Sox Can Wrap-up Mayor’s Cup Today
After dropping both games of a split-squad effort on Monday and dropping their overall Spring record to 2 games below .500 (9-11), the Red Sox look to rebound and secure another Mayor’s Cup title. Clay Buchholz will start, looking to push the Sox record against the Minnesota Twins to 4-1 and take home some pre-season hardware in tonight’s battle under the lights. As much as Francona and the players joke about the importance of the Mayor’s Cup, it does add some intrigue to Spring Training.
By having a race for the Mayor’s Cup, the city of Fort Myers, FL has added some interest and appeal to 7 Spring Training games. As a fan of competition, regardless of how ridiculous it is, I want to see the Sox win the trophy (if there is a trophy). For me, however, the difficulty of watching Spring Training games rests mostly on the timing of them. For a person who works 9-5, a 1:05pm game is impossible to watch and almost as difficult to listen to on the radio. When you factor in the management’s focus on getting people playing time and not on winning, it again diminishes the excitement.
By playing today’s game at night, it allows me the opportunity to sit on my couch with a beer in hand and watch the game. Don’t get me wrong, there is something old-fashioned and special about day games, but night games just have a different atmosphere. Fans want to let loose and enjoy their experience (drink more beer) at night and since the majority of regular season games are at night, so it feels more like the regular season to me.
Regardless of whether you prefer day or night games, opening day is getting closer and closer and that alone is exciting. As I write this, we are just 12 short days from welcoming the Red Sox to Fenway Park against arch rival New York Yankees on the first ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game of the season. If that doesn’t excite you, then you should check your pulse. Nothing beats kicking off a new season with the most intense rivalry in sports…