Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Boy reports from Truck Day

(LimeyG: The Boy has requested permission to recount his Truck Day experience. The management of this publication assumes no responsibility for the content that follows. Viewer discrection is advised.)

One way New England differs from the rest of the country is the annual event known as Truck Day. Every February, after the region has endured three months of increasingly depressing weather, our local media provides the first sign of better times to come. They cover the departure of the Red Sox baseball equipment, which is hauled by 18-wheeler from Fenway Park to Fort Myers, Florida, for
the start of spring training. It's the first, hopeful step toward Red Sox Home Opening Day in April--the true start of spring in the region.

But what is Truck Day really like? It's as much of a
contrived media event as you would think. There were maybe 75 people on Yawkey Way yesterday morning, split into three roughly equally sized groups: Sox employees, fans--and media, who seemed to be interviewing everyone they could find. I felt afraid I'd be cornered by one of the news outlets for my opinion on the moving abilities on display.

To add to the festivities, a second bunting-lined flatbed vehicle carrying Sox employees, most notably
Wally the Green Monster, follows the truck on its way out of the city. Presumably, they don't drive Wally all the way to Florida. Though it's amusing to think they might.

To show real baseball equipment is being transported, a few items are packed at the last minute. Spectators may then wonder if this box contains the actual bat Doug Mirabelli will use to flail wildly at a slider in the dirt in March.

The prominent display of this next label suggests a Sox player has let themselves go this offseason. I think we'll be shocked at seeing the no-longer-speedy 280-pound
Jacoby Ellsbury.

To show the diversity of the crowd, here are the inevitable pug and baby photos (the pug is the first one, I think.)

Finally, all the photography, interviewing and video is done. The truck is ready to start its trip.

As it turns left into Yawkey Way (without signaling, I may add) the flatbed follows, blasting the thoroughly overplayed opening notes of
"Centerfield," while Wally and his pals fling squishy baseballs to the crowd.

And it does feel just a little warmer.

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