Truck Day: just another chance to try and sell you something

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It’s Truck Day in Boston, which means that boxes of gloves, bats, balls snuff cans and Gold Bond Medicated Powder are being loaded into the back of a rig outside Fenway Park and will soon depart for Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers, Florida.

There’s been a lot of grumpy chatter from Red Sox fans this year over the fact that so many other teams are suddenly celebrating their own version of Truck Day. It’s like one of their valued traditions is being stolen from them, they’re saying. What will people steal next? Neil Diamond songs? Pink caps? Binge drinking? Is nothing sacred?!

I was sympathetic about this cultural theft until I learned this morning that the Red Sox’ February rite has corporate sponsorship:

The 2010 Spring Training Truck Day presented by JetBlue Airways is
scheduled for Friday, February 12. The Red Sox equipment truck will
depart Fenway Park for the 1,480-mile trip to the club’s Spring
Training home in Fort Myers, Florida on Friday at approximately 12 noon . . .

. . . Fans are also welcome to stop by and see JetBlue Airways, The Official
Airline of the Boston Red Sox, and Wally the Green Monster between 11
a.m. and 12 p.m. at the Yawkey Way Store next to Fenway for their
chance to win a roundtrip flight on JetBlue, a trip to Spring Training
in Ft. Myers, and other great prizes.

Can I ask a dumb question? Why is an airline sponsoring an event which glorifies alternative transportation?

Jose Altuve and Corey Kluber head list of Esurance MLB Award winners

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The 2017 MLB award season officially drew to a close on Friday with the Esurance MLB Awards, handed out to the best hitters, pitchers, front office members and moments in the 2017 season. Jose Altuve was crowned the Best Major Leaguer overall, beating out fellow finalists Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, while two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber took home honors as Best Pitcher.

Here’s the full list of winners:

  • Best Rookie: Aaron Judge
  • Best Defensive Player: Nolan Arenado
  • Personality of the Year: Adrian Beltre
  • Best Postseason Major Leaguer: Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander
  • Best Postseason Moment: Alex Bregman‘s 10th inning walk-off single in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best TV/Radio Call: Joe Buck and John Smoltz call Jose Altuve’s game-tying three-run blast in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best Play (Offense): Nolan Arenado completes the cycle with a walk-off homer (video)
  • Best Play (Defense): Austin Jackson‘s over-the-wall catch in the Red Sox’ bullpen (video)
  • Best Single-Game Performance: Anthony Rendon‘s six-hit, three-homer, 10-RBI game (video)
  • Best Player-Fan Interaction: Joey Votto gives Walter “Superbubz” Herbert a bat and jersey (video)
  • Best Fan Catch: Fan’s brother-in-law grabs Yasiel Puig home run ball and chucks it back on the field (video)
  • Best Manager: A.J. Hinch
  • Best Executive: Jeff Luhnow

No surprises here — the world champion Astros ran away with seven awards, including those for Best Manger and Executive and a dual award for Best Major Leaguer of the Postseason. Altuve added to an impressive run this offseason after earning a Silver Slugger, two Players Choice Awards, Hank Aaron Award and MVP Award for his outstanding work in 2017, while Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge continued to be a lock for all AL rookie-based awards after locking down the Rookie of the Year title earlier this week.