go, and i'll be darned if the Red Sox don't continue to weather the storm and find ways to win.
Also, the fact that the last generation of Red Sox champions are slowly fading into team lore (sniff) is really making me feel confident that they have a solid, talented young core to be the next Red Sox heroes.
All they have to do now is get rid of those rookie baby-faces, grow some facial hair, learn a few creative hand-shakes and the next gen will be ready to rock and roll!