Full squad training has begun, and not a moment too soon. For it's crystal clear that The CHB has nothing left in the tank, save the occasional random insult.
While the beat writers are busy earning their keep, it's clear that the New York Times shareholders aren't getting their money's worth underwriting the columnists' winter vacations.
"If you live for baseball, the first full squad spring workout is just about the best day of the season," he writes. But the positive tone is deceiving and short-lived, for in the very next sentence he compares Red Sox owner John W. Henry to "Curious George's Man in the Yellow Hat" (I'm not sure that that means, except the reference is likely a solid clue as to Dan's favorite book).
In the next graf, GM Theo Epstein is "boy wonder." Later, Dan wisecracks about tension between Epstein and Larry Lucchino, and Curt Schilling's leadership. (Rumor has it Schilling is instructing players not to speak with The CHB. We can only hope.)
In an inadvertently hilarious segment, Dan tries getting answers out of Henry and Lucchino, both of whom defer to Epstein. (If that's not evidence Sox management is on the same page, what is?) This is funny on two levels: 1) in trying to subtly note management's lack of candor, he makes himself look impotent and 2) as we all know, Theo's not talking, at least not to Shaughnessy. Dan didn't just burn that bridge, he nuked it.
For everyone else, this is a time of anticipation and excitement. Yet Dan can't leave the sarcasm in the clubhouse long enough to finish the piece. In a way, it's understandable: With no one talking to him (not counting a few anonymous quotes that he probably made up), it's going to be one long season in CHB-ville.