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Just Saying: A fan(atic’s) notes

Thursday  is Opening Day for Major League Baseball.

If you are a mildly rabid fan, like me, the days after the World Series are rather gloomy. Opening Day seems an eternity away, unless your team won the Series, which eases the pain a bit because you are celebrating and reveling.

I am doing neither, for I am a Boston Red Sox fan, and we didn’t do so hot last season.

But the Sox made some modest moves during the off-season, and there were (short) spells last year when they couldn’t lose. So you never know. The clubhouse could cohere in a way that no one can predict, and some of the young guys could have breakout years.

Manager Alex Cora is a proven leader (he won it all in 2018), and there’s no reason to think he can’t do it again. Well, I can think of some, but I’m not sharing.

During the season, I show my Red Sox colors in three ways. First, I wear one of my 11 Sox hats on the street (and run into a surprising number of Red Sox fans).

With one humorous exception, no Yankee fan has ever raised a stink about my Sox hat. This may well be because the Yanks haven’t won a World Series since 2009.

And the Sox broke the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004, the same year of the Yankees’ epic collapse in the ALCS when the Sox came back from three down. The Curse, of course was placed on the Sox when they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 and then never won it all until 2004, while the Yanks went on to … I don’t want to talk about it.

I refer to this as the Great Choke-a-Thon. The Sox have won three more Series since then  — 2007, 2013 and 2018 — and the Yankees have exactly zilch. It’s not that Yankees fans respect the Sox, but they have nothing to razz me about.

Second, I often wear one of several Sox T-shirts, all Fenway Park-related. The same dynamic applies: greetings from Sox fans, silence from Yankees fans.

Third, and this is a new development over the past few years, I carry a Red Sox Zippo lighter in my pocket. I only recently rediscovered it, and sadly realized that I didn’t carry it all of last season, which clearly was a factor in their mediocre level of play.

I strongly believe in the power of these shows of support. When watching a televised Sox game, I stick with a hat that “wins” games; if a hat “loses” two games in a row, I shift to another and await a win streak. This voodoo seems to work.

Speaking of voodoo, the rule changes adopted last year to speed up the game (which they did) angered a certain purist segment of fandom. I am no purist and am cool with the new rules.

If I ran the zoo, I would introduce rules that factored in age of ballpark, red as the preferred primary uniform color and height of the left field wall as weighted factors to determining post-season rankings.

Go Red Sox!