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?

Marcus Stroman dealing with blister again

Marcus Stroman
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Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.

Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.

While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.