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Post-season baseball, you gotta love it!  Especially when your team makes it to the play-offs.  Yep, Boston didn’t win the division–kudos to the Tampa Bay Rays!–but they snagged the wild-card and that’s good enough for me.  I’m pretty sure they won’t make it to the World Series again, but at least I get this chance to watch my favorite players in action.  And I have to say if the Rays make it all the way this year, I’ll be watching and cheering them on.  Because, hey, I write romance, nothing I love more than a Cinderella story with a happy ending and I think the Rays are just the team to give it to me this year.

I’m not counting the Red Sox out just yet and I’m singing Tessie every chance I get and wearing my ratty 2004 World Series champions t-shirt or my not quite as bedraggled 2007 World Series champions sweatshirt and driving myself crazy following all my other Red Sox superstitions.  I fully admit to a bit of…um, “not this year” thinking, but they’ve proved me wrong before.  Like in 2004, when I thought the Yankees had them beat.  Or last year when I was sure they’d never get past Cleveland to make it to the series.   In fact, they did it as recently as Tuesday night–er, early Wednesday morning–when they beat the Angels in their first post-season game. 

So go on guys, prove me wrong some more!  I promise, I won’t mind at all!

Oh, before I forget, is it just me, or is every other Red Sox fan of the female persuasion crushing on Jacoby Ellsbury?  I have to tell you, if I were still a young girl, his picture would be up in my room just like Tony C’s was once upon a time.  Not only is he gorgeous, he can hit, run like the wind, and when he makes one of those diving catches that are becoming something of a trademark for him, well, shivers and goosebumps!  And now, I see on the Boston Red Sox site that he’s started a blog on MLBlogs, Jacoby Ellsbury’s Postseason Blog.  Hmmm…bet he gets a gazillion comments from the female contingent of Red Sox Nation.  Beyond that, I wish him all the luck in the world with his blog and I hope he gets to continue writing new entries for a long time–at least until the major league baseball season is truly over for this year!

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The sun is shining here in western North Carolina–finally!–the thermometer’s pushing 70–take that Mr. Groundhog!–and I just saw on the Red Sox site that Jon Lester is in Ft. Myers already doing the Spring Training thing!  Woo-hoo!  

Now that’s exciting news for a baseball fan like me and the fact that it’s Jon Lester makes it doubly exciting!

For those of you who don’t know who Jon Lester is, I offer up this little bit of wisdom:

**Jon Lester, who came back from a cancer diagnosis in 2006 to win this year’s World Series clincher for Boston, was honored Wednesday with the Tony Conigliaro Award for overcoming adversity through spirit, determination and courage.

The 23-year-old pitcher was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in August 2006. After cancer treatment during the offseason, he started the year on the disabled list. Lester was recalled in July and finished the regular season 4-0 with a 4.57 ERA.

The thing is…I saw him pitch with the Portland Seadogs in Maine before he was diagnosed with cancer, was devastated when I heard the diagnosis, and thrilled beyond belief when he returned last season after going through chemo-therapy.  And the fact that he won the Tony Conigliaro Award last year means he’s a winner in my book–forever!–because, well, you know how I feel about Tony C!

And judging by Lester’s early appearance in camp, he’s just as anxious as I am to get this season started!

So, am I ready for some baseball–yes!  Yes!  Hell, YES!  Bring it on! 

 **Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press–here’s the full story:  http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3132061

I’m not sure why that title popped into my head this morning, but it did so I’m going to go with it–and hopefully continue with it in the Fridays to come.  I’m feeling…um, melancholy this morning.  Or maybe a better way to put it would be pensive, because I’m not feeling sad, which is the first definition listed for melancholy in the dictionary.  The second is pensive, contemplative.  That describes my feelings better.

Also, I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers are following certain themes for their blogs as a way of coming up with ideas about what to write on certain days, i.e. Thursday Thirteen.  The themes don’t appeal to me, but I like the alliterativeness of the titles–hence Friday Folly.

From Websters Dictionary; folly–1) a lack of good sense, understanding or foresight, 2) an act or instance of foolishness.

Like most people, I’ve had a few of those in my life and they fall under several categories; a) some which I regret, b) some which I learned from, c) some which, though stupid at the time, turned out all right in the end,  and d) some which I can now look back on and say, “What the heck was I thinking?”  My Friday Folly for today is one which falls under a) right now, but I hope will some day be included under c).

Back when I was a kid, I was on a softball team that sucked–and I mean, it really sucked.  We were the youngest team in the league and we didn’t win a single game that year…think “Bad News Bears” without the happy ending.  One fateful night, our game was rained out.  I wasn’t in the mood to read, so I turned on the TV and as I flipped through the channels, I happened to catch a baseball game.  I was a highly competitve kid and I played softball, so watching a baseball game seemed like a good idea at the time.  I don’t remember who the opposing team was, but I do remember the winning team was the Boston Red Sox.  And by the time the game was over, I was mesmerized.

The reason for my fascination?  Tony Conigliaro, a hot-shot rookie, who before he was beaned in the eye several years later, showed promises of becoming one of those outstanding players who go down in the sports annals as one of the greatest who ever played the game.

As the kids today say, I was crushing on Tony C, and he returned the favor by infecting me with an incurable disease, a passion for the Red Sox.  If you’re a Sox fan, you know what I’m talking about.  If you’re not, all you have to do is watch the movie “Fever Pitch,” it’ll give you a pretty good idea of what it means to be a Red Sox fan.  So, since the disease is incurable, I still root for them, and there are times when I curse the name of Tony Congliaro and times when I think he was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Unfortunately, right now, I’m cursing his name.  The Sox have given up a 14 1/2 game lead in the AL East, which is bad enough in itself, but what’s worse is they’ve given it up to the Yankees.  I know, I know, you’ve heard it all before, maybe even caught me talking about it on this blog–dare I hope?–but it seemed a good way to start this theme because it’s one of those things that happen in your life which will keep you guessing until the end.

The thing is, was it a gift or a curse?  Well, thank goodness, the jury’s still out on that one and I can still hope that it’ll turn out all right in the end…

…but probably not this year.    

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams

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