Friday, January 9, 2009
at 3:40 PM Posted by SmartyBarrett
My dreams have come true. I can now trade my Rays Baldelli #5 jersey in for a Red Sox #5 Baldelli jersey. In case you hadn't heard, the Sox signed Rhode Island's own Rocco Baldelli to a one year deal worth only half a million bucks. He can make considerably more in incentives, which include games played, avoiding going on a respirator for the entire season, and not infecting any other players with muscular dystrophy.
I know it's so easy to make fun of Rocco, mainly because of his injury issues and health risks. But I really really try not to, because I honestly am a big fan. You see, Baldelli and I are Rhode Island brothers. I've been following the dude since high school and always secretly hoped he'd land with the Sox so I could bask in his Rhode Island awesomeness. Maybe held out hopes that we'd randomly meet up at a bar and enjoy a coffee milk together, because, you know...you can't drink alcohol when you have multiple sclerosis. Anyway, I remember tales of the Woonsocket Rocket beating out routine grounders to second and crushing home runs over building across the street from the high school field. Friends of mine that played against him were just in awe, although two of my buddies were on a travelling All-Star team with him. They shared a water bottle with Baldelli once and, well...here they are today:
I can't rip on the greatest ballplayer from Rhode Island since Nap Lajoie any longer. Rest assured I'll get my #5 jersey within a week, and I'll be wearing it to every home game that Baldelli is healthy for. Which means it will never leave my closet.
Welcome to Boston, Rocco! See you at the next annual Rhode Island Mafia father-son picnic!