Scrolling Headlines:

Pat Kelsey informs UMass AD Ryan Bamford of change of heart just 35 minutes before scheduled press conference -

March 23, 2017

Past and present UMass football players participate in 2017 Pro Day Thursday -

March 23, 2017

Pat Kelsey reportedly backs down from UMass men’s basketball coaching position -

March 23, 2017

Students react to new fence around Townehouses -

March 23, 2017

‘Do You Have The Right To Do Drugs?’ debate held in Bowker Auditorium -

March 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to build on three-game winning streak against Brown -

March 23, 2017

UMass softball riding five-game win streak into first Atlantic 10 showdown -

March 23, 2017

Sanzo: Inability to win close games has hurt UMass baseball -

March 23, 2017

Hannah Murphy scores 100th career goal in UMass women’s lacrosse 16-9 win over Harvard -

March 23, 2017

Old age does no harm to indie rock legends The Feelies -

March 23, 2017

A track-by-track breakdown of Drake’s new project -

March 23, 2017

When a president lies -

March 23, 2017

Let them eat steak, and other gender norms I hate -

March 23, 2017

Dissecting Science: Episode Two -

March 22, 2017

Holy Cross 10-run eighth inning sinks UMass baseball -

March 22, 2017

UMass students react to Spring Concert lineup -

March 22, 2017

Letter: Vote yes for Amherst -

March 22, 2017

You don’t have to walk alone -

March 22, 2017

Tyler Bogart and D.J. Smith lead UMass men’s lacrosse during three game win streak -

March 22, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse emphasizes defense in approaching games as its key to gaining momentum for conference play -

March 22, 2017

Thank you, Red Sox

(Daily Collegian Archive)

(Daily Collegian Archive)

Despite the Boston Red Sox efforts last week to try to keep their playoff chances alive, they saw their season, and the career of designated hitter David Ortiz, end at the hands of the Cleveland Indians in game three of the American League Division Series. While the finish was unsatisfactory, the 2016 season was far from a failure. The enjoyment of a season’s worth of baseball was not nullified by a playoff loss. Baseball was still the entertaining diversion it was supposed to be. Compared to the last place finishes of the previous two years, where the Sox finished 25 games and 15 games out of first place in 2014 and 2015, respectively; this year was a refreshing change. In 2016, fans witnessed the potential of another championship, as this team already has a core that could take them far in the coming seasons.

However, before we look to next year, we should appreciate this year. The 2016 season was not for naught. Once again the Boston club took Red Sox Nation along for a joy ride. While the season did not finish with a trophy that does not diminish the realization that baseball was enjoyable again. Baseball is different from the other major American sports because the baseball season is not only long, but also quite dense. The National Basketball Association season, for instance, stretches from October to June, but the teams play usually every two to three days. Baseball teams, on the other hand, play 162 games from April until October, often at a rate of six or seven games per week. This means that America’s pastime is a nightly companion, a routine. You can come home from work or school each day and turn on the game, check the highlights or look at the box score. The inherent purpose of baseball, and of sports in general, is to provide a distraction, and baseball is beautiful in its ability to do so.

This summer was full of tragedy and contention, from the shooting in Orlando to the shootings of black men by and the murder of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Surrounding this was a presidential race between two candidates that have angered much of the population. Sometimes the country needs a distraction for when current events get too depressing, and for sport fans, baseball can be an outlet. In sports, the world’s problems are replaced by the game. The biggest complaints are losing streaks and low batting averages. Happiness can come from a routine win. Even though Boston did not win in the playoffs, its division-winning run in 2016 was worthwhile because it served as enthralling entertainment and distraction.

The obstacles facing the country and the world still need to be solved. We still need to solve issues like gun violence, racism and homophobia. We still need to pick a president. But sometimes we need to escape for a bit. I say “thank you” to the Red Sox for helping us out of tragedy and difficult times yet again. It was fun and I look forward to the spring.

Joe Frank is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at jrfrank@umass.edu

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