Can John Lackey become a fan favorite in Boston?

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Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe has a list of Red Sox predictions for 2013. They’re a fun read, not because any of them will necessarily come to pass, but because so many of them are so very Red Sox. Here’s one, however, that not a lot of people would bank on:

Fans will come to like John Lackey. Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes, too. Lackey may not always say the right thing, but he goes about his business professionally and competes when he’s on the mound.

I get Gomes and Victorino. They annoy some folks, but generally not the fans of the teams for which they play.

Lackey, though, seems to have brought out so much ire among the fans and the Red Sox press. Way more than seems warranted based on his actions (hey, no one forced the Sox to give him that contract), but so much that it seems hard to imagine him becoming well-liked among the fans.

I guess anything is possible, but barring a Red Sox championship run — which Abraham does not predict, as he believes there is too much ground to make up — I feel like Lackey will be, at best, a sore reminder of a couple of bad seasons for the Sox.

 

Donald Trump may throw out the first pitch at the Nationals opener

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It’s just gossip now, but Politico is hearing that Donald Trump is in talks to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. The Nats are not commenting. Neither are the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, who no doubt feel slighted given that the president effectively is a local.

With the caveat that, on Opening Day, tickets are likely to be more expensive and thus you’re likely to have a lot more rich people and friends-of-the-owners in attendance, thereby ensuring a more conservative crowd, I’m struggling to imagine a situation in which Trump strolls on to a baseball field in a large American city and isn’t booed like crazy. He’s polling as low as 36% in some places. He’s not exactly Mr. Popular.

Oh well. I look forward to him three-bouncing one to Matt Wieters and then grabbing his phone and tweeting about how it was the best, most tremendous first pitch in baseball history. Or blaming Hillary Clinton for it in the event he admits that it was a bad pitch.

Watch David Ross do the cha-cha to Young M.C.’s “Bust a Move”

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David Ross is 40 which means he was about 12 when Young M.C.’s “Bust a Move” was released. That means that there’s a pretty good chance that the enjoyment on his face as he danced to it last night on “Dancing with the Stars” was not ironic enjoyment but actual enjoyment. The tween-aged Ross probably dug hard on “Bust a Move,” stuff from Tone Loc and, I suspect, some D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.

Then, in either high school or college, some cooler friends of his were making fun of that pop rap stuff and he quickly — but silently — disavowed his love for those inoffensive songs and claimed a lifelong love for whatever harder-edged fare made one cool among the boys of his generation.

Now, in 2017, he can again embrace a song that once made him smile. Back before being cool was a concern. Back when life was simpler. He can let his cha-cha flag fly to “Bust a Move,” a beautiful woman by his side and millions in the bank, and tell those older boys back in Florida or Alabama or wherever that he truly DID love the music they made fun of and that he will never hide his enjoyment of life again.

Again, he did so silently.