Saturday, December 13, 2003

Well, I know I said I was going to ramble on more about ballparks, but I'm too excited about the Red Sox signing of Keith Foulke!

This really fills in the two big holes in the Sox pitching staff from last season. Another top of the line starter behind Pedro and, maybe even more critically, a reliable closer were really what was needed. With the acquisitions of Schilling and Foulke, they fixed the problems.

Add to that the Yankees issues, including the problems finalizing an agreement with Gary Sheffield, the retirement of Clemens and the loss of Andy Pettitte and maybe, just maybe, the balance of power is starting to shift a little bit in the AL East. I'm not getting my hopes up yet, since there's a long way to go and the Red Sox have a habit of breaking New Englanders hearts, but it looks like the Sox have got their act together and the Yankees are getting a bit chaotic.

The Sox just have to sign a second baseman and get the A-Rod/Nomar/Manny drama sorted out and I think they could start Spring Training today.

Even aside from the Red Sox, the Hot Stove League has been red hot this winter. Big signings like Bartolo Colon by the Angels and trades like the Richie Sexson deal from Milwaukee to Arizona and the big Atlanta-St. Louis deal involving JD Drew today have kept things hopping.

I even bought Red Sox tickets this morning. I got a "Sox Pack" - four tickets to games against the Yankees, Phillies, Devil Rays and Orioles next season. I'm ready to go!

On a completely different topic, we went for a ride after dinner to look at Christmas lights. My kids love seeing the lights on the houses, and we usually take a ride or two around each holiday season to see the lights. Someone at work told me about a neighborhood in Sudbury, the next town over, that he said was amazing. I didn't quite believe the description he was giving it, but it was only a few miles from home, so I checked it out on Mapquest and we headed over there.

Well, these houses lived up to, and exceeded the hype. There were about a half-dozen houses that had more lights than I've ever seen. One house had people in costumes dressed up as a reindeer and a snowman. Another had Santa hanging out on the front lawn - a real guy meeting the kids. Everything was there from Santa in a helicopter made of lights, to "moving" horses and sleighs, to one house that had a big Santa made of lights stuck in the chimney. The kids were practically in ecstasy over this whole scene, and thought that "Santa's butt" sticking out of the chimney was pretty much the funniest thing they had ever seen.

One drawback with this is the amount of traffic in this high-end neighborhood (you'd have to be pretty wealthy just to afford the electric bill!). I'm sure the folks who don't go in for the big decorations are pretty sick of the whole scene by Christmas Day. We'll probably check it out one more time before we take off for Florida. The light displays at Disney World may pale in comparison to what we saw this evening!


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